NFL Playoff Betting: 49ers Have Had Packers’ Number the Past Two Seasons
by Bovada Sportsbook Staff | Jan. 3, 2014
The Packers are in the playoffs for the fifth straight season and in that stretch Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has become arguably the NFL’s best overall quarterback with his mix of accuracy, mobility, arm strength and awareness in the pocket. Few teams can say they’ve gotten the best of Rodgers repeatedly. The San Francisco 49ers are one that can.
With all due respect to Chiefs at Colts, Chargers at Bengals and Saints at Eagles, the marquee matchup of the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend is when the 49ers visit Green Bay on Sunday. San Francisco is the only road favorite of the weekend at -3 and there will be Live Betting at Bovada.
It’s a minor miracle the Packers are in the playoffs. Rodgers broke his left collarbone in a Week 9 home game against the Bears. That sent the Packers on a five-game winless streak (one tie) as they cycled through backups Seneca Wallace, Scott Tolzien and Matt Flynn. However, Flynn, who was essentially signed off the street, led Green Bay to one-point wins over Atlanta and Dallas, rallying from a 23-point halftime deficit against the Cowboys.
The division-rival Bears and Lions were both also struggling so the Packers were still alive for the NFC North title. When the Packers lost at home to Pittsburgh in Week 16, their postseason hopes were on life support and they would have been eliminated with a Chicago win in Philadelphia. The Bears lost and Rodgers was able to return last weekend for the winner-take-all game in Chicago. He was a bit rusty to start with but threw the game-winning 48-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb – who hadn’t played since October 13 due to injury – on a fourth-and-8 with less than 40 seconds left for a thrilling 33-28 victory and a third straight division crown.
Green Bay (8-7-1) is the NFC’s No. 4 seed, meaning it’s unlikely they will host a playoff game after this one. The Packers may have the worst record of any playoff team but they are 6-2 in games in which Rodgers has started and finished. The Packers won’t have their best defensive player, linebacker Clay Matthews, against San Francisco or likely at all during the playoffs.
San Francisco (12-4) had a shot at the No. 1 seed in the NFC entering last Sunday but had to settle for the No. 5 when Seattle also won. The 49ers are playing their best football of the season, on a six-game winning streak. QB Colin Kaepernick struggled early this season but has 10 TD passes and just one interception throughout the winning streak.
In Week 1 this season, the 49ers, who were 5-point favorites, beat visiting Green Bay 34-28 behind 412 yards passing and three scores from Kaepernick, his best-ever regular season game. Anquan Boldin had 13 catches for 208 yards and a score. The game was back-and-forth all day, with the Niners taking the lead for good on a Frank Gore 1-yard TD run with 5:47 left. Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three scores.
In last year’s divisional playoffs at San Francisco, the 49ers beat Green Bay 45-31. Kaepernick rushed for an NFL QB-record 181 yards with two scores, while also passing for 263 yards and two TDs. San Francisco, a 3-point favorite, had a franchise playoff-record 579 yards of offense. Rodgers threw for 257 yards and two scores for the Pack.
The teams also met in Week 1 of 2012, with the 49ers winning 30-22 in Green Bay. Kaepernick was still an unknown backup to Alex Smith then. Rodgers threw for 303 yards and two scores.
Green Bay has failed to cover its past five home games this season, while the 49ers have won and covered seven straight on the road.