The Green Bay Packers were the only team to win on the road on Wild Card weekend, and now they travel to face the top-seeded San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional round.
Despite downing the two-seed Dallas Cowboys to get to the Divisional round, the 49ers are a different beast for Green Bay to conquer. Arguably the top team in NFL all season, San Francisco is the favorite to win it all entering the weekend. Not to mention they're rested after receiving a first-round bye.
|Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
|8:15 PM ET, Saturday, January 20
|How to watch
Packers +9.5 (-110)
The Packers denied the Wild Card home teams a sweep by taking down the second-seeded Cowboys, who had previously been unbeaten at home this season. There was no fluke about their performance as their fast start stunned their hosts.
The Packers raced into a 27-0 lead in their 48-32 win as quarterback Jordan Love showcased just how far he has come in his first season as the starter. Love is also working with an extremely young group of receivers but they have also grown stronger as the year has gone on.
A playoff run did not seem likely when the Packers were 3-6 in November, but they won six of their last eight regular-season games including notable successes against playoff teams in the Chiefs and Lions.
The 49ers have appeared to be an unstoppable force at times with their relentless running game led by Christian McCaffrey, who scored 21 touchdowns this season, and a varied passing attack featuring receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle.
The 49ers struck out with their trade to select QB Trey Lance with the third pick of the 2021 draft, but they were bailed out wonderfully by their selection of Brock Purdy with the final pick of the 2022 draft.
The seventh rounder is now firmly established as their starting quarterback and has usually looked unflappable while passing for 4,280 yards and 31 touchdowns this season. However, he had clearly the worst game of his career in the recent 33-19 loss to the Ravens, throwing four interceptions, and that will give hope to the Packers.
The 49ers put a three-game losing streak in October behind them with a six-game winning run before that loss to the Ravens and while they are clearly the more likely team to advance to the NFC title game, the Packers have shown enough improvement to suggest they can at least keep the winning margin down to single digits.
Over 50.5 points (-110)
There is too much offensive talent on both of these teams to think that either of them will be kept quiet for long. The Packers just scored 48 points against the highly-rated Dallas defense and they also passed the 30-point mark against the Panthers and Vikings in recent games.
The 49ers defense is one of the best in the league but the Packers have shown enough both in their passing and rushing games to suggest they can put points on the board and play their part in a high-scoring contest.
The 49ers have scored 30-plus points in more than half of their games this season and as good as their defense is, they held only two opponents to single-digit scores all year.
The Packers are good enough to do significantly better than that and it will be no surprise if this game ends with one team in the 30s while the other scores at least 20 points.
Jordan Love over 249.5 passing yards (-110)
The Packers put up almost 50 points against the Cowboys despite getting just nine combined receiving yards from two of their leading wide receivers, Christian Watson and Jayden Reed, as they continue to work their way back from injuries.
Romeo Doubs stepped up to fill the void with an impressive 151 receiving yards, while Dontayvion Wicks and tight end Luke Musgrave both scored touchdowns. How much Doubs and Wicks feature against the 49ers will depend on the availability and effectiveness of Watson and Reed, but if all four are at full speed, Love should have plenty of options.
Due to the uncertainty over the amount of targets each wideout might receive in California, taking Love to exceed his passing yards line of 249.5 is preferred to targeting any individual receiver's yardage.
Love has had 250-plus passing yards in four of his last five games and if the Packers fall behind it will only increase the amount of times he looks for a big play downfield to his strong group of receivers.
Cornerback Jaire Alexander is an injury concern after aggravating an ankle issue in the Cowboys game, while linebacker Kingsley Enagbare is out with a knee injury.
Running back AJ Dillon (thumb/neck), guard Elgton Jenkins (knee/ankle) and linebackers Isaiah McDuffie (neck) and Preston Smith (ankle) are also dealing with injuries, along with defensive tackle Kenny Clark (back), linebacker Rashan Gary (knee), running back Aaron Jones (knee/finger), cornerback Keisean Nixon (toe), safeties Jonathan Owens (knee) and Darnell Savage (shoulder/calf) and wide receivers Jayden Reed (chest) and Christian Watson (hamstring). Most are expected to play, but Dillon, Enagbare, Jenkins and Smith did not participate in Tuesday's practice.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell (knee), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (Achilles) and safety Logan Ryan (groin) are the biggest concerns for the 49ers and defensive tackle Arik Armstead (foot/knee) and safety George Odum (biceps) are also managing injuries, but the team should be close to full strength.
The 49ers beat the Packers 13-10 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs two years ago.
The Packers have won the last five games for which they were the underdogs, while the Niners' last three losses were all in home games.
In terms of points scored, the Niners have the third-best offense in the league while Green Bay's is 12th. The Packers defense allowed the 10th-fewest points; San Francisco allowed the third-fewest.
Purdy and Love rank fifth and seventh in passing yards this season respectively. Both teams have balanced offenses with plenty of talent at the skill positions, although 49ers' running back McCaffrey had the distinction of leading the league in rushing yards and ended the regular season tied for the league lead in combined rushing and receiving touchdowns.
In terms of defensive playmaking, the Niners made the fifth-most takeaways in the NFL while the Packers made the 23rd-most.
|Packers overall wins
|49ers overall wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.