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49ers vs. Lions: Who will win the NFC crown?


49ers vs. Lions odds

49ers vs. Lions: Who will win the NFC crown?

The San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions will face off in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The winner will advance to Super Bowl 58, where they will meet either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Baltimore Ravens from the AFC.

The 49ers are the top seed in the NFC and the defending conference champions. They have reached the NFC title game for the fourth time in five seasons, but they have lost the previous two on the road. They are looking to return to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years, after losing to the Chiefs in Super Bowl 56.

The Lions are the third seed in the NFC and the surprise team of the playoffs. They have won their first two postseason games at home, beating the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are making their first appearance in the NFC title game since 1991, when they lost to the Washington Redskins. They have never played in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers and the Lions have a long history of rivalry, dating back to their days in the NFL West division. The 49ers hold a 39-28-1 edge in the all-time series, including a 16-2 record in the last 18 meetings. The last time they met, the 49ers won 41-33 in Detroit in September 2021, in a high-scoring affair that featured six touchdowns from 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and four from Lions quarterback Jared Goff.

The 49ers are favored by 7.5 points, according to the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook. The over/under for total points scored is set at 51.5. The 49ers are 2-2 against the spread as favorites of seven or more points this season, while the Lions are 3-1 against the spread as underdogs.

Key factors for the 49ers

The 49ers have a balanced and explosive offense, led by Purdy, who threw for 4,387 yards and 38 touchdowns in the regular season, with only nine interceptions. He has a plethora of weapons at his disposal, including wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, tight end George Kittle, and running back Christian McCaffrey. Samuel, who missed the second half of the divisional round game against the Green Bay Packers with a shoulder injury, is expected to play against the Lions. He is a versatile playmaker who can line up as a receiver, a runner, or a passer. He had 1,405 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 365 rushing yards and six touchdowns, in the regular season.

The 49ers also have a dominant offensive line, anchored by left tackle Trent Williams, who is widely regarded as the best in the league at his position. The line has allowed only 23 sacks in the regular season, the second-fewest in the NFL. The line also paves the way for a potent running game, which averaged 4.9 yards per carry, the fourth-best in the league. McCaffrey, who missed three games with a hamstring injury, is the focal point of the ground attack. He rushed for 1,015 yards and 10 touchdowns, and also caught 77 passes for 704 yards and six touchdowns, in the regular season.

The 49ers have a formidable defense, especially in the front seven, where they have a fearsome pass rush and a stout run defense. The 49ers recorded 49 sacks in the regular season, the third-most in the league. They have a trio of elite edge rushers in Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Arik Armstead, who combined for 29.5 sacks. They also have a pair of Pro Bowl linebackers in Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw, who are excellent in coverage and run support. The 49ers held opponents to 3.9 yards per carry, the sixth-best in the league.

The 49ers have a solid secondary, but it is not as strong as their front seven. They have a pair of veteran cornerbacks in Richard Sherman and Jason Verrett, who are both savvy and physical, but also prone to injuries and penalties. They have a pair of young safeties in Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, who are both versatile and reliable, but not very flashy. The 49ers allowed 232.6 passing yards per game, the 12th-best in the league. They also intercepted 16 passes, the ninth-most in the league.

Key factors for the Lions

The Lions have a resilient and efficient offense, led by Goff, who has revived his career in Detroit after a disappointing stint with the Rams. Goff threw for 4,268 yards and 32 touchdowns in the regular season, with only 10 interceptions. He has improved his accuracy, decision-making, and mobility under the guidance of offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. He has a pair of dynamic receivers in Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson, who both made the Pro Bowl. Golladay had 1,190 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns, while Hockenson had 1,002 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, in the regular season.

The Lions also have a promising rookie running back in Javonte Williams, who emerged as the lead back in the second half of the season. Williams rushed for 1,072 yards and nine touchdowns, and also caught 35 passes for 296 yards and two touchdowns, in the regular season. He averaged 5.1 yards per carry, the fifth-best in the league among qualified runners. He has a powerful and elusive running style, and he can also catch passes out of the backfield.

The Lions have a decent offensive line, but it is not as dominant as the 49ers’. The Lions have a pair of solid tackles in Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell, who both have good size and athleticism, but also have some issues with consistency and penalties. They have a trio of average interior linemen in Frank Ragnow, Jonah Jackson, and Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who are all serviceable, but not spectacular. The line allowed 36 sacks in the regular season, the 14th-fewest in the league. The line also opened some holes for the running game, which averaged 4.4 yards per carry, the 13th-best in the league.

The Lions have a surprising and opportunistic defense, especially in the secondary, where they have a knack for creating turnovers and making big plays. The Lions intercepted 21 passes in the regular season, the second-most in the league. They have a pair of young cornerbacks in Jeff Okudah and Amani Oruwariye, who both have good size and speed, but also have some growing pains and injuries. They have a pair of veteran safeties in Tracy Walker and Duron Harmon, who are both smart and experienced, but also not very athletic. The Lions allowed 248.9 passing yards per game, the 18th-best in the league.

The Lions have a mediocre front seven, but it is not as weak as it was in previous seasons. The Lions recorded 34 sacks in the regular season, the 18th-most in the league. They have a star defensive end in Aidan Hutchinson, who had 14.5 sacks and was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He is a relentless and versatile pass rusher, who can also play the run. They also have a pair of solid linebackers in Jamie Collins and Alex Anzalone, who are both athletic and versatile, but also not very consistent. The Lions held opponents to 4.2 yards per carry, the 14th-best in the league.


The 49ers have the edge in almost every aspect of the game, except for the turnover margin. The 49ers had a minus-2 turnover differential in the regular season, while the Lions had a plus-11 turnover differential. The Lions will need to force some turnovers and capitalize on them to have a chance to pull off the upset. The 49ers will need to protect the ball and avoid costly mistakes to secure the win.

The 49ers have the home-field advantage and the experience factor, which should help them in a high-stakes game. The Lions have the underdog mentality and the momentum factor, which should motivate them to play hard. The 49ers have the better offense and the better defense, which should lead them to victory. The Lions have the better special teams and the better coach, which should keep them competitive.

The 49ers are the clear favorites, but the Lions are not to be underestimated. The Lions have shown that they can beat anyone on any given day, as they did against the Rams and the Buccaneers. The 49ers have shown that they can lose to anyone on any given day, as they did against the Seahawks and the Cardinals. The Lions will put up a fight, but the 49ers will prevail.

Final score: 49ers 31, Lions 24


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