Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Every Sunday night, oddsmakers drop the upcoming week’s NFL betting lines, and if you are wondering if the opening spreads look accurate, we’ve got you covered.

Each week, FOX Sports Betting Analysts Geoff Schwartz, Sam Panayotovich and Jason McIntyre will break down the opening numbers in this space and point out if they think the line is too low, too high or just right.

This week, we are down to two games, so let’s jump into their analysis for the conference championship round!

Lions @ 49ers (-7)

We have a little case of recency bias here. It feels like an overreaction to the Lions covering against Tampa Bay and the 49ers looking poor for three quarters before pulling out the victory late. 

The Lions defense has been torched in two playoff games (833 yards allowed!), outgained in both yards and yards per play. And now the Lions offense must leave the dome. 

If Deebo Samuel is a go, my guess is this spread closes at -7.5.

I’ve been waiting all postseason for this matchup: Detroit against a great team. 

San Francisco was shell shocked after Deebo Samuel’s first-quarter injury, but the Niners still found a way to beat Green Bay despite playing their “C” game. I imagine they won’t play that vanilla in back-to-back weeks. 

I also doubt the Lions can stop all of Brock Purdy’s weapons.

My opinion about how this game goes would align more with the spread, but this number is too low for how they price these matchup. 

The Niners did not play their best game on Saturday but still won. I expect to see a more well-rounded 49ers team on Sunday. 

Outside the offensive line, the Lions do not have the same talent as the 49ers. The last two Lions games played outdoors resulted in bad losses as well.
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Chiefs @ Ravens (-3.5)

Baltimore’s top-rated defense will be a massive step up in competition for Kansas City, a team that feasted on banged-up Miami and Buffalo. 

Then there’s Patrick Mahomes. There’s nobody scarier in the league to bet against, and his presence will keep this line around 3.

The “you have to take the points with Patrick Mahomes” narrative will be the storyline all week, but it’s telling this opened north of a field goal. 

The Chiefs found success against average defenses ranked 19th (Miami) and 12th (Buffalo) in DVOA, but now they step up in class to face the No. 1 defense in Baltimore. The Ravens permitted just one drive over 35 yards against the Texans. 

One big note that is too good to pass up: John Harbaugh is 1-4 against Andy Reid in the last five meetings.

Baltimore is the better team. They are healthier after this weekend, they are at home, they have the MVP at quarterback and they are the more physical overall team.

This line opening at 3.5 instead of 3 tells you that the books like the Ravens in this matchup. 

Jason McIntyre is the co-host of The Herd and a FOX Sports gambling analyst, and he also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. He joined FS1 in 2016 and has appeared on every show on the network. In 2017, McIntyre began producing gambling content on the NFL, college football and NBA for FOX Sports. He had a gambling podcast for FOX, “Coming Up Winners,” in 2018 and 2019. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead, which he sold in 2010. You can find him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and NESN. He previously worked for WGN Radio, NBC Sports and VSiN. He’ll probably pick against your favorite team. Follow him on Twitter @spshoot.

Geoff Schwartz is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He played eight seasons in the NFL for five different teams. He started at right tackle for the University of Oregon for three seasons and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection his senior year. Follow him on Twitter @GeoffSchwartz.

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