A trip to the Super Bowl is on the line this week, with the Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions still remaining in the playoffs.
The 49ers and Ravens are favored in the NFC and AFC Championship, but there is one underdog that I think can steal a win an advance to Super Bowl 58.
After going 1-1 last week -- here's how the BetSided team stands on upset picks this season:
2023 Upset Picks Record:14-27 (-5.57 units)
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Best NFL Upset Pick for the AFC and NFC Championship
Detroit Lions (+250) vs. San Francisco 49ers
I’m going to stand on business with this pick.
The Detroit Lions are going to the Super Bowl.
I get that this may seem crazy since San Francisco is the Super Bowl favorite, but there are a bunch of things I like about this Lions team, which posted a top five offense in the NFL this season.
First off, Detroit can really stop the run, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry this season — the third best mark in the NFL.
That could make things tough on this San Fran offense, as the 49ers found themselves in a dog fight in the divisional round after they relied heavily on the passing game and Brock Purdy.
While Purdy did orchestrate a game-winning drive, he did not look nearly as sharp as you’d like him to if you’re Kyle Shanahan.
The way to exploit Detroit is through the air (sixth most passing yards allowed, 30th in net yards per pass attempt), but can the 49ers do that?
If Deebo Samuel sits, the 49ers’ passing attack could be in trouble. The team is just 8-9 in Samuel’s career when he doesn’t play, and it certainly takes away arguably the team’s most dynamic weapon — especially at receiver — if he can’t go.
Since Dan Campbell took over as the Lions’ head coach, the team has gone 21-10 ATS as an underdog, including 2-1 ATS this season.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are just 3-6 ATS as home favorites after failing to cover against the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.
It’s going to be an uphill battle, but I think the Lions are live to pull off the upset in the NFC Championship Game. -- Peter Dewey
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.