San Francisco 49ers (5) at Green Bay Packers (4)
by Ryan Kramer and Sean Green
Time: Sunday Jan 5th @ 1:40 PM Pacific
Weather: -2° F and Partly Cloudy w/ 10-15pmh wind
Radio: Westwood One(Tom McCarthy, Rod Woodson, Mark Malone)
TV: CBS(Joe Buck, Troy Aikman)
Total: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Spread: 49ers -2.5
State Your Case: San Francisco 49ers
Matchup: Colin Kaepernick vs GB defense. In the past 12 months we’ve seen Kaepernick destroy the Packers with his arm going 27/39 for 412 and 3 TDS and slice them up with his legs to the tune of 16 for 181 and 2 TDs. I see no reason why this matchup will go any differently, especially with the defense leader/caveman Clay Matthews.
Situation: Harbaugh seems to be a motivational master and will surely use the fact that they have to take to the road as a 12-4 team. Factoring that in, I believe the cold weather will favor the 49ers…Crazy, huh? Well not really…one team has a defense that thrives when playing with a lead and a spread ’em out pass the air out of the ball offense, the other smashes you in the mouth on offense and punches you in the eyeball on defense…Seems less crazy now, doesn’t it? The team that does the hitting wins in the cold; GB will be susceptible to being the team getting hit in the mouth and it wouldn’t be the first time (Giants did it twice).
Stats: GB will struggle to slow down the 49ers offense. GB sports one of the worst defenses across the board as they are 29th in over all Def WEI DVOA, 28th in Def Pass DVOA, 30th in Def Rush DVOA, and 30th Def Red Zone DVOA. Now San Francisco isn’t the best offense in the league, but they are very effective (7th Off WEI DVOA) and are actually a better passing team (4th Off Pass DVOA) than running (14th Off Rush DVOA). Look for the ‘9ers to move the ball up and down the field and milk the clock with their physical running game in the 2nd half. *For more on DVOA check out the Football Outsiders
Donkey Trend: 49ers are just 1-8 SU at Green Bay since 1996. Insane people are touting this trend, this particular team (under Harbaugh) is 1-0 @GB, but that was with Alex Smith starting at QB. Square City here.
Sharp Trend: Like I mentioned earlier, this is a team that is build to succeed on the road and they have shown it all year with an impressive 6-1 SU record in their last 7 including 6-0-1 ATS.
State Your Case: Green Bay Packers
Matchup: Green Bay running backs vs San Francisco defense. Eddie Lacy has been a beast and James Starks is a great complimentary back for their system. Green Bay won’t win the game on the ground, but the dynamic duo of backs will help wear down the San Francisco defense and give Aaron Rodgers some amazing play action opportunities.
Situation: Green Bay was able to hold down the fort without Rodgers and pulled out a dramatic win against the Bears on the road. Rodgers seemed to shake the rust off early in the Bears game with his early picks, but rebounded and seems poised to recover. 23 points comeback against Dallas, a forward fumble for a TD and a 48 yard 4th & 8 bomb, Green Bay is getting all the right plays at the right time.
Stats: Even with Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien the Packers were still 3rd in offense in the NFL putting up 400.2 yards per game. With a game time temp below 0 degrees, the Packers will be able to rely on their 4th rated rushing attack which is good for 4.6 yards per attempt.
Donkey Trend: Packers are 0-5 ATS their last 5 games at home. However, only one of those games was started by Rodgers and it was against the Bears when he got knocked out early.
Sharp Trend: Without Rodgers they’ve struggled, but the Green Bay Packers are 22-11 ATS at home since 2010, proving that the Lambeau home field advantage is alive and well.
Ryan’s Pick: Over 46.5 why wouldn’t this be the 3rd shootout in the last 12 months.
Ryan’s Score: Packers 31 – 49ers 27.
Ryan’s Bonus: Packers ML +120…call me crazy but GB holds serve.
Sean’s Pick: Packers +3 (-120), buy that half point.
Sean’s Score: Packers 28 – 49ers 30.
Sean’s Bonus: Defense or Special Teams TD – No (-200)
Listen to the latest edition of the Sports Gambling Podcast for an entire Wild Card Weekend breakdown.
Ryan Kramer and Sean Green are writers and co-hosts for the Sports Gambling Podcast. Follow the show on twitter @GamblingPodcast.
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