Against The Spread: San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
The best online sportsbooks are giving this 49ers-Packers game the highest spread of the entire weekend. Here are the current betting odds:
|San Francisco spread (+5.5)
|Green Bay spread (-5.5)
We're not deterred by the bigger spread because we're talking San Francisco. The NFL, like any other sport, is a game of matchups, and let us tell you this: the 49ers match up extremely well with the No. 1-seeded Packers.
For one, San Fran can get into opposing quarterback's faces without blitzing. Aaron Rodgers, who will likely be named NFL MVP in a matter of weeks, is not immune to struggling against a formidable pass rush that doesn't have to sacrifice defenders in coverage. That's the Niners, who are expected to have Joey Bosa and Fred Warner on defense. Both were injured in last week's triumph versus Dallas, but early signs are they'll suit up on Saturday.
But here's the second mismatch: San Francisco should have no issues running the ball against Green Bay. The Packers gave up 4.7 yards per carry during the regular season — fourth-worst in the NFL. Not only will an efficient run game get the Niners in scoring position, but perhaps more importantly, it'll help keep Rodgers off the field.
It's somewhat cliche but playoff football is won in the trenches and running the ball, both of which we expect 49ers to outdo the Packers in — despite being on the road. We seriously thought about taking the San Fran moneyline but decided to play it "safer" and go spread only. Regardless, we're hammering the streaky-hot Niners here!
Over/Under 48.5 Points: Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|Over 48.5 Points
|Under 48.5 Points
When most bettors look at these two teams, they think first of the offenses, as they should. One has the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady and the other mortgaged their future to add offensive pieces like Matt Stafford and Odell Beckham Jr. Us, though, we think about the defenses, which leads us to bet on the over/under 48.5 points.
These two teams met back in September and in that meeting, the Rams gave Brady and company trouble, leading to a 34-24 win for LA. In that game, Brady was sacked three times (by comparison, he went down only 19 times in the other 16 games). Furthermore, they forced Tampa into being one-dimensional as they held them to a mere 35 yards rushing.
The Rams know the blueprint to beating Brady and in this second go-round, it might be even easier to execute. That's because Tampa will be missing two playmakers — Chris Godwin (injury) and Antonio Brown (cut) — and possibly a third (Leonard Fournette has missed a month with a hamstring injury).
Along the same lines, this Tampa defense can hang with the best of 'em. For the first time, the Bucs' D is almost at full-strength (the only usual starter still injured is Sean Murphy-Bunting). It showed last week when they held the Eagles, the No. 1 rushing team in the regular season, to a mere 95 yards of rushing. At home, we expect that same intensity against the Rams.
You can probably guess what way we're betting here and that's with the under. Both these defenses should have big games come Sunday.
Moneyline: Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs
The Bills-Chiefs moneyline is the thinnest of the entire weekend at the top NFL betting sites. It's virtually at pick 'em, but Buffalo is the slight underdogs. But that just means you get the better team at plus money — yes, we think the Bills are better than the two-time reigning AFC champs.
Here's why: Buffalo's defense is much more reliable than Kansas City's. In this category, the Chiefs have been hot-and-cold all year long, while the Bills have been and finished ranked No. 1 in scoring defense. Like we mentioned before, playoff football is more about defense — not offense.
Though, the Bills are fresh off a 47-point whopper on the Patriots, a team that ranked No. 3 in scoring defense. So you get the best of both worlds with the underdogs, hence our moneyline wager on them!
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