Saturday’s late game features a rematch of the 2019 NFC championship game as the 49ers travel to the legendary Lambeau Field to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Below we break it all down as we determine which team we will be backing in our NFL picks on Saturday night.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers
Saturday, January 22, 2022 – 8:15 PM EST at Lambeau Field
The 49ers enter this NFC showdown after scoring a mild upset over the Dallas Cowboys. San Francisco’s aerial attack never manifested as Jimmy Garoppolo was held to only 172 yards, no touchdowns, and was picked off once. However, the game plan included a healthy dose of Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel who accounted for 168 rushing yards and a touchdown apiece in the Niners’ 23-17 victory in Dallas.
But credit must also be given to the 49ers’ defense in containing the Cowboys’ top-ranked scoring offense throughout the afternoon, accounting for five sacks and a critical interception by K’Waun Williams. “Guys just stepping up big in big key situations, that’s really what it was all day,” Garoppolo said. “Early on, we got it rolling with the offense and the defense just throughout the entire day. We got some dogs on our defense, man. It’s fun.”
San Francisco has now won five of their last six contests and boasts the seventh-ranked rushing offense, averaging 127.4 yards per game. Much of that success has to do with their sixth-round rookie out of Louisiana, Elijah Mitchell. Over his last nine games, Mitchell has averaged 96 yards per contest and has been a contributing factor in San Francisco’s success down the stretch.
Packers Fail to Tame Lions
Green Bay had nothing to play for in their last game of the season as they had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the first-round bye that comes with it. However, it was still strange to see arguably the best team in the league lose to one of the worst when Detroit claimed a 37-30 victory to put a wrap on an otherwise gloomy season.
Aaron Rodgers played the first half and was surgically precise in connecting on 14-of-18 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He was replaced by the supposed heir to the throne, Jordan Love, who was once again underwhelming when given the keys to the car, throwing for 134 yards with one touchdown and two picks.
“I might have a better perspective tomorrow,” Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said. “We’re all competitors and we don’t like losing. “I am happy in the fact that we got out fairly healthy.” Getting all the starters a bit of playing time while getting out of Motown injury-free was the primary goal of what was essentially an exhibition game for Green Bay.
Wanna Make a Bet?
These teams met back in Week 3 when the Packers emerged with a 30-28 victory. Aaron Rodgers had 261 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Jimmy Garoppolo tossed for 257 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception. The 49ers’ ground attack was limited to just 67 yards.
But we should note that the San Francisco ground game of Week 3 is inferior to their rushing attack entering this divisional playoff tilt. Elijah Mitchell has provided a much-needed spark and he should get his fair share of yards against a decent, although unspectacular, Packers’ run-stop unit.
The public will be betting on Green Bay because they are a home favorite and a household name. But the sharps are looking at San Francisco as an underdog with tremendous value. The NFL odds at all of the best online sportsbooks show that the line had bumped up a full point from the initial line of Green Bay -5 but it has now drifted back to 5 ½ thanks to the sharps taking a piece at +6, a number that is often important in football betting.
Nevertheless, we believe the Niners will keep this one close and could even advance to the NFC championship as they have a rushing game that uniquely complements their aerial attack. Meanwhile, their defense seems to be improving as the season grows longer. Let’s grab the points and back the live road pup here.
NFL Pick: 49ers +5 ½ (-110) with BetMGM