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There is no question who the more dominant team has been in this year’s NFC Championship matchup. The San Francisco 49ers proved it again last week, blowing out Minnesota by a 27-10 tally in the divisional round. Green Bay comes into Sunday’s game fresh off a 28-23 win against Seattle in its divisional outing. San Francisco opened as a 6-point home favorite, but the line quickly ticked up to 7.5. San Francisco blew out the Packers in their regular-season meeting, picking up a 37-8 win in Week 12.
Packers continue to win uglyGreen Bay has not been an underdog of more than a touchdown since October of 2018. The Packers are 3-17 in their last 20 road games in that situation. Winning ugly has been a mantra for them this season, and it continued last weekend. Seattle fell behind 21-3 in the early going, but roared back and made it a game down the stretch. However, Green Bay went 3-for-3 in the red zone and did not turn the ball over in the win. The Packers also converted nine of its 14 third downs, but the 49ers defense ranks second in the NFL on third down. Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga missed Sunday’s game with the flu and is questionable this week. Green Bay finished the regular season with a 13-3 record.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is once again the engine of the Green Bay offense, throwing for 4,002 yards and 26 touchdowns in the regular season. He only threw four interceptions all year. Rodgers completed 16 of 27 for 243 yards and two scores against the Seahawks. Running back Aaron Jones rushed for 1,084 yards and 16 touchdowns on 236 carries this season. He added 21 attempts for 62 yards and two scores against Seattle. Wide receiver Davante Adams was the real story, catching eight passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns in the win. He tallied 83 receptions for 997 yards and five scores during the regular season. Jones caught 49 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns out of the backfield. Allen Lazard added 35 receptions for 477 yards and three scored. The Packers have won six games in a row by an average of 8.67 points per game.
Niners coming off complete performanceSan Francisco put together a dominant performance in last week’s win against Minnesota, racking up a 27-10 victory. The 49ers went 13-3 in the regular season, finishing at the top of the NFC West and clinching the No. 1 seed in the conference. San Francisco only completed 11 passes last week, but the team still scored three touchdowns. The 49ers defense held Minnesota to just one red zone trip all game and dominated the time of possession, 39-21. Defensive end Dee Ford missed the final three games of the regular season with an injury, but he sacked Kirk Cousins and picked up a tackle for a loss in his return. Nick Bosa has also been a force at defensive end this season as a rookie. San Francisco is 10-2 in its last 12 games as a favorite.
The 49ers offense is led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who has thrown for 3,978 yards and 27 touchdowns this season. Turnovers have been an issue at times, as he has thrown 13 interceptions. Running back Raheem Mostert tallied 772 yards and eight touchdowns on 137 carries during the regular season. He rushed for 58 yards on 12 carries in the win against Minnesota. Matt Breida added 123 carries for 623 yards and one score during the regular season and Tevin Coleman racked up 544 yards and six scores on 137 attempts. Coleman led the way last weekend, rushing for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Tight end George Kittle was one of the NFL’s best tight ends this season, catching 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns. He was held to a season-low 16 receiving yards last week and did not practice on Wednesday due to ankle soreness. Deebo Samuel added 57 receptions for 802 yards and three touchdowns from his wide receiver position during the regular season.
San Francisco is:
- 5-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record
- 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games after allowing less than 250 total yards in its previous game
- 5-2-1 ATS in its last eight games overall
Green Bay is:
- 2-5 ATS in its last seven games against San Francisco
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Green Bay’s regular-season loss against San Francisco showed the disparity between the two teams. The 49ers pass rush is going to dominate Rodgers once again (five sacks last time) and the Packers will have no answer for Bosa. San Francisco has stepped it up in the biggest games this season, going 5-1 ATS against teams with a winning record. The Packers have the better quarterback, but the 49ers have a much better team and home-field advantage. Green Bay has had too many close calls this season for me to trust them in this spot.
Prediction: San Francisco -7.5
Full-Game Total Pick
San Francisco is going to try to control the pace of this game just as it did against Minnesota last week. The 49ers like to run the ball right down your throat and play solid defense. Their style of play is tailor-made for the under. The total has gone under the number in each of San Francisco’s last four playoff games and in 14 of its last 20 home games against a team with a winning road record. I think Coleman and Mostert are going to keep the clock moving with the ground game, while Green Bay will run the ball more than people anticipate.
Prediction: Under 45