Green Bay is a public underdog as the Packers visit the San Francisco 49ers in NFC divisional playoff betting odds action Saturday. Can the 49ers cover the 2.5-point spread at home or will Green Bay's streak against them and as an underdog prevail?
The Green Bay Packers have visited the San Francisco 49ers seven times since 1980 and have never lost against the spread.
So when the NFC divisional playoffs odds opened with the 49ers as 3-point favorites, handicappers who recall that 6-0-1 ATS streak and who have watched the Packers dominate lately jumped on the line.
"There has been a ton of Green Bay action at most sportsbooks, so they are a rare 'public dog' and the line is down to -2.5 across the board," explained Jack Randall, a football analyst at OddsShark.com.
Indeed, the Packers are 10-2 SU and 9-3 ATS over their last 12 games, and will try to stay hot against a tough opponent this Saturday night when they visit San Francisco at Candlestick Park.
They have also been nasty in the underdog role, going 12-3-1 ATS in 16 recent games in this position.
Just one week after losing to the Vikings 37-34 in Minnesota, Green Bay received a bit of a break last week when quarterback Christian Ponder was ruled out with an arm injury hours before game time.
Without the threat of a passing game (back-up quarterback Joe Webb is primarily a running quarterback), the Packers were able to load the box and take care of Adrian Peterson and the Vikings fairly easily in a 24-10 win.
The San Francisco 49ers entered their bye week on a bit of a down-swing, losing big to Seattle 42-13 and looking sloppy in a 27-13 win as 16-point home favorites over the lowly Arizona Cardinals.
Still, the 49ers finished the season with a solid 11-4-1 SU and 9-7 ATS record, including impressive road wins over Green Bay, New Orleans and New England.
The 49ers finished the season 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS since making the switch to Colin Kaepernick at quarterback.
Green Bay is 8-1 SU and 6-2-1 ATS in its last nine games against the 49ers. That loss came this season, back in Week 1 when the 49ers came to Lambeau Field and convincingly beat the Packers 30-22, leading 23-7 at the end of the third quarter. San Francisco rushed for 186 yards in that win.
San Francisco's rushing game, which ranks fourth in the NFL averaging 155.7 yards per game, could be the difference in this Saturday's game. Green Bay has struggled this season against teams with strong rushing attacks (see Adrian Peterson's performances), and San Francisco's bye week should have afforded the 49ers a chance to prepare for Green Bay's talented offense.
In what should be a very close game, look for Aaron Rodgers to get the job done at the expense of a second year QB.
PICK: Green Bay +2.5 (courtesy of PickShark.com)