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Lions at Niners - Live Odds, Our Best Bets, and Top Player Props for NFC Title Game

Nicholas Berault
Written by Nicholas Berault
January 26, 2024
Lions at Niners - Live Odds, Best Bets, and Player Props

Of the 285 games played during the regular season and playoffs on the modern NFL schedule, only three remain for the 2023-24 season. This weekend, the finalists in each conference will square off for a chance to play for the ultimate prize at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. For some, this is a familiar position. For Detroit, this moment has been 30+ years in the making.

The Lions have four championships in franchise history, all of which came before the Super Bowl era. This season is the most successful one for the organization since 1991, when they last won their division and appeared in the conference championship game.

Until the last two weeks, the city had not seen a playoff victory since the Lions’ 38-6 win over Dallas in that year’s Divisional round. Dan Campbell and company are now an upset win away from the first Super Bowl appearance in team history, and the city is rallying behind their efforts.

Standing in their way are the San Francisco 49ers, one of the most successful franchises in the NFL and all of American professional sports. The team’s five Super Bowl victories are tied with Dallas and trail Pittsburgh and New England by one for the most all-time, though their most recent triumph happened in the 1994 season.

Sunday will mark their seventh appearance in the NFC title game over the last 13 seasons. San Fran has a 2-4 record in the previous six, and the two times they played for Super Bowls, they left empty-handed in 2012 and 2019.

According to oddsmakers, the 49ers are the favorites to end that Super Bowl drought this season with odds around +150. The Lions are the omega to their alpha, billed as +750 underdogs behind the other three semifinalists.

San Francisco is favored by seven at home with a lofty point total of 51 in the NFC Championship game. We have a best bet and several props locked in for Sunday’s finale at 3:30 pm local time on the West Coast.

Best Bet: Detroit Lions +7

The Packers ran the ball effectively and converted first down after first down to keep San Francisco off balance throughout their losing effort last Sunday. Detroit was similarly committed to the run against Tampa Bay, and their tandem of David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs will force the 49ers to constantly reassess their game plan.

San Francisco did not look like the same offensive juggernaut we got used to this season after Deebo Samuel left the game, but benefited from two Jordan Love interceptions and two dropped picks by the Packers to shift the game in their favor.

The Lions have averaged 24.5 first downs per game in the postseason, are six of seven scoring touchdowns inside the red zone, and have avoided interceptions in the last three games. We expect them to keep pace in the franchise’s biggest game in over 30 years.

Christian McCaffrey UNDER 90.5 Rushing Yards (-110 @ Bet365)

  • The Lions' defense gave up the second-fewest rushing yards during the regular season and ranked third in the NFL in opponent rushing average, allowing 3.7 yards per carry.
  • Only one player eclipsed 90 yards rushing against Detroit this season. That was Chicago QB Justin Fields, who racked up 104 yards on the ground from 18 carries on November 19.
  • During a close win over Green Bay, McCaffrey was heavily involved in the San Francisco passing game. His 12 targets last week were the most he's seen in a 49ers uniform, and we expect him to contribute more evenly through the air this week.

Sam LaPorta OVER 4.5 Catches (-133 @ BetMGM)

  • The rookie's target volume rebounded from a season-low three in the Wild Card round to one away from his season-high with 11 against Tampa Bay in the Divisional matchup.
  • In 12 games where LaPorta was targeted six times or more, he hauled in at least five receptions ten times.
  • Tight ends were targeted 11 times in Green Bay's near-victory against San Francisco last Sunday. Detroit may follow a similar formula to upend the top seed in the NFC.

First TD Scorer Sprinkles (Odds from DraftKings)

Since this is the NFC Title Game, we've decided to add a few bonus plays to spice things up a little more than normal. These First TD scorer plays are fun and exciting, but keep in mind that we're only "sprinkling" them for 0.1 unit each. Good luck!

George Kittle +750

  • Kittle's touchdown against the Packers last week was only his second in ten career playoff appearances, but he matched a postseason career-high with seven targets.
  • Only Christian McCaffrey (12) was targeted more than Kittle in San Francisco's Divisional round win.
  • If Samuel cannot play or is limited in the NFC title game, Kittle will be one of the primary beneficiaries of his lost targets.

Josh Reynolds +2500

  • Reynolds is third on the team with ten targets in two games this postseason.
  • His five receiving TDs during the regular season trailed only LaPorta and Amon-Ra St. Brown.
  • The seven-year vet makes up for a modest target volume with a high rate of finding the endzone. He is one of six players over the last two years to have 8+ TD receptions on 80 or fewer catches.

Craig Reynolds +5000

  • Reynolds vultured a goal-line touchdown on 4th and 1 to open the second-half scoring in Detroit's win over Tampa Bay last week.
  • The Lions' third running back could supplant David Montgomery in a critical short-yardage situation again, giving Reynolds value if Detroit can get inside the five-yard line early.
  • Four of Montgomery's 10 carries last week went for a yard or less, which gives us confidence in the reliable Reynolds as a longshot option near the painted grass for coach Dan Campbell.
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