The action moves to the NFC for the second half of the NFL 2023 Playoffs double header on Saturday night when the San Francisco 49ers look to set up a home Championship game when they host the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers have been playing knockout football for the last three weeks have and done it successfully but the 49ers have arguably been the team of the season so far and will fancy their chances of coming out on top here.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers have had an interesting season. They won their opening five matches before a very strange run saw them lose three on the spin. They recovered from that to win six straight to move to 11-3 for the season but then lost two of their last three and ended it 12-5. To be fair to them they lost to the other number one seed in Baltimore Ravens in one of those defeats and were playing for nothing when the second loss came along two weeks ago.
If we concentrate on when the starters were in for the 49ers they looked the best team in the league to me. They have a defence which is so hard to get much against, a quarterback in Brock Purdy who defies his years, probably the best running back in the league in Christian McCaffrey and plenty of weapons in the passing game. Even if one unit is off colour the others are likely to get the job done so San Francisco should feel very good about their chances here.
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Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers have been written off all season so the fact that few expect them to win this match will suit them just fine. They had to win their last two matches in the regular season to get into the playoffs and having done that they had to go to Dallas and beat the Cowboys last week. They didn’t just win that game, they went and annihilated them in what turned into a rout so the Packers will be heading to California full of confidence.
The Packers’ defence has really come to the party in recent weeks. They denied the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears many points in the last two weeks of the regular season and then last week that department became a scoring machine. If the defence comes to the party here then they are doing enough on offense to be a threat here and the longer the Packers hang around in this match they might just make the key play to get the job done. That will be their aim anyway.
I was surprised to see a point line in the 50s for this match. I understand that Green Bay Packers were involved in a high scoring game last week but seven of their points came through their defence and a turnover in Dallas territory contributed to another. The score was also a little distorted with the Packers pulling their starters early in the fourth quarter so I’m happy to play the under on a 51.5 line, particularly with the go to move for both offenses being to run the ball.
I’ve got to think that the Packers are going to find scoring on this San Francisco defence tough anyway. It is hard to run the ball on the 49ers and their pass rush know that and can pin their ears back and get Jordan Love under pressure. When San Francisco get in front I would imagine they’ll run the ball and manage the clock but this Green Bay defence is going well enough recently to keep the number one seeds honest. I’m expecting a competitive match which goes under here but even in a bit more of a blowout I don’t see 51.5 points being surpassed.
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