The Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers will take center stage on Sunday night in the NFC Championship game. Let’s check out the latest NFL odds and keep cashing our NFL picks!
- 49ers -7 (+100)
- Over 51 (-110)
Sunday, January 28, 2024 – 06:30 PM ET at Levi’s Stadium
- Detroit is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games against an NFC West opponent.
- San Francisco is 10-0 SU in their last 10 games when playing at home against Detroit.
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of Detroit’s last 11 games.
Lions Bump Bucs
After eking out a one-point win over the Rams in the opening round of the playoffs, the Lions were installed as 6½ point home favorites at home against the upstart Tampa Bay Bucs last Sunday. It was a see-saw game throughout the first three quarters with the Bucs matching every Lions’ field goal and touchdown.
However, the fourth quarter saw Detroit break away with the lightning-quick Jahmyr Gibbs racing 31 yards into the end zone before Amon-Ra St. Brown caught a nine-yard touchdown toss by Jared Goff and opened up a 14-point lead.
But it wouldn’t be quite that easy as the Bucs refused to go quietly. Tampa’s Mike Evans caught a 16-yard touchdown strike from Baker Mayfield, capping a nine-play, 75-yard drive, that took all of 1:45, giving the Bucs hope for an unlikely comeback.
Fortunately, Tampa’s two-point conversion failed which was the difference between an 8-point win and a cover compared to a 6-point win and a blown cover. The Bucs had one last gasp but the Lions’ defense stood tall as Derrick Barnes intercepted Mayfield’s pass with under two minutes left to play, which was Detroit’s ticket into the AFC Championship game.
49ers Edge the Packers
The sportsbooks installed the 49ers as 10-point favorites over the upstart Green Bay Packers and many believed the NFC’s top team was well worth the investment after having two weeks to lick their wounds and prepare for their first playoff game in front of the fan friendlies.
But the Packers proved to be worthy adversaries and were looking to score an upset after taking a seven-point lead entering the fourth quarter. However, the Niners’ defense refused to yield and its offense mustered 10 consecutive points, capped by a Christian McCaffrey touchdown which put San Francisco ahead for good, 24-21, and sent them to the NFC title game.
Betting Detroit with a touchdown head start feels like the right choice after how badly the 49ers struggled against the Packers. But one thing to know about Green Bay is that their secondary is far more capable than Detroit’s even if its pass rush isn’t quite as formidable.
Therefore, if Brock Purdy can escape the clutches of Aidan Hutchinson and company then he will have a field day choosing his talented targets against a beleaguered Packers’ defensive backfield. Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel (assuming he plays after sustaining a shoulder injury in last week’s win over Green Bay) will overwhelm the Lions’ defense and we are not even considering the best player on San Francisco’s offense, Christian McCaffrey.
As for Jared Goff and the Lions offense, they too have several lethal weapons starting with rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs who looks like the second coming of Barry Sanders in that Lions’ uniform. Fellow rookie, Sam LaPorta, a tight end out of Iowa, has proven to be a steal at the beginning of the second round of last April’s draft with 86 receptions for 889 yards and 10 touchdowns during the regular season.
Last but not least, Amon-Ra St. Brown has risen to be an All-Pro caliber receiver which gives the Lions real firepower facing a stingy 49ers defense. But the problem for the Lions is that their defense, ranked 30th against the pass (253.4 YPG) and 23rd in points allowed (23.2 PPG), is not nearly as equipped as San Francisco’s.
Brock Purdy had a rough day last week and we can chalk that up to the slick weather and a gritty Packers’ secondary. But this week the weather is predicted to be close to 70 degrees with only a 2 mile per hour breeze. The conditions will be perfect for both offenses but the Niners have a stingy defense, ranked 3rd in points allowed (17.7 PPG), 13th in passing yards allowed (213.1 YPG), and 3rd in rushing yards allowed (92.2 YPG).
They say defense wins championships but they also allow teams to cover the point spread, which is all we’re asking in this one. Let’s lay the seven points on the home chalk and cash a ticket!
NFL ATS Pick: 49ers -7 (+100) at Caesars Sportsbook
NFL Total Pick: Over 51 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
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