The San Francisco 49ers host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. ET on FOX. The 49ers thumped the Minnesota Vikings last Saturday 27-10 behind a strong ground game and defensive effort. The Packers jumped out to a 21-3 lead on the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and held them off late to advance.
The 49ers opened as a touchdown favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total at 45. The money line was initially set at 49ers -315 and Packers +245. The line has moved to 7.5, while the point total has climbed to 46.5 as of Friday morning. The 49ers are now -335 on the money line and the Packers are +285. The 49ers are 10-6-1 against the spread this season, and have gone over the point total eight times. The Packers are 11-6 ATS and have gone over the point total seven times.
Both teams are in relatively good shape on the injury front, at least for teams playing into mid-January. Tight end George Kittle was a surprise addition to the injury report on Wednesday with an ankle injury, but after sitting out that day, he was a full participant on Thursday, so he should be good to go. The team is expecting defensive end Dee Ford and linebacker Kwon Alexander to both play in spite of limited workouts.
The Packers are the latest team to deal with some illness. Wide receiver Geronimo Allison lost a day of practice with whatever bug it is, but returned to limited work on Thursday. Fellow receiver Allen Lazard is limited with an ankle injury after being a full participant last week in spite of the ankle injury. If he is slowed by the injury on Sunday, Allison or Marquez Valdes-Scantling could see more work. Otherwise, defensive tackle Kenny Clark and right guard Billy Turner remain on the injury report but should be good to go on Sunday.
Pick against the spread
The betting public is backing the 49ers in this one and we’ve seen both the point spread and money line have moved in the 49ers favor. I strongly believe — even as a big, fat homer — the 49ers are the far superior team in this one and their defense could give Green Bay a lot of trouble. At the same time, 7.5-points is a lot to lay against Aaron Rodgers.
The 49ers thumped the Packers earlier this year, holding Rodgers to one of the worst games since he became a starter in Green Bay, and for the most part containing Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. That Packers team was banged up on the offensive line and wide receiver Davante Adams was only a few games into his return from turf toe. We’ve seen Adams turning into the Michael Thomas role where his quarterback is going to be force-feeding him all day long.
The under makes a lot of sense in this game, especially with it climbing up to 46.5. Where this gets interesting is the potential back-door cover. I could see the 49ers leading 24-14 or 24-10, and Aaron Rodgers scoring a touchdown or leading Green Bay to a field goal in hopes of getting the onside kick and miracle win. They end up losing, but get that late cover.
This is a weekend in which we’ll likely see a whole host of two-team teasers featuring the 49ers and Chiefs. Both are -7.5, and a six-point teaser drops them both to 1.5. We’ve seen the Titans show us how that could get screwed up, but if you think 49ers and Chiefs are headed to Super Bowl 54, a teaser might be the way to go.
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