The San Francisco 49ers are the slight betting favorites in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the visiting New York Giants. The leading experts and analysts don't seem to agree with that assessment, however. Below the jump, we provide you with a handy repository for all the picks from the so-called NFL "experts."
Many of these picks come to us courtesy of our own Bay Area Sports Guy, who provided an exhaustive picks collection of his own earlier in the week.
Over at ESPN, the experts have weighed in with their ten expert picks, with only four of those ten selecting the 49ers. It should be noted that one of the "experts" that picked the Niners was the world-famous football computer system AccuScore.
At CBS Sports, the picks are unanimous. All five contributors select the Giants to defeat the Niners and for the Patriots to prevail over the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game, resulting in an all-East Coast Super Bowl. (Although it's worth noting that the 49ers would have to win to prevent East Coast Super Bias this year.)
Bill Barnwell at Grantland predicts that the Giants will win by a final score of 17-13. Barnwell seems to think that the 49ers were able to best the Saints based on fumbles and doesn't see the same amount of turnovers happening on Sunday. Then again, Barnwell says a lot of things in that post.
Finally, Peter King at Sports Illustrated foresees a 19-17 San Francisco win.
I find it hard to believe I'm picking against Eli Manning. Borderline insanity. All he's done in the last four years is go 6-1 in playoff games ... with five of the wins outside of New Jersey. He's knocked the Packers out of the playoffs twice at Lambeau Field. He's beaten Tom Brady in Foxborough (in the regular season this year; the Pats' only home loss) and in a Super Bowl. And he can't beat Alex Smith in Candlestick? Certainly he can, but the San Francisco front is going to have something to say about that.
The experts seem fairly split, with a definite lean toward the Giants. The 49ers will be hoping to make believers out of the sportswriters, analysts and everyone else on Sunday. If you have a moment, please stop buy Bay Area Sports Guy to check out the full rundown of the expert picks.