It’s time for yet another edition of the Green Bay Packers against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL playoffs, although this time there will be no Aaron Rodgers. Instead, it’s Jordan Love at the helm for Green Bay. He’s been playing great football, but can he help his team get past the team’s greatest recent nemesis? There’s plenty to explore with this fascinating matchup, so get Packers vs. 49ers odds, picks and predictions below as our best bet is over 50.5 points.
Packers vs 49ers Prediction
This matchup, one we’ve seen so many times throughout the years featuring a revolving cast of legends on both sides, requires almost no introduction. Even 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan wasted no time getting dialed in, as he claimed that he and the rest of his staff began preparing for Green Bay sometime during the second quarter of the Packers’ upset win over the Dallas Cowboys, which quickly turned into a blowout.
The Niners are one of the league’s toughest opponents, ranking first in offensive DVOA and fourth in defensive DVOA. Sans a Week 18 loss to the Rams when they were resting their starters, the Niners have only lost one game against the NFC this season. Of the four losses they sustained at full strength, three came against AFC North squads.
The Packers, on the other hand, started the year with a 3-6 record before turned things around in a huge way, ending the regular season on a 6-2 run to secure the NFC’s seventh seed. Through another dazzling display by Green Bay’s fourth-ranked air attack, per DVOA, they became the first-ever seventh-seed to win a postseason game, and now will face their toughest test yet.
Green Bay has done plenty of things well throughout their in-season turnaround, but they may have made a fatal mistake when all seemed lost. With the team sitting at 2-5 after an uncompetitive loss to the division-rival Vikings, they traded star corner Rasul Douglas to the Buffalo Bills. It didn’t seem like a huge deal at the time the move appeared to be a classic future-oriented decision for a team whose season was lost.
But of course, Green Bay turned out to have more in the tank. Now, they’re in the NFL’s final eight teams, and by far their greatest weakness is their secondary. Douglas couldn’t have turned the whole unit around on his own, but his presence would have served as a much-needed anchor for the back end of Joe Barry’s defense. Douglas has been fantastic, helping to fuel Buffalo’s own resurgence, and he is very clearly sorely missed up on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The Niners have an embarrassment of riches in terms of pass catching talent; Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and of course Christian McCaffrey will slice through this problematic Green Bay defense essentially at will. It would be a bit much to say that the Niners could push the given total of 50.5 points on their own, but they should do plenty of damage; a team score in the high 30s would not be a shocker at all.
Of course, the San Francisco defense is not infallible, especially with superstar first-team All-Pro safety Talanoa Hufanga done for the year. The Packers won’t strike every single drive, but they should certainly have their moments, and contribute enough to push this total over.
Packers vs 49ers Prediction: Over 50.5 Points
Packers vs 49ers Best Odds
The 49ers are favored by 9.5 points at home, or a hefty -480 on the moneyline. Meanwhile the Packers are +360 to pull off another upset. The total is set at 50.5 points, with -110 odds on both sides.
Packers vs 49ers Key Injuries
Superstar running back Christian McCaffrey is banged up for the Niners but is expected to play, while linebacker Dre Greenlaw may not be ready in time. For the Packers, linebacker Preston Smith and wideouts Jayden Reed and Christian Watson are among the chief concerns.
Packers vs 49ers Key Matchups
Covering all of the Niners’ receiving weapons probably isn’t doable for the Packers, so pressuring Brock Purdy will be their best hope. However, the Niners will hope to clamp down on Jordan Love’s weapons and limit his options.
49ers Offensive Line Vs. Packers Pass Rush
The Niners have flexed an elite offensive line in years past, but with superstar tackle Trent Williams in and out of the lineup this year as time takes its toll, the unit has graded just 18th in adjusted sack rate. Williams is the only Niners o-line starter with a PFF pass blocking grade over 57 on a scale going up to 100, so there’s little support when he’s out or hampered.
This could be an issue, as Brock Purdy falls off a good amount when pressured. His adjusted completion rate falls from 83.4% to 67.9%, while his big time throw to turnover worthy play ratio flips from 18:7 to 9:11. Green Bay gets pressure at the sixth-highest rate in football, led by 9 sacks and a pass rush win rate of 16.1% from Rashan Gary, but could be in trouble if fellow edge rusher Preston Smith has to miss time.
Packers Receivers Vs. 49ers Secondary
Green Bay’s receivers have played really well of late, but this group does lack the star power of their San Francisco counterparts. Jayden Reed and Romeo Doubs have been solid, but there’s no bona fide WR1 on this team.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s secondary has its vulnerabilities, but ranks third in PFF’s grading system. Charvarius Ward should lock down whoever’s on his side of the formation, and there’s plenty of supporting depth behind him.
Packers Depth Chart
49ers Depth Chart
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