The weather has factored into the outcomes of the first two weeks of the NFL playoffs and is expected to impact, to varying degrees, the NFC and AFC Championship games this week as well.
Lucky for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, it looks like San Francisco will avoid the deluge it endured last week.
The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens might not be so lucky.
Below is a breakdown of the weather for both games on Championship week and how it will impact the game and betting.
The Super Bowl is being played in a dome in Las Vegas, so this is the last week to enjoy good ol'-fashion football weather. May Mother Nature be ever in your favor.
Baltimore Weather Forecast for Chiefs at Ravens
Of the two games being played on Sunday, this one should face more challenges from the weather.
It's expected to rain heavily in Baltimore in the lead-up to the game (half an inch forecasted) and there's a 70% chance of rain at kickoff, which is 3 pm ET. The temperature is expected to be in the mid-40s with sustained winds of around 13 mph with gusts up to 23 mph.
The wind shouldn't impact the game too much, but the rain certainly could. The Ravens play on natural grass, which could get soggy and make it slippery with so much rain forecasted. We saw 49ers and Packers players slipping all over the field during their divisional round game last week, and Purdy had issues with his grip throughout, leading to come ugly throws.
While Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have more experience playing in bad weather than Purdy, rain could still impact both their and their team's performance. Jackson runs often, both for yards and to avoid pass rushers, and could slip. Mahomes, likewise, uses his feet in the pocket to avoid pass rushers and can get big chunks of yardage when he gets in open space. Both of those strengths could be affected by the conditions.
While I pointed out yesterday why this could be a lower-scoring game than the public is currently betting, let's focus on how BetSided NFL betting expert Iain MacMillan is picking this game. He lkes the Ravens to cover the -3.5 points because of the Ravens strong run game and the Chiefs weak run defense.
"The Chiefs rank 25th in opponent yards per carry, giving up 4.5 yards per rush," MacMillan writes. "They also gave up 4.7 yards per carry to the Bills last week. If you look at some more advanced metrics, they're 28th in opponent EPA per rush and 15th in opponent rush success rate."
San Francisco Forecast for Lions at 49ers
Last week, Purdy struggled mightily to consistently throw on target and on time in heavy rain. As I teased earlier, he won't have that issue this week. But the conditions could impact Lions quarterback Jared Goff.
San Francisco's weather forecast on Sunday is pleasant. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-60s at kickoff (6:30 pm ET) with light winds (5-7MPH) and no rain in the forecast. Those are ideal conditions for most quarterbacks, but Goff has struggled playing outdoors this year.
In outdoor games this season, Goff completed 64.5% of his throws with seven TD passes against four INTs and a rating of 87.9. All of those stats are worse than indoors, where he has a 104.0 rating, averages 7.9 yards per pass, and has a better TD-INT ratio (25-8).
On grass, his numbers are even worse -- 6.5 yards per pass, five TD, four INT, 82.0 rating.
While I'm not saying Goff will have a bad game strictly because he's playing outdoors on grass, the numbers suggest he performs worse in those conditions than in a dome.
MacMillan is backing the 49ers at -7 points. He doesn't focus on Goff, rather pointing out the 49ers led the league in Net Yards per Play at +1.6 and the Lions defense allowing the Rams to gain 7.7 yards against them in the Wild Card Round and the Bucs to average 6.8 yards against them in the Divisional round.
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