NFC Championship: The Pack's Gotta Lotta Gap to Close
Just like the AFC Championship game, this battle for a spot in the Super Bowl features a regular-season rematch.
The question here, though, is whether it'll be another mismatch.
What happened to the Packers then can best be summed up in a mere two seconds:
- San Francisco was up, 23-0, before the Pack knew what hit them,
- Aaron Rodgers was sacked 5 times and under siege all day, while
- Jimmy Garoppolo was clinical, highlighted by 2 TD tosses.
As always, computer simulations have been run, and here are those conclusions:
Why bet on Green Bay ...
Don’t expect a repeat of that November disaster. Green Bay turned things around, big time, in December. Dudes won 5 straight to end the regular season.
They've now got balance on offense with a solid rushing attack from Aaron Jones. He should have some success against San Francisco’s defense. If he doesn’t, no worries, because it's highly unlikely that Rodgers hasn't learned from the first game.
He’ll ensure Green Bay moves the football.
Why bet on San Francisco ...
Putting it mildly, the 49ers are rested and rolling. The playoff bye week recharged their batteries -- as if it was needed -- and they're coming off total domination of the Pack's NFC Northern foe, Minnesota, where Garoppolo only needed to be functional.
Tevin Coleman’s 22 carries for 105 yards and two touchdownswas his busiest day since rushing 20 times in mid-October. His emergence only strengthens the 49ers’ advantage against Green Bay's front seven. The Packers rank 23rd against the rush and have allowed 5.2 yards per carry over its past three games.
Instant analysis ...
While it's exceedingly difficult to beat the same team twice in a season, San Francisco could be an exception. However, for our purposes, Green Bay doesn't have to beat the 49ers; they've just gotta stay close. That's a strong possibility.
The Packers have become increasingly comfortable withe Matt LaFleur's system. Defensively, they haven’t allowed a team to score more than 23 points since that loss to San Francisco. As well, Rodgers likely won't have another worst game of his career. With a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, they'll have more than redemption fueling their competitive fire.
ATS pick: Green Bay +7½
Total pick: Under 47½
Result: San Francisco 37 Green Bay 20 ... 49ers cover; over covers
Sportbet Columnist: Josh Bailey
Aspiring to become the Mark Twain of sportswriting, Josh has been labelled as the up-&-coming sportswriter of the year by absolutely nobody and the new heavy hitter in sports handicapping by his mother.