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San Francisco 49ers vs Green Bay Packers – Betting Preview

49ers vs Packers NFL Playoffs Handicapping

The San Francisco 49ers will make the trip out east to legendary Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers closed the season with six consecutive victories, while the Packers clawed their way to a win over the Bears in their finale to lock up the NFC North division.

NFC Wildcard
San Francisco 49ers (12-4) at Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
Date: Sunday, January 5, 2014
Time: 4:40 PM ET
Venue: Lambeau Field
City: Green Bay, Wisconsin
O/U Odds: 46.5
Spread: San Francisco -2.5
Money Line: San Francisco -145, Green Bay +125

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If it feels like this is a matchup we’ve been seeing a lot of lately, that’s because it is. The 49ers and Packers have opened up their regular seasons against one another in each of the last two years, and also met in the postseason a year. The common thread among all three of those games is that the 49ers won them all, and did so by an average margin of 9.3 points, covering the spread in all three contests.

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While the 49ers did beat the Packers in their opener, the team’s year didn’t start off all that rosy, as they lost each of their next two games, which had many once against questioning quarterback Colin Kaepernick. But from there, the 49ers would win 11 of their next 13 games, with the lone blemishes coming in tightly contested losses to Carolina and New Orleans, both of whom won double-digit games this season.
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Green Bay’s year was very different all together. The Packers also began the year at 1-2, but from there they went into their bye week and came out the other side with a four-game victory. Things came crashing to a halt when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers was knocked out of the team’s game against Chicago on the opening drive, beginning a five-game winless skid. Rodgers wouldn’t return until Week 17 when he led the team to a victory over Chicago, throwing for 318 yards and two scores with two interceptions.

Rodgers’ stat line from that game may look respectable, but he certainly looked tentative at times, and passed up opportunities to run with the football.

Luckily for the Pack, a new offensive weapon emerged this season. Running back Eddie Lacy ran for 1,178 and 11 touchdowns on the year, adding 35 receptions for 257 yards and fumbling only once. A likely candidate for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Lacy will be thrust into the spotlight in the postseason, and how he responds could dictate the Packers’ fate.

The Packers certainly looked a lot better with Rodgers under center last week, but poor play by the Bears covered up a lot of blemishes. The 49ers will be in a position to expose the Packers on Sunday, something they’ve made a habit of doing in recent years.

The 49ers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games, while the Packers are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.

The play: San Francisco -2.5

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