San Francisco 49ers Face The Green Bay Packers In Playoffs

Written By Darren Cooper on January 23, 2022
Green Bay Packers Play San Francisco 49ers

Two things we know for sure on Saturday night in Green Bay: It will be cold. There will be playoff football.

After upsetting the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round, the San Francisco 49ers get the honor of traveling to one of football’s premier sites, Lambeau Field in Green Bay, to take on the top-seeded Packers in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs.

The kickoff is 6:30 p.m. Saturday night on Fox.

The 49ers scored the biggest upset of the NFL playoffs so far, taking down the Cowboys in a game that came down to the last (very strange) play. 

San Francisco (11-7) has won five of their last six games, riding a strong defense and the play of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The Packers are 13-4 and cruised to the NFC North division title. They have also won five of their last six games, but it must be noted that they sat many regulars in their season finale loss to the Lions.

These two played in one of the best games of the regular season in Week 3. The 49ers thought they had it won on a field goal with 37 seconds left, but Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers had other ideas, driving the Pack to a game-winning field goal on the last play.

The Packers lead the all-time series 38-32-1. The two franchises have met eight times in the playoffs, splitting the meetings, but San Francisco has won those last three playoff encounters.

What Do the Oddsmakers Say?

Green Bay continues to be the favorite to reach the Super Bowl, with the best odds of any of the eight remaining teams at +160 at Caesars. San Francisco is listing as +550 to reach Super Bowl LVI.

In the regular-season meeting, San Francisco was favored by 3.5 points, and the game went over (barely) the over/under the total of 50.5.

This time around, the oddsmakers are high on the Packers. It is Green Bay who is favored by 5.5 points by Caesars, and the over/under is set at 47.5. Green Bay has gone an impressive 12-5 against the spread this season, while the 49ers are 10-8.

The 49ers have also done unusually well on the road against the spread, going 7-3, while Green Bay is a perfect 8-0 against the spread at Lambeau Field.

The Lambeau Factor

At some point and time during Saturday night’s broadcast, you will certainly hear Lambeau Field referred to as the “frozen tundra.” This is a reference dating back decades as this will not be the first Packer playoff game played in chilly conditions.

But does the Lambeau mystique still exist? 

The Packers had gone 13-0 at home in the NFL playoffs until 2002 before losing to the Atlanta Falcons.

Since then, Lambeau hasn’t been an automatic W for the green and gold. The Packers have lost five more games at Lambeau in the playoffs since.

Playoff Points

The top seed in the NFL playoffs is 7-3 in the Divisional Round in the last ten games.

In their last five playoff games, the Packers have covered the spread three times, lost outright once (to the Tampa Bay Bucs in last year’s NFC Championship Game), and were whipped by the 49ers in California 37-20. The 49ers were 7.5-point favorites that day.

In their last five playoff games, the 49ers have been underdogs three times. It beat the Cowboys to advance but failed to cover the spread (1.5) in Super Bowl LIV in 2019 against the Chiefs and in a 2013 loss to the Seahawks when Seattle was favored by three.

Talking It Over/Under

The over/under sits at 47.5, a number that 49ers games have gone over ten times out of their 18 games. The Packers have gone over 47.5 in seven of their 17 games. The 49ers average right at 25 points a game, while the Packers offense ranks 10th in the NFL, scoring 26.5 points a contest. 

Both defenses are strong. Green Bay has allowed 21.8 points a game this season, while the 49ers are slightly better at 21.2.

The X Factor

It’s fair to say that the Packers’ advantage at Lambeau Field in the playoffs is waning. San Francisco even owns a playoff win at Lambeau Field. That’s not something a lot of teams can say. The 49ers beat Green Bay, 23-20, in an NFC Wild Card game in 2014.

These are two teams playing well. Rodgers has had a tumultuous season off the field, but on the field, he’s probably the NFL MVP. The latest odds have him at -500 to win the award, according to DraftKings. 

Neither team wants to be left out in the cold come Saturday night.

Photo by Mark Herreid / Shutterstock.com
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