A rematch from Week 1 is set to go down on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in the final wild card match-up of the weekend pitting the San Francisco 49ers up against the Green Bay Packers. The defending NFC champion Niners locked down the first wild card bid by taking the streaking Arizona cardinals down in the desert last Sunday, while the Packers secured a dramatic closing moment’s win over the Bears to win the NFC North.
49ERS – PACKERS PLAYOFFS BETTING LINE 2014:
1. Why the PACKERS will cover the spread: Green Bay has been in this scenario before of qualifying for the playoffs the last week of the regular season. If you remember correctly, they went on to win the Super Bowl that year. Only this time, they get to host a playoff game and Coach McCarthy’s squad always possesses one heck of a home field advantage whenever it plays in front of its rabid fan base; especially this time of the year with Mother nature playing a key role.
With Mr. “Discount Double Check” letting everyone know he was the owner of the heavyweight belt at the tail end of last week’s game in Chicago, it can only benefit a Packers offense that was stuck in the mud over the last two months with a carousel of QBs leading the charge. When healthy, there aren’t many defenses that can limit what the Packers will try to do offensively.
2. Why the SF 49ERS will cover the spread: The 49ers have read the handbook on how to stymy Rodgers and company from cover to cover a number of times. They’ve memorized it and can likely dictate it verbatim. It’s done them well in doing so with Harbaugh’s troops winning and covering each of the L/3 meetings which includes this season’s opener and last year in the playoffs. The Niners sport the balanced type of defense that gives a Green Bay offense – that’s not fully healthy mind you – all kinds of problems. The fact that the Packers injury list is a mile long only benefits the visitors in this one.
San Francisco suffered just a pair of losses on the road this season (SEA, NO) but went a $$$-making 7-1 ATS in those games and covered each of the five times it was installed favorites.
3. Total Talk: This rivalry has been of the higher scoring variety dating all the way back to the 2006 season. The ‘over’ has cashed in each of the L/6 overall meetings with an average combined score of 57.2 points. San Francisco played to high scorers in five of their eight games played away from Candlestick, while the Packers went 6-2 to the ‘over’ on the road but played to low scorers in five of their eight home skirmishes.
The ‘over’ is 8-3 in the Niners L/11 road games and 4-1 in their L/5 playoff match-ups. The ‘over’ has cashed in five of the Packers L/6 games overall, but the ‘under’ is 5-2 in their L/7 wild card games.
4. Betting Trends for Packers/49ers: Though the line on this game currently sits below a field goal, I don’t expect it to remain that way leading up to kick-off with close to 70% of the betting public riding the visiting Niners. Had Green Bay been more healthy going into this one, I’d be a believer in them once again making a deep run just like I was when they hoisted their last Super Bowl trophy. But I’m just not buying it this time around. The squad has been the beneficiary of a number of breaks and I think that ultimately catches up to them in this one against an opponent that’s recently had their number.
San Fran has covered six of its L/8 games played in the month of January and the Packers check in 0-2 SU & ATS as home dogs of three or less points this season, but should this spread move through three, I’d be inclined to take the points in a game that will most certainly go down to the wire.
San Francisco 20 – Green Bay 17