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Lions vs. 49ers 2024 NFC Championship Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

The Detroit Lions are in their first NFC Championship Game since the 1991 season, but their reward Sunday is a trip to top-seeded San Francisco, and the Lions have lost 13 straight games on the road in the series. That’s the longest such active road skid in the NFL.

San Francisco leads the all-time series 39-28-1 including two playoff matchups. The teams last played in the 2021 season opener, and the Niners won 41-33 in Motown in the Detroit debut of QB Jared Goff and Coach Dan Campbell. Goff was 38 of 57 for 338 three touchdowns and a costly interception. That Lions team wasn’t good. Jimmy Garoppolo was the Niners’ QB then, but long gone.

Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers 2024 NFC Championship Game Information

  • When: Sunday, January 28th, 2024. 6:30pm EST.
  • Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
  • TV: FOX
  • Radio: 97.1 The Ticket FM (Lions) // KNBR 680 AM (49ers)
  • Live Stream: NFL+
  • NFL Odds: Lions (+7) // 49ers (-7)

Why Bet on the Detroit Lions?

Detroit advanced with a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay in the Divisional Round. A Jahmyr Gibbs 31-yard touchdown run and an Amon-Ra St. Brown 9-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter gave the Lions a 14-point lead and proved to be enough to put Detroit in the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1991. The Bucs cut the lead to 31-23 late and had the ball at their 10-yard line with one minute and 59 seconds to play. The drive only lasted two plays, however, as linebacker Derrick Barnes sealed the deal for Detroit with a diving interception.

Goff was an efficient 30-of-43 passing for 287 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 103.5 passer rating. He also rushed six times for six yards, including a first down. Detroit also rushed for 114 yards and two scores. Starting left guard Jonah Jackson left the game in the second quarter with a knee injury and did not return, while No. 2 tight end Brock Wright injured his forearm and also didn’t return.

Both are going to miss Sunday. Jackson also missed some time earlier in the year with ankle and wrist injuries but was playing excellent ball down the stretch. He allowed just two sacks all year and was named a Pro Bowl alternate. Jackson could be back for the Super Bowl if the Lions advance – they are the only NFC team to never reach the Super Bowl. Kayode Awosika replaced Jackson Sunday and played pretty well.

Wright’s injury left Sam LaPorta as the only healthy tight end on the Lions’ roster, and coach Dan Campbell said it didn’t “look good” for Wright’s availability for the NFC Championship Game so Detroit signed former Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz this week. Ertz, 33, was released by the Arizona Cardinals in November and had been on injured reserve since Oct. 24 with a quad strain at the time of his release. Steve Heiden, the Lions’ tight ends coach, was Ertz’s position coach with the Cardinals in 2021 and ’22.

Why Bet on the San Francisco 49ers?

San Francisco rallied late last Saturday to beat Green Bay 24-21. Christian McCaffrey capped a game-winning, 69-yard drive by running for his second touchdown with 1:07 to play. QB Brock Purdy had a shaky game overall but went 6 for 7 for 47 yards on the decisive drive, converting a third down with a 10-yard pass to Brandon Aiyuk and throwing a 17-yarder to Chris Conley. The Niners had been 0-30 all-time under Coach Kyle Shanahan when trailing by at least 7 in the fourth quarter of games.

On Sunday, Purdy will join Ben Roethlisberger and Mark Sanchez as the only quarterbacks in league annals to start conference championship Games in each of their first two NFL seasons. That’s especially impressive considering Purdy was the last selection in the 2022 NFL Draft while both Roethlisberger (11th overall) and Sanchez (fifth overall) were first-round choices. Since 1994, when the NFL reduced the draft to seven rounds, Purdy is the only quarterback drafted in the seventh round to start a conference title game.

The best individual matchup Sunday could be Lions All-pro receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown against Niners cornerback Charvarius Ward. In 2023, St. Brown has an NFL-leading 10 100-yard receiving games, including the postseason. Four of those efforts have come over the Lions’ last six games, including the Wild Card victory over the Rams. He also has a touchdown reception in five of his past six games, including last week’s win over Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, Ward during the regular season led the NFL with a career-high 23 passes defensed, including a career-best five interceptions. In 15 career playoff games, Ward has 13 passes defensed.

Detroit’s last win in the postseason away from home came against the 49ers way back in 1957. That was also the last year the Lions were league champions. Their only other playoff matchup was during the 1983 season. The 49ers edged past the Lions 24-23 to advance to the NFC Championship Game versus Washington.

San Francisco has dominated this series in recent years, with the Lions winning only once in their last 12 meetings dating back to 1996.

Lions vs. 49ers Betting Trends

  • Detroit is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • The Lions are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games.
  • The totals went under in 8 of Detroit’s last 11 games.
  • San Francisco is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • The 49ers are 8-2 SU in its last 10 games.
  • The totals went under in 4 of San Francisco’s last 5 games against an opponent in the National Football Conference North division.

Lions vs. 49ers Expert Betting Predictions

49ers 30, Lions 24.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

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