On paper, it’s the most evenly matched of the four postseason contests on tap this weekend. It promises to be a thrilling battle between two of the best teams in the conference, and the winner has a great chance of advancing to the Super Bowl.
If you are interested in making things even more entertaining and insuring edge of your seat action, we suggest you put down a friendly—or substantial—wager on the outcome.
Let’s take a look at the two most popular ways to bet an NFL game—against the spread and point total—and predict some winners that should hopefully help you cash a ticket on Saturday night.
*Lines courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com, home team in CAPS.
Point spread: Green Bay Packers (+3) over SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
As much as we hate to bet against the Niners at Candlestick Park—one of the best home teams in the entire league under coach Jim Harbaugh—we’re going with the Pack in this one.
It seems that no matter how many sacks the awful offensive line gives up or how little production the team gets from its atrocious RB corps, Aaron Rodgers continues to excel and finds ways to beat the opposition through the air.
Even with Aldon Smith, Justin Smith (who Harbaugh expects to play), Ahmad Brooks and the rest of San Francisco’s fearsome pass-rushers likely to continually get into the GB backfield, we believe Rodgers will find a way to elude them and make big plays down the field.
Which team will cover?
There are just too many great wideouts on the Packers roster—including Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley—for the 49ers secondary to stop.
On the other side, the 49ers offense has been clicking with first-year starter Colin Kaepernick under center, but the opportunistic Green Bay defense—with a bend but don’t break philosophy—will force the relatively inexperienced signal-caller into game-changing mistakes.
We’re taking the Packers to win this against the spread and straight up (which can be bet on the moneyline at +120) in this playoff contest.
Over/Under: OVER 45
For much the same reasons we like the Packers to win on Saturday, we are going to go with the over (and likely parlay the two bets—a profitable but risky option).
The vaunted Niners defense gets tons of credit, deservedly, but they have given up plenty of points to powerful offenses.
Most notably, the team allowed 31 points in the second half of a narrow victory over the New England Patriots back in Week 15. Tom Brady and his passing offense are perhaps the most comparable to the Green Bay offensive scheme.
For that reason, coupled with a leaky Packers defense, we suspect there will be plenty of points scored throughout this back-and-forth contest.
Take the over and make sure you get paid.