San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction: Don't Overlook the Under

NFL expert Mike Spector breaks down the Divisional Round matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.
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San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers Prediction: Don't Overlook the Under

The San Francisco 49ers just ended the season of one of the sport’s most storied franchises and look to do it again this week in search of their second consecutive upset. Next is a trip to Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers have won 14 of their last 15 games. So what is the best betting angle of this thrilling NFC Divisional Round matchup?

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San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers INJURY REPORT

SAN FRANCISCO

QUESTIONABLE: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, LB Fred Warner

DOUBTFUL: DE Jordan Willis

OUT: LB Marcell Harris, S Talanoa Hufanga, DE Nick Bosa

GREEN BAY

QUESTIONABLE: LB Whitney Mercilus, LB Ty Summers, LB De’Vondre Campbell, RB Aaron Jones, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, LB Za’Darius Smith

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San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers Prediction

San Francisco finds themselves playing in the Divisional Round of the playoffs mainly because of a resurgent physical running game. Entering last week, these were the 49ers’ rushing numbers and ranks since Week 10: 294 rushes (2nd), 1,261 rush yards (3rd), and 23 rushing touchdowns (t-2nd). The 49ers followed those gaudy numbers up with 169 yards against Dallas and 4.4 yards per carry. 

San Francisco is not just churning out all those rushing yards with a traditional running game. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel accounted for 72 rushing yards and a touchdown last week, running for 7.2 yards per carry. Entering last week, Samuel’s 6.5 yards per rush was third among players with a minimum of 50 rush attempts. 

The 49ers led the NFL with 6.1 yards per play and finished the regular season ranked seventh in rushing yards and total yards per game. There are not many more teams built for playoff football than they are, especially in frigid temperatures like Lambeau Field, given they can run the football and stop the run. 

The Cowboys were 11-0 this season when rushing for 100+ yards. San Francisco took that element for Dallas entirely out of the equation, holding the Cowboys to 77 yards rushing on 3.7 yards per carry, even counting Dak Prescott’s 17-yard scramble on the last play of the game.

While the 49ers have an excellent case to pull their second consecutive upset, many factors are working against them. First, Jimmy Garoppolo was diagnosed with a slight sprained shoulder after their win over Dallas, which brings into question his ability to push the ball downfield effectively in this game. In addition, this is San Francisco’s third straight road game, and that amount of travel will wear on them at some point.

However, we have too much respect for the 49ers to lay the points with Green Bay. Thus, the safest play in this game is the under, especially considering Garoppolo’s health. Defensive end Nick Bosa also suffered a concussion Sunday against the Cowboys, but it will be a massive boost for the 49ers defense if he clears protocol in time to play. In addition, the team got good news when they found out leading tackler Fred Warner’s ankle injury was not serious and that he has an excellent chance to play this week.

Another key factor in liking the under is a potential rust factor the Packers are dealing with. Not only is Green Bay coming off a bye week, but they rested most of their starters for the second half of their regular season finale against Detroit. Thus, we look for Green Bay to start slowly from the get-go, as it may take a couple of possessions for them to find their rhythm.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is one of the most creative play-callers in the game and will use a bunch of pre-snap motion to free up space for his playmakers. His mindset coming into the game will likely be to keep Aaron Rodgers and the explosive Packers offense off the field as much as possible, and he is a master at churning out long, time-consuming drives. So look for possessions to be at a minimum, which will, in turn, keep the scoring down.

The under has cashed in six of San Francisco’s last seven playoff games, and we look for another low-scoring contest in the frigid Lambeau conditions.

San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers Line Movement

San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers Pick

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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