The NFC runs through San Francisco and the 49ers only just about got over the line last Saturday night against the Packers.
@NFLGirlUK previews the action and we've picked out a couple of prop bets we think provide some betting value...
The NFC Championship game will feature the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers. While many might have assumed the 49ers would make it back to this stage, nobody would have anticipated the Lions getting here. It’s a true heart-warming story for a city and franchise that has struggled so much in the past few decades.
Let’s start by diving into their team here. There might be a lot of people out there that assume the Lions are carried by their ground attack, but I feel like it’s more of Jared Goff than anything. Goff has stepped up big time as the starting quarterback. He's not turning the ball over very often, he’s throwing it with tremendous confidence, and has the numbers to back it up.
Goff was second in the league in passing yards and fourth in passing touchdowns. When Goff gets settled into a rhythm, the Lions offense becomes nearly impossible to stop. That’s because it opens up the ground game for both David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, two very talented running backs behind a dominant offensive line.
The main concern for me on this Lions team is the secondary. Can their defense step up and limit the 49ers weapons throughout the entire game? That’s yet to be seen, but they have struggled at times containing big names. Cameron Sutton was torched repeatedly by Mike Evans last week, and it’s something that he can’t allow somebody like Deebo Samuel to do to him this week.
As for the 49ers, there’s talent everywhere. Last weekend, Brock Purdy didn’t look good for the majority of that win over the Green Bay Packers. However, when his team desperately needed a touchdown to win, he delivered and marched straight down the field. I also don’t think it can be understated how devastating Samuel’s absence was.
San Francisco had multiple weeks to game-plan for this first playoff game, and after one drive they had Samuel leave with an injury. All of those designed plays and drives were thrown out of the window immediately without him. If he comes back, this 49ers offense is going to look better than ever.
Without him, Purdy might feel a little vulnerable. Luckily, they don’t have to be perfect offensively to win games. That’s why their defense is as talented as it is. The combination of Nick Bosa and Chase Young has been a little underwhelming lately, but the linebacker duo of Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner more than makes up for it. San Francisco knows they can limit Detroit’s scoring, but can they avoid turning the ball over and giving them more opportunities?
Looking at this game, I believe the 49ers are going to come out on top at home. It feels like the only way this Lions team can force an upset on the road is if they can rattle Purdy early on with pressure.
In the few games that the 49ers have lost, Purdy has been pressured consistently, forcing him into bad decisions. Detroit will desperately need to win the turnover battle to keep things in their favour. Otherwise, I believe the 49ers defense will hold Goff and the Lions longer than the Detroit defense can hold Purdy and company.
San Fran are the betting favourite to win it all, therefore it is no surprise that Kyle Shanahan's team are a very short price to progress to the Super Bowl from the NFC. You can back them at 2/7 on the Money Line to win on Sunday, with Detroit coming in at a pretty decent 14/5. The handicap has been set at 7.5pts, meaning the trader think the 49ers win by around a touchdown.
The Total Points number feels high at 51.5 and it is no surprise seeing C-Mac at just 1/3 to score anytime but Brandon Aiyuk at 5/6 feels too-short.
Bet 1 - Brock Purdy to throw over 0.5 Interceptions @ Evens
The only way the Lions win is if they rattle the young QB and Green Bay picked him off the once last week but should have done so on at least two other occasions. Yes, he came back and led his team to a win but you never thought the Iowa State man was in total control.
In his previous big game, that showdown with the Ravens at Christmas, he threw four picks. Question marks have to surround whether he can do it when the lights shine brightest and I like the chance he throws at least one pick in this game.
Bet 2 - Amon-Ra St. Brown to score anytime @ 7/5
Last week I tipped him up at Evens to find paydirt and that bet came in thanks to a 4th Quarter TD reception. I'm happy to go back to the well this week as he's the most vital cog in that Lions' offense. The Running Back duo have certainly seen their role increase in recent weeks but when they need a big play, Goff still looks primarily in the direction of #14.
St Brown has scored a touchdown in in five of his past six games and we are getting him at a very decent price to make that seven from right. Only once this season did he not even receive seven targets in a game, which shows just how much he'll be utilised.
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