The quest for this season’s Super Bowl championship is down to just four teams as we get set for the NFL’s Championship Weekend. Since the winners of Sunday’s AFC and NFC title games will advance to Super Bowl LVIII, each snap and every play will truly matter. The host San Francisco 49ers are making what seems like an annual appearance in the NFC Championship Game, while Detroit Lions have reached this game for just the first time since 1992. The Lions, who have yet to play in a Super Bowl, were routed 41-10 by Washington 32 years ago and will be looking for a very different outcome this time around.

Best NFC Championship Game Same-Game Parlay for Lions vs. 49ers: 3-Leg parlay Pick (+500)

Money Line

Since we’re already taking the 49ers and the spread as a single play, we’re going to play it a bit more conservatively here in our same-game parlay and take the 49ers to win outright. I think the 49ers will have no problem covering the spread, because the Lions defense won’t faze their offense, while Detroit will struggle with San Francisco’s defense. Give me the 49ers outright as leg No. 1.

Leg-1 SGP Pick: San Francisco 49ers ML (-320)

George Kittle yardage

This game on Sunday could end up being a big day for 49ers tight end George Kittle, because the Lions’ defense can’t cover opposing tight ends. Detroit, which allows the NFL’s eighth-most yards to opposing tight ends, is going to struggle with Kittle. Give me Kittle’s adjusted yards for plus money.

Leg-2 SGP Pick: George Kittle 90+ Receiving Yards (+265)

George Kittle to score a TD

Once again, let me emphasize that this game could be all about George Kittle, and I’m going to ride that notion for the final leg of this same-game parlay. Kittle scored a touchdown in last weekend’s Divisional Round win over the Green Bay Packers and he will look to do it again on Sunday.

Leg-3 SGP Pick: George Kittle anytime touchdown (-110)

Odds are subject to change* 

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Lions vs. 49ers Preview

As far back as a year ago, when they finished 9-8, it appeared that the Detroit Lions had finally turned a corner after four straight losing seasons. The 2023-24 NFL season has certainly confirmed that sense of a reborn Detroit franchise. The Lions absolutely have turned that corner this season -- making it all the way to their first NFC Championship Game since 1992. Unfortunately, this team now has a slight problem, because the corner it turned has brought the Lions face-to-face with the San Francisco 49ers, who will be playing in their seventh NFC Championship Game since 2011. While San Francisco’s record of playoff success would frighten many opponents, it won’t rattle the Lions, who are well acquainted with the underdog role. Detroit has had to overcome obstacles throughout the 2023-24 NFL season, and it has risen to the challenge many times. That stretches all the way back to the Lions’ season-opener, when they went into Kansas City and upset the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs 21-20. Now, they are tasked with upsetting what has been one of the NFL’s most consistently successful teams over the past few seasons. There’s no doubt that this is the biggest challenge the Lions have faced.

NFC Championship Game – Game info - Lions at 49ers

2023-24 NFC Championship Game
Detroit Lions (12-5, 6-3 Away) vs. San Francisco 49ers (12-5, 5-3 Home)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 28
Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

TV Channel: FOX
Live Stream: FOX Live, NFL+
Live Radio: WXYT-FM (97.1) (Lions) and KNBR 680 (49ers)

Lions vs. 49ers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under - NFC Championship Odds

Moneyline: Detroit Lions +275, San Francisco 49ers -350
Spread: Lions +7 (-105), 49ers -7 (-115)
Total: Over/Under 51.5 points

Lions vs. 49ers Predictions and Picks

The San Francisco 49ers lost five regular-season games in 2023-24, but injuries had a lot to do with that. San Francisco has had to play numerous games this season without its full complement of star players, which is a long list. It appears, however, that San Francisco will have all its key players healthy for the NFC Championship Game against the Lions, which is very good news for the 49ers.

The most recent returnee is wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who was back at practice on Thursday after missing the team’s Divisional Round playoff game. All signs point to Samuel playing this weekend, which will make it that much harder for the visitors from Detroit to win. A week ago, without Samuel in their lineup, the 49ers had a slight scare against a young and hungry Green Bay Packers team, while the Lions managed to beat a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team still searching for its identity.

My major concern when it comes to this game is the fact that Detroit caused very few, if any, problems for quarterback Baker Mayfield and the same Tampa Bay offense that had struggled against the NFL’s worst team, the Carolina Panthers, earlier this month. The Bucs’ inability to score more than nine points against the Panthers was flat-out embarrassing. While some people might argue that Tampa Bay raised its game once the playoffs began, those people would be wrong. The success Tampa Bay had in its playoff-opening win over the Philadelphia Eagles and its 31-23 Divisional Round loss to Lions was really a reflection of its opponents playing poorly on defense. Although Green Bay did a good job stalling and limiting the 49ers on several drives in San Francisco’s 24-21 Divisional Round victory, the Lions will not have that type of success. Yes, Detroit defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is a dynamic force, but he will be no test for perennial All-Pro tackle Trent Williams and the 49ers’ great offensive line. San Francisco will take care of business on Sunday and remind the NFL of its dominance yet again.

The Pick: San Francisco 49ers -7 (-115)

When it comes to Detroit Lions games and the over/under total, I tend to lean toward the over. It seems as if this team has been going over these lines ever since Matthew Stafford was Detroit’s quarterback. The Lions offense has always managed to put up points, while their defense never really challenged opposing offenses. That’s how I feel about this game as well, because the Lions’ defense won’t present much of a challenge for the 49ers’ offense on Sunday. On the other hand, I think that the 49ers’ defense will challenge quarterback Jared Goff and the Lions’ offense, which is why I’m only slightly leaning toward the over here. The Lions certainly have weapons on their offense and have done a great job scoring points this season. Indeed, their 27.1 points per regular-season game ranked fifth in the NFL, and that average has remained consistent in the postseason, where Detroit is averaging 27.5 points per game. If the Lions can get to the 21- to 24-point range, then I see this game’s total going over quite easily. However, if the Lions struggle in this one and are only in the 10- to 14-point range, this total could be in trouble.

The Pick: Over 51.5 (-110)

Best NFL Player-Prop Bets for Lions vs. 49ers: NFL Championship Round

George Kittle

Tight end George Kittle has always been a crucial piece of this 49ers team’s offense and he will be a crucial piece again on Sunday. The Detroit Lions allowed the NFL’s eighth-most yards to opposing tight ends during the regular season, which is not a recipe for success when going up against a tight end like Kittle. He is coming off 81 receiving yards and a touchdown last weekend against Green Bay, and all signs point to a similar performance in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Kittle ranks second on the 49ers in targets this season and will be used heavily against a Lions defense that struggles to stop tight ends.

The Pick: George Kittle over 61.5 receiving yards (-120)

Odds are subject to change*

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