January 20, 2024; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Green Bay Packers safety Anthony Johnson Jr. (36) and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) shake hands after the 2024 NFC divisional round game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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NFC Championship Game Betting Primer: 49ers should feel Purdy good

This may sound surprising, but the San Francisco 49ers needed some good fortune to advance last week — at home — against the Green Bay Packers, and the Detroit Lions looked like a seasoned group of veteran playoff performers in turning back the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There is no doubting the reasons served up, good and bad, for each winning team. But are the “reasons” actually excuses for the Niners? And aren’t excuses for losers?

We’ll look deeper into the wagering angles for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game and bring forth a game pick and a bonus bet below.

THE HEADLINER

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
When: Sunday.
Time, TV: 6:40 p.m. ET, Fox.
Odds: 49ers -7, total 51.5.

Much was made of the correlation between Brock Purdy’s subpar performance and the rainy weather in San Francisco’s 24-21 comeback win.

The 49ers quarterback had issues with his gloves but also because his safety blanket, Deebo Samuel, was missing due of an injured shoulder.

Samuel might not be fully ready by Sunday, but he’s likely to take the decision right up until game time — and the weather will be vastly improved.

The Lions, meanwhile, must depart Ford Field and try to find their magic in a road game.

Detroit added free agent tight end Zach Ertz, who appears to be insurance for the banged-up rookie star Sam LaPorta (nine catches, 11 targets last week).

If this game is close, Ertz can be used in two-tight end sets to enhance the ground game.

Lions coach Dan Campbell enjoys his role as outlier, swashbuckler, daredevil; 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan finally broke his abysmal streak of failing to overcome late seven-point deficits.

If Purdy can get a grip, literally and figuratively, Niners receivers will test Detroit’s secondary, which sits at the bottom of the NFL in allowing explosive pass plays (20+ yards).

The Lions, however, can find success if they continue to run the ball.

The San Francisco defense is not an elite run-stopping group, despite allowing the third-fewest rush yards per game during the regular season.

According to Action Network numbers, the Niners are 28th in rush EPA (Expected Points Added) since Week 9.

Lions backers are asking for yet another stellar performance from quarterback Jared Goff in a game where he’ll likely need to be a leader rather than a game manager.

Can’t shake these numbers, per Action Network:

Goff indoors is 36-17 against the spread and 26-9 against the spread (ATS) over the past three seasons, and this season (14 games) he has 28 passing TDs to eight interceptions.

Outdoors, however, he’s 9-15-1 ATS in December and January, and this season (five outdoor games) he’s produced five TD passes to four interceptions.

He’s been great to this point, and this title game could come down to key stops and turnovers. But this feels like a return to normal for the 49ers, who are poised to turn up the offense.

Another key stat: The Lions allowed only three teams to rack up 400+ yards during the regular season. They’ve allowed it to happen in both of their playoff games — and those were at home.

The public money has been pouring in on Detroit — the feel-good story enjoyed by couch-bound football fans across the country.

According to Vegas Insider, the Lions were the target of 64 percent of the bets, but the 49ers were collecting 55 percent of the money through Wednesday.

That discrepancy tells us we’re on the right track, so we’ll follow the money.

But, speaking of money, temper your enthusiasm if Samuel does not play. The 49ers are 12-1 straight up and 10-3 against the spread when Deebo starts — and finishes — the game.

The bet: 49ers -7.

BONUS BET

Purdy wasn’t great last week, as we’ve outlined. How bad? Actually, not terrible. He threw for 252 yards, and another 24 puts him over the posted total for this week.

Since we’re committed to the Niners winning on a fast track, we’ll parlay that with the San Francisco kicker, Jake Moody.

The bet: Brock Purdy 275+ passing yards with Jake Moody 6+ kicking points (+125 at BetMGM).

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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