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Bettors pounce on Lions as 7-point underdogs

The 49ers opened as 6.5-point favorites in today's NFC Championship. That didn't stop people from betting on the Lions.

Then the line moved to 7. Which invited more to take Detroit.

Then the spread then went to, at some sportsbooks, 7.5. Which has gotten even more to take Detroit.

As noted by David Purdum of ESPN.com, DraftKings Sportsbook said as of Sunday morning that twice as many point-spread bets have been placed on the Lions than on the 49ers.

The imbalance suggests that the DraftKings line (currently, 7) is too low. Or maybe they're just bracing for the so-called sharps to swoop in with big money on the 49ers giving only seven.

Or the sportsbooks believe the 49ers will cover, and they're happily bumping the spread to lure more people to take the Lions.

The performance of the Lions in the 2023 season and playoffs has made them the darlings of the NFL. They'll attract plenty of wagers based on heart, not mind.

Looking at things more objectively, the Lions easily could have lost to the Rams in the wild-card round, and the Buccaneers should have at least had one last chance in a one-score game to force overtime, but for a head-scratching coaching blunder.

Detroit hasn't been dominant at home. What will happen when they hit the road?

Here's one thing to consider. Plenty of Lions fans will buy their way into the venue. That extra kick in the ass could help. Also, there's an element of uncertainty as to how quarterback Brock Purdy, who was injured early in last year's NFC Championship, will perform in the biggest game of his life. He was shaky at times last week, to say the least.

All things considered, seven has always felt like too big of a margin for this one. Which explains the lopsided nature of the wagering, so far.

Still, the sportsbooks apparently feel differently. Otherwise, the line wouldn't have moved as the money came in on the Lions.