The Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers are set to square off in NFL playoff betting action this week at Candlestick Park. But before you make your NFL picks for the big game on Saturday, check out some of the great NFL betting trends that we have for the duel!
Green Bay Packers Notes: The Minnesota Vikings might have won the battle, but the Packers ultimately won the war. The men clad in green lost at the Metrodome in Week 17, but in the end, Green Bay stormed back with an authoritative 24-10 win over the Vikes to end their season in the first round of the playoffs. Of course, the Packers are still wondering what could have been had the refs gotten the call right on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks, as this game would have been played at home instead of on the road at the Stick. That being said, we don’t think that QB Aaron Rodgers and the gang are going to be all that worried about doing the traveling, as the Pack have a great history in the second season. Rodgers is now 5-1 SU and ATS in the playoffs in his career, and he has won three of those games on the road. The Packers are now 3-4 SU and ATS this year against playoff teams, though it did lose three of those four games in the first five weeks of the season.
We’re really not putting a lot of stock into what we saw last week against Minnesota. Yes, the team won and covered, but it wasn’t the most dominating performance in the world. The ground game was held to just 76 yards, and no running back had a single carry for more than nine yards on the day, and Rodgers only threw for one TD pass. The defense played well, holding Minnesota down to just 324 yards, many of which came in garbage time, but QB Joe Webb was the man under center, not a serious quarterback that should be playing in the playoffs. Of course, things might be setting up nicely here for Green Bay, as it might get a whole heck of a lot of inexperienced quarterbacks en route to the Super Bowl if things pan out properly for the rest of the year.
The ground game really has a heck of a lot of problems right now. RB James Starks and RB Alex Green are both out of the fold, and that’s leaving RB Ryan Grant and RB DuJuan Harris have been carrying the load. Both Starks and Green have been out of the fold, and both are starting the week as questionable. DE Jerel Worthy was knocked out of the season with a knee injury, as he was carted off the field in Week 17 and won’t be back.
San Francisco 49ers Notes: The 49ers are back in the playoffs as the No. 2 seed for the second straight year, and they hope that this week of the season goes as well as it did last year. If history repeats itself, the Niners will be hosting the Seattle Seahawks next week in the NFC Championship Game. The team was up and down for most of the year. The losses mostly came to teams that were rock solid this year, while there were some tremendous wins as well. Not only did the Niners beat these Packers on the road, but they also knocked off the Seahawks in one of their two games, and they beat the New England Patriots on the road as well. In total this year, the 49ers went 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS against playoff teams. However, they did pick up wins against teams that just missed the playoffs, the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears, and they did so in those two games with QB Colin Kaepernick under center. Kaepernick is now the face of this franchise as the quarterback of the team, having taken over for QB Alex Smith, who was benched after getting hurt against the St. Louis Rams on November 11th.
Kaepernick was solid this year, throwing for 1,814 yards and 10 TDs against three picks, and he was also the team’s second leading rusher with 415 yards and five touchdowns. RB Frank Gore was the workhorse of the team, but Head Coach Jim Harbaugh did a nice job limiting his carries in a lot of games this year. First it was RB Kendall Hunter, but since Hunter’s season came to a close, rookie RB LaMichael James has taken over and has rushed for 125 yards in just four games on the job. The bread and butter with this team though, is its defense. The Niners allowed the Patriots and the Seahawks to score 76 points in two games this year, and they allowed just 14.1 points per game against the rest of the league combined. This is one of the few teams you’ll ever see ranked in the Top 5 in the league in total defense, pass defense, rush defense, and scoring.
Hunter’s season has been over with since he tore his Achilles in November, and WR Mario Manningham’s season is over with as well with a knee injury. WR Kyle Williams, the goat of the playoffs last year, won’t be involved this season with a knee injury. Aside from that though, the rest of this team is relatively healthy off of a bye week, though DE Justin Smith is on the injury report with a partially torn triceps muscle.
Head To Head: These two teams did meet this year, but it feels like ancient history since a 30-22 win for the Niners in Week 1 at Lambeau Field. These two teams have met five times in the playoffs all-time, and Green Bay won four of those five games, including going 1-1 here at the Stick. You won’t find that many players that were involved the last time these two teams met in the second season though, as the last meeting was in 2002. The Packers had won eight straight and 13 of their last 14 games in this series since 1996 before losing in Week 1, and they were 12-2-1 ATS in the last 15 games in this series prior to that point as well.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.