San Francisco 49ers Vs. Green Bay Packers Betting Odds
Plenty will be made about Aaron Rodgers and his checkered past against the 49ers, as he is 0-3 in the postseason against the team he grew up watching in Northern California. However, the Packers are the biggest favorite of the week despite the Niners beating the Bengals, Rams, and Cowboys in recent weeks. San Francisco held a 16-7 halftime lead over Dallas last week, and they won convincingly even though the final score was a margin of just six points. With elite talent on both sides of the ball and excellent coaching, don’t be fooled – the Niners are much better than the #6 seed would indicate. The Packers have a lot of work to do to overcome their demons and beat this 49ers team on their way to the NFC Championship.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Green Bay Packers Injury Report
San Francisco 49ers: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) Q, RB Elijah Mitchell (knee) Q, DE Nick Bosa (concussion) Q, LB Fred Warner (ankle) Q
Green Bay Packers: OT David Bakhtiari (knee) Q, CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) Q, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back) Q, LB Za’Darius Smith (back) IR
San Francisco 49ers Betting Odds
I haven’t precisely hidden that I’m not the biggest fan of Jimmy Garoppolo, but the Niners keep winning games despite rocky play from their quarterback. During this current 4-1 stretch, Garoppolo has as many interceptions as touchdowns (5). The rumors have been flying about Garoppolo’s injured thumb and throwing shoulder, and the high line of six points favoring Green Bay certainly seems to suggest there are some unknowns about his injury status. Still, the Niners are doing a great job of making the life of their banged-up quarterback easier. It’s hard to find more skill position talent than the Niners have with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and Elijah Mitchell, and Trent Williams is the best offensive lineman in the NFL. Mitchell has been excellent as a rookie, making the team quickly forget about losing Raheem Mostert early in the year, but Deebo Samuel could be one of the best running backs in the NFL if the Niners made him a full-time RB. With in-breaking routes, zone-running concepts, and easy short-area completions, it doesn’t require an outstanding level of play from Jimmy G to make this offense hum.
Injuries to Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, the 49ers’ two best defensive players, should be highly concerning for Niners’ backers. I would still project both to play, but it’s difficult to know if they will be limited at all by their respective injuries. Of course, the 49ers are without Jason Verrett, their top cornerback who got hurt early in the season. San Francisco has never quite figured out how to fortify its pass defense, and they finished the regular season ranked 16th in pass defense DVOA. The 49ers have survived on a ferocious pass rush coming from Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. Still, the Packers have David Bakhtiari back in their lineup, not to mention the fact that Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best in the NFL at feeling pressure and getting rid of the ball quickly. Emmanuel Moseley and rookie Ambry Thomas will have a tall task in coverage against Rodgers and Davante Adams. In addition, if Fred Warner is limited, San Francisco could struggle against the Packers’ standout rushing offense.
Green Bay Packers Betting Odds
We know all about how incredible Aaron Rodgers, the likely MVP, has been this season. He led the NFL in QBR during the regular season and put together an absurd 37 passing touchdowns with only four interceptions – that’s an unheard-of TD:INT ratio and adds to his unreal historical rate of 4.83 that nobody else comes close to reaching as the highest of all time. Davante Adams had a modest (by his standards) 123 catches for 1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season. However, the Packers’ run game has been the most impressive compared to expectations this year. Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon combined for 1,502 rushing yards and nine touchdowns as the Packers ranked eighth in rushing DVOA. That two-headed backfield is arguably better than any in football. The thunder-and-lightning combination sets them up extremely well to run through opponents attempting to focus on slowing down Rodgers through the air. Green Bay’s offensive line was one of the best in the league – they allowed just 30 sacks, the sixth-fewest, despite all of the injuries they dealt with. The return of All-Pro offensive tackle David Bakhtiari could not have come at a better time.
The Packers’ defense went through a stretch early in the year where it looked like it could be one of the best in the league, but it has quickly declined lately. Outside of the game against the Vikings without Kirk Cousins, the Packers allowed 28 points per game over their final four games despite facing the Lions, Browns, Ravens (without Lamar Jackson), and Bears. That would have been the second-most in the NFL this season. The reality is that the defense likely lies somewhere between those two extremes, and the return of Jaire Alexander and Za’Darius Smith this week would go a long way towards fortifying the team on that end. However, Green Bay’s run defense has struggled throughout the season, and they ranked as the fifth-worst run defense in terms of DVOA, and they allowed the seventh-most adjusted line yards. Those numbers don’t bode well for the Packers against a 49ers team that runs the ball at the fifth-highest rate in the NFL.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers Picks & Prediction
Assuming everyone is healthy for the 49ers, a spread of six points is too much with the way they can run the ball against a weak Green Bay run defense. We know Kyle Shanahan will do everything possible to limit Jimmy G’s responsibilities. The 49ers can win the most significant games despite Garoppolo being a very average quarterback. Aaron Rodgers should pick apart the San Francisco secondary like I expected Dak Prescott to last week, and I don’t have any concerns about his ability to produce despite what looks to be a cold, windy Saturday night in Green Bay. However, with Samuel, Aiyuk, and Kittle, the 49ers’ offense has been electric lately and should be able to move the ball against an overrated Packers’ defense. Keep an eye on practice reports for both teams to get a better idea of who is playing this week before you place any bets, and I’d advise waiting until as close as possible to kickoff before finalizing your wagers. For now, I’m rolling with the Packers by a narrow spread and a slight over on the points total.
My Predictions: Packers win 28-24, 49ers cover, over 47.5 points
Best Bet: 49ers +6 or better, Packers ML as a parlay piece