The Detroit Lions will face off against the San Francisco 49ers to determine the next team heading to the Super Bowl. With a victory, the 49ers will return to the championship for the second time in three seasons, while the Lions seek their first title since 1957.

The 2024 NFC Championship Game will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where the 49ers will host Detroit as the second-seed from the playoffs. San Francisco has been an imposing opponent at home during the postseason, having gone 7-3 over the past decade. The Lions meanwhile have struggled on the road in January over the years but put together an impressive 7-2 record away from Detroit during the regular season.

Betting Odds and Computer Predictions

According to leading North Carolina sports betting apps, the 49ers enter the game as 7.5 point favorites at home. With a high-powered offense capable of putting up points quickly, San Francisco is expected to win by a large enough margin to cover the spread. However, bettors looking to place a futures wager can get the Lions at juicy +276 odds using the current BetMGM North Carolina bonus code.

An advanced computer model has also weighed in on the matchup, predicting that neither offense will have tremendous success moving the ball. After simulating the NFC Championship over 10,000 times, the model projects that no single receiver will amass more than 85 yards through the air. It is also leaning towards the point total finishing under the 52 over/under that most North Carolina sportsbooks have set.

Detroit’s Case

The Lions path to victory starts with their prolific rushing attack. Anchored by veterans David Montgomery and dynamic rookie Jahmyr Gibbs, Detroit ranked fifth in the NFL by averaging 135 yards per game on the ground. The versatility of Montgomery and lightning quick speed of Gibbs perfectly complement each other. With quarterback Jared Goff also able to move the chains with his arms and legs when needed, the Lions have proven nearly impossible to stop this season.

On the other side of the ball, Detroit has been prone to giving up yards but stiffens when it matters most in the red zone. By forcing opposing teams to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns, the Lions have kept games closer than the box score would indicate. With difference-makers at every level of the defense and one of the league’s premier lockdown corners in Jeff Okudah, Detroit has enough talent to slow down San Francisco.

What the 49ers Bring

The 49ers path to victory begins with their suffocating defense. Anchored by the NFL’s best linebacking trio of Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shaair, San Francisco was third in the league surrendering just 17.5 points per contest. No defense hauled in more interceptions than the 49ers 22 picks, while their 48 sacks ranked among the top ten teams.

Offensively, the keys will be controlling time of possession and avoiding turnovers. The 49ers were sixth this year with just 17 giveaways, four fewer than the Lions. By playing ball control with running back Christian McCaffrey and relying on the short passing game, San Francisco should be able dictate the pace of play. Quarterback Brock Purdy has been masterful working behind a dominant offensive line this season but faces his biggest test yet against Detroit.

Ultimately, the 49ers chances come down to being stout in the trenches on both sides of the ball. With difference-making players in the box and elite talent rushing the passer, San Francisco matches up well against Detroit. Home field advantage also works in the 49ers favor as they host the Lions with a return trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

✅ Fact Checked on January 28, 2024 by Ken Weaver