The march for the Super Bowl continues Sunday in the NFC Championship game as the New York Giants travel west to take on the San Fransisco 49ers. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff and it will be televised nationally on FOX. Currently the odds have the 49ers favored by 2 points with the total sitting at 41 points. This marks the first time in the last decade that a championship game in the NFL has a point spread of less than 3 points.
Free Analysis: The New York Giants are having another one of those runs and are 4-0 all-time in NFC championships. San Fransisco has become the talk of the NFL as well, somehow making it to the NFC Championship game after a dismal 6-10 season that ultimately saw Mike Singletary lose his job. Enter Jim Harbaugh, Stanford's former coach, who brought a new fire and vision his team apparently subscribed to. The 49ers finished with a 13-3 record and ran away with the NFC West this season. Playing only one post season game this year probably has some help with the bumps and bruises, btu they did have quite a challenge with the New Orleans Saints, winning in the final seconds at home — somewhere they lost only once this year. Dallas got the 49ers 27-24 in overtime way back in September, which seems like a distant memory now. The Giants, on the other hand, have been a better than average team on the road this season, going 5-3 during the regular season and winning last week in Green Bay, something no one thought could be done. The two squads have already played this year, with San Fransisco winning 27-20 at home. It will also be the seventh matchup between the two clubs in post season history. They also have quite a few things in common, mainly both beating very high powered offenses last week to get to this point in the playoffs. San Fransisco's victory on Alex Smith's 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with nine seconds left last week had 49er fans remember "The Catch" and now thinking this one might be better. How will that cause the team to play in today's game? New York has also made some history this post season. New York has become the first team to begin the postseason in the wild-card round and win its first two games by at least 17 points. Ten of the 12 previous teams to win their first two playoff contests by such a margin went on to win the Super Bowl. Although the pass rush wasn't completely there during the regular season for the Giants, the surge from Jason Pierre-Paul, return of Osi Umenyiora for the Dallas game and the improvement of Justin Tuck have made the Giants have one of the better front line in football. If they provide pressure on Smith all day, the Giants should have a good chance at winning. Running the football is supposed to be a key recipe to winning games in the league, and San Fransisco sports the top rushing defense in the NFL. The 49ers are allowing 77.3 yards per game as well as a pass rush led by rookie Aldon Smith's 14.0 sacks. They hit hard, they tackle well and they cause teams to turn the football (38 takeaways) over against. All are key to their resurgence. As we mentioned at the top, Giants QB Eli Manning is giving NFL fans that feeling of what happened during the 2007 season, when he guided his team to the Super Bowl. The way this post season has unfolded to this date bodes well for the Giants today. San Francisco is 4-3 in the postseason against New York, which won the lone championship meeting in 1990 at Candlestick to end the 49ers' chances of a third straight Super Bowl title.
Free Pick: I like the Giants getting points, but it's very tough to determine which way to bet when the line is under a field goal. San Fransisco has been a very good team at home this season and they are favored for a reason. However, after knocking off the Saints at home last week, shouldn't they be favored by more than a field goal? Something seems wrong with this line for the faves, so I'm going to take the dog and I think New York wins the game outright. Manning already has one Super Bowl to his credit and if he plays well enough to win today, he could pass his brother in a couple of weeks. I think with the pass rush up front plus New York being able to run the ball today will be the difference. The Giants win outright.
Free Picks: Giants at 49ers BettingWeak secondaries on both defenses and Two hot quarterbacks plus other factors NFL bettors need to know about Giants at 49ers (Sunday, January 22, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Stephen Nover and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.