25* NFL Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on San Francisco 49ers -2.5
NY Giants vs. San Francisco,
01/22/2012 18:30 EDT,
Score: 20 - 17
Point Spread: -2½/-105 San Francisco
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a huge win in the Divisional Round against the hottest team in football. This team has been winning with their defense for most of the year, but their offense took a huge step last weekend by matching the Saints score for score. San Francisco would score last on an Alex Smith touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with less than 20 seconds remaining to give the 49ers a 36-32 victory.
The 49ers head into the NFC Championship with all of the confidence in the world. They should be more than a 2.5-point favorite over the New York Giants, who are also coming off a big win at Green Bay. While the Packers had the best record in the NFL this year, they certainly looked vulnerable down the stretch. That was largely due to their league-worst defense, which let the Giants do basically whatever they wanted to.
San Francisco has the kind of defense that will give Eli Manning and company fits. Manning has been great on third downs during their four-game winning streak, but the 49ers only give up 35.2 percent conversions on third downs this season. San Francisco will force the Giants into tougher third downs by stopping the run, and they will make New York punt a lot more than they've been accustomed to of late.
The 49ers have been unstoppable at home all season. San Francisco is 8-1 SU & 8-0-1 ATS in nine home games, scoring 28.6 points and allowing 13.2 points. Their only loss came by a field goal in overtime to the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers are outscoring their opponents by a whopping 15.4 points/game at home this year. Considering they have not lost against the spread at home this season, I'm going to ride that trend to yet another victory this weekend.
San Francisco already beat New York 27-20 at home earlier this season on November 13th. They jumped out to a 27-13 lead on a 17-yard touchdown run from Kendall Hunter early in the fourth quarter and never looked back. Frank Gore only carried the ball six times in that game before getting hurt, and now healthy, he will make a huge difference. San Francisco also picked off Manning twice in the win.
As mentioned before, the 49ers are 8-0 ATS at home this season. San Francisco is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. poor passing defenses - allowing 235 or more passing yards/game in the second half of the season. The 49ers are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 home games vs. good passing teams averaging 235 or more passing yards/game. San Francisco is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 versus good offensive teams - averaging >=350 yards/game. These four trends make for a perfect 26-0 system backing San Francisco. Bet the 49ers Sunday.