NFC Divisional Round: Can Love, Packers Pull Off Another Upset?

Packers vs 49ers Preview: Green Bay 8-2 ATS on Road

The Green Bay Packers surged to the finish line in the NFL regular season, and they carried their hot play into the Wild Card round with an upset of Dallas. Next up for Jordan Love and the Packers is an even tougher assignment, with the No. 1 seed San Francisco 49ers awaiting in Divisional Round on Saturday (8:15 p.m. ET).

The 49ers opened as 9.5-point favorites and quickly climbed to -10. San Francisco is also -475 on the spread, with Green Bay priced +385 to pull off the upset. The projected total is 50.5, down a smidge from 51.5.

What can bettors expect? Read on as we break down both NFL teams and analyze the odds in our Packers vs 49ers preview.

Packers logo Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers 49ers logo

Day/Time:
Location: Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, California
TV & Live Stream: FOX

Betting Trends

The Green Bay Packers are 10-8 ATS, including 5-5 away from home. Green Bay has covered in eight of its 10 road games and is 11-7 against the Over/Under. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers are 9-8 ATS but just 3-5 at home. The 49ers have gone Over the total in nine of their 17 games.

Keep these betting trends in mind when analyzing our Packers vs 49ers preview.

Surging Packers Move on

Green Bay pulled off the biggest upset of Wild Card Weekend, beating the Cowboys 48-32 as a 7-point underdog. Does it have another surprise in store? The Packers went just 9-8 and snuck into the NFL playoffs in Week 18. Despite being the NFC’s seventh and final seed, they suddenly look dangerous.

Jordan Love has had a big hand in Green Bay’s resurgence. After a slow start to the season, Love’s first as a full-time starter, the former first-round pick has begun to blossom. He threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns against Dallas and has 12 touchdowns and no interceptions over his last five games. Over that span, the Packers are 4-1 and averaging 30.2 points.

While Green Bay was the second biggest longshot at the start of the playoffs, its Super Bowl odds have soared from +8000 to +2200. The Packers are also now +950 to win the NFC.

The Packers have been especially profitable for bettors, going 11-7 ATS. Their 61.1% cover rate matches the third highest in the NFL. They’ve also gone Over the total in eight of their last 10 games, including in Sunday’s win (52.0). That’s important to remember when assessing the Packers vs 49ers preview.

Bettors may remain skeptical of the Packers because of their up-and-down performance in the regular season, but it is hard to put much stock into past results because of Love’s ascension. Love has completed at least 60% of his passes in nine straight games after doing so just three times over his first nine.

San Fran the Team to Beat

San Francisco has separated itself as the favorite in the favorite in the NFL bracket. Dallas’ surprising loss only strengthened the 49ers’ odds, as the NFC’s No. 1 seed went from +225 to +180 to win Super Bowl LVIII.

The 49ers (12-5) won seven of their last nine regular-season games. One of those losses came as they rested several starters in Week 18 against the Rams. They averaged 30.3 points during that span.

While star running back Christian McCaffrey didn’t practice last week and sat out the regular-season finale because of a calf injury, he’s expected to return for the Divisional Round. That is obviously essential for the 49ers, as McCaffrey, a three-time NFL All-Pro, ran for a league-high 1,459 yards and scored 21 touchdowns (14 rushing). McCaffrey had seven 100-yard rushing games, including four since Thanksgiving. There is less certainly around the likes of safety Tashaun Gipson (quad) and Arik Armstead (defensive tackle), both of whom are listed as questionable.

The 49ers — who are also -170 to win the NFC — had the NFL’s No. 2 offense (398.4) and were third in scoring, averaging 28.9 points.

San Francisco has been favored in every game this season, by as few as 1 point and as many as 14.5. The 49ers went 9-8 ATS but covered in just three of their five home games.

Handicapping the Game

It’s Super Bowl or bust for San Francisco. Anything that ends without the 49ers as Super Bowl winners will be a massive disappointment. The 49ers are unquestionably the best team in the NFC, and Dallas’ loss eliminated one of their biggest threats.

While San Francisco was slowed by injuries earlier this season, it will be closer to full strength come Saturday. Plus the 49ers, beneficiaries of a first-round bye, are also well-rested.

The Packers are rolling offensively, but questions persist about their defense. They rank 28th in the NFL against the run, allowing an average of 128.3 yards. McCaffrey is poised to exploit that, especially if the 49ers can build an early lead and put the Packers on their heels.

For NFL betting news, odds, analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine


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