Lions vs 49ers Predictions & Picks

Doug Bonjour
Last Updated: Jan 25, 2024

After coming up a step short of the Super Bowl last season, the San Francisco 49ers are back to make amends.

The top-seeded 49ers will host the resurgent Detroit Lions on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET) in the NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco is coming off a 24-21 win over Green Bay in the Divisional Round, while Detroit beat Tampa Bay 31-23.

We’re previewing this week’s matchup with some of our NFC Championship Game best bets.

Lions vs 49ers Odds

NFL betting odds are current as of Wednesday, Jan. 24, and courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • Moneyline: Lions (+260) vs 49ers (-325)
  • Spread: Lions +7 (-108) vs 49ers -7 (-112)
  • Over/Under: Over 51 (-110) / Under 51 (-110)

Lions vs 49ers Matchup

The 49ers are in the NFC Championship Game for the third straight season and fourth time in five years after surviving a scare from Green Bay in the Divisional Round.

They’ve been favored in every game this season, including seven times by double digits, and have the shortest Super Bowl odds (+145) of the remaining semifinalists.

Deebo Samuel’s status looms large, but the 49ers have proven capable time and again of overcoming challenges. It’s no wonder they’re the team to beat.

The Lions are far less familiar with this stage, having last appeared in the NFC title game at the end of the 1991 season. But their success is no secret, as they went 12-5 to win the NFC North and were the most profitable team ATS.

Lions vs 49ers Prediction

49ers 31, Lions 23

The NFC’s No. 1 seed got all it could handle from the Packers, but Brock Purdy delivered in the clutch to avoid a stunning upset. That quieted some doubters about Purdy, the NFL’s former Mr. Irrelevant, being merely a system quarterback.

Detroit is well-equipped to slow down Christian McCaffrey — the Lions ranked second in the NFL at defending the run — but the 49ers have the more complete team and should be able to move the ball effectively.

On top of that, Jared Goff has been noticeably less effective outside the comforts of Ford Field.

Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, and Co. will do enough to hold off the Lions.

Lions vs 49ers Best Bet

49ers -7 (-112)

Goff has been noticeably far less productive when playing outdoors this season, where he completed 64.5% of his passes and turned in a QB rating of 87.9. That’s decent but pales in comparison to his numbers indoors: 69% completion rate, 105.5 QB rating.

The Lions went 7-2 ATS and 6-3 OU on the road. Still, it’s hard to ignore the disparity in Goff’s performance between home and away.

I also have concerns about Detroit’s defense, which allowed the sixth-most passing yards per game. The Lions were suspect against Baker Mayfield, and you can bet an offensive whiz like Kyle Shanahan is champing at the bit to attack their weaknesses.

Regardless of if Samuel plays, San Francisco simply has too many weapons for Detroit to stop.

Lions vs 49ers Parlay

Best Lions vs 49ers Parlay (+292)

  • 49ers -7 (-112)
  • 49ers: Over 29.5 Pts (-112)
  • George Kittle: Anytime TD (+105)

I expect the 49ers to win, and they should score plenty while doing so. The 49ers averaged 28.9 points during the regular season and surpassed 30 points in four of their nine games following the Week 9 bye. Keep in mind, they rested several starters in Week 18.

Kittle figures to be a big part of their game plan, especially if Samuel is unable to play. The All-Pro tight end had 81 yards and a touchdown against Green Bay and is averaging 78.6 yards over his last three games.

Cade Otton (5 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD) gave Detroit fits last week, and I like Kittle to do the same here.

Lions vs 49ers Prop Bet

Amon-Ra St. Brown: Over 83.5 Rec Yds (-115)

St. Brown has surpassed this total with ease in five of his last six games. He’s averaging 106.5 receiving yards during that span and has 10 100-yard games this season.

The Lions should be throwing often against a defense that is better defending the run than the pass. That’ll especially be the case if they fall behind early.

Needing to play catch-up late, Goff will be airing it out with St. Brown as a prime target.


Doug Bonjour

Doug covered college and prep sports in Connecticut for more than a decade, including stints as the UConn women’s basketball and UConn football beat reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media. During his time reporting on the 11-time national champion Huskies, he covered three NCAA Final Fours. He also has written for the Associated Press and New York Times.

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