Lions vs 49ers NFL Free Pick & Prediction [1/28/2024]

Detroit (14-5) at San Francisco (13-5)
When: Sunday, January 28th, 2024
Where: Levi’s Stadium,
Santa Clara, CA

Time: 6:30 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: San Francisco -7/51

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The NFC Championship Game pits the Cinderella Detroit Lions against the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers. The winner advances to Super Bowl 58 to play either the Kansas City Chiefs or Baltimore Ravens in Las Vegas, Nev. The 49ers are 7.5-point favorites in this year’s conference championship with a total of 51.5. Both of these teams had their hands full in last week’s Divisional Round, with Detroit getting by Tampa Bay 31-23 and San Fran surviving Green Bay at home 24-21.

The Lions are very good rushing team (135.9), but they’ll be going up against a San Francisco rush defense that allowed just 89.7 per contest. Detroit’s defense is the question mark in this one. They have surrendered 338 passing yards per game this postseason, but kept both the Rams and Bucs to less than 35 percent on third-down conversions. The Lions do have the second-best rush defense in the league, but San Fran is No. 3 in rushing offense at 140.7 per game.

The Lions have covered the spread in each of the last three meetings with the 49ers, but that spans back to 2015. The most recent meeting came during the 2021 season with San Fran pulling off a wild 41-33 win at Detroit. Deebo Samuel went nuts in that game with nine receptions for 189 yards but is questionable for this contest as he continues to deal with a left shoulder injury. The Lions are 7-2 ATS away from home, while San Fran is just 3-6 ATS at home.

Goff, who grew up in the Bay Area, is 3-6 in his career against the 49ers, but he hasn’t thrown an interception in four consecutive playoff starts. Goff is 4-3 in the postseason including 2-0 with the Lions. Goff was terrific in the wins over the Rams and Bucs, as Detroit hosted their first playoff games in decades and fed off the crowd’s energy. The backfield duo of Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery is one of the best in the game and wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown is turning into an elite receiver. The Lions are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road playoff games.

Detroit Lions Injury Report [NFC Championship]

James HoustonLBProb Sun - Ankle - 1/25/24
Sam LaPortaTEProb Sun - Knee - 1/25/24
Josh ReynoldsWRProb Sun - Ribs - 1/25/24
Frank RagnowCProb Sun - Knee - 1/22/24
Chase LucasCBQues Sun - Illness - 1/25/24
Alex AnzaloneLBQues Sun - Shoulder - 1/24/24
Kalif RaymondWRQues Sun - Knee - 1/22/24
Jonah JacksonGOut Sun - Knee - 1/22/24
Brock WrightTEI-R - Forearm - 1/24/24
James MitchellTEI-R - Hand - 1/13/24
Jerry JacobsCBI-R - Thigh - 1/13/24
Halapoulivaati VaitaiGOut indefinitely - Back - 11/14/23
Scott DalyLSOut indefinitely - Knee - 10/31/23
Zonovan KnightRBI-R - Shoulder - 10/14/23
Emmanuel MoseleyCBI-R - Knee - 10/14/23
Matt NelsonOTOut indefinitely - Ankle - 9/28/23
Nate SudfeldQBI-R - Knee - 8/29/23
Shane ZylstraTEI-R - Knee - 8/11/23

One of Purdy’s four career losses in 21 starts came against the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2023 NFC Championship Game. It was not a good night for the Niners, who lost all their quarterbacks in the game, including Purdy, who tore his ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm, which led to offseason surgery. Purdy was 23-of-39 for 252 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over the Packers. Christian McCaffrey finished with 98 yards on 15 touches and two scores and scored the winning touchdown in the final minute when his side was down 21-17.

San Francisco 49ers Injury Report [NFC Championship]

Arik ArmsteadDLProb Sun - Foot - 1/25/24
Dre GreenlawLBProb Sun - Achilles - 1/25/24
George OdumSProb Sun - Bicep - 1/25/24
Ambry ThomasCBProb Sun - Hand - 1/25/24
Deebo SamuelWRQues Sun - Shoulder - 1/22/24
Clelin FerrellDLI-R - Knee - 1/20/24
Kalia DavisDLQues Sun - Ankle - 1/24/24
Ross DwelleyTEI-R - Ankle - 1/6/24
Talanoa HufangaSI-R - Knee - 11/21/23
Nick ZakeljOLI-R - Bicep - 11/15/23
Drake JacksonDLOut indefinitely - Knee - 11/11/23
Cameron LatuTEI-R - Knee - 8/29/23
Danny GrayWRI-R - Shoulder - 1/17/24

I have to take Detroit in this one. They have been a solid team from start to finish and are not afraid of tough road games. They are 7-2 ATS away from home and they also don’t have as much pressure as the Niners do, who have lost back-to-back NFC Championship games. I think San Fran pulls it out, but it won’t be easy. Take the points.

Conference Championship Staff Selections

Pick: Lions +7.5