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San Franciso 49ers vs Green Bay Packers - 1/22, 8:15 pm EST
Arguably the game of the round, the San Francisco 49ers delivered a knockout blow to long-term rivals Dallas Cowboys to get here and they'll now take on another historic rival in order to make the divisional finals.
The Green Bay Packers qualified for the playoffs comfortably enough through their regular-season outings but they'll face a tough task to get through to the finals here. Since 1995 these teams have met in the postseason eight times, splitting wins 4-4 over that period.
In their history home-field advantage has been a big factor with the Packers holding a 22-11 record in the regular season and a 2-1 record in the post-season.
The 49ers showed just how strong they are last week with their win over the Cowboys, and from top to bottom they are one of the most dangerous sides left in the playoffs.
With that said though, the Packers should find themselves well rested after their bye last weekend and so far have a perfect record at home this season (8-0).
When these teams met in Week 3, we saw how evenly matched they are as the Packers etched out a 30-28 victory. This season the Packers ensured they were hard to beat, with a statistically top-ten performing offense across the board aside from total rushing yards per game. The 49ers were top 13 in all categories but had the stronger defense.
Green Bay Packers
To beat San Francisco 49ers
Back the spread
This game will come down to who can defend better on the day. If Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel can find joy running the ball then it will reduce the pressure on Jimmy Garoppolo and hopefully prevent costly errors against the tough Packers secondary.
The Packers though will look to expose the fragilities of the 49ers' defense aerially, with Aaron Rodgers throwing, and then look to pick them off with their rushing attack. They will undoubtedly target Garoppolo too when on defense, trying to get in his face as much as possible.
While I think the Packers will ultimately claim the win on the night, I think the 49ers can cover the spread.
They are two very evenly matched sides in all areas and this is likely to come down to either the final play or just a single mistake. It will be a close game and the 49ers are more than capable of even causing an update and winning.
With the spread set at +6, so long as they don't get plucky late on and caught out then this should come in.
San Francisco 49ers +6
To beat Green Bay Packers
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Los Angeles Rams vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1/23, 3:00 pm EST
|NFL NFC Divisional Semi-Finals|| |
|Los Angeles Rams||+132||+130||+120|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-152||-150||-150|
Both of these teams came through relatively unscathed following their Wildcard victories with the Buccs earning a 31-15 victory over the Eagles while LA crushed Arizona 34-11 in their game.
Both Tampa Bay and Los Angeles are set up to win now, but one of their seasons will come to a crushing end this weekend in the Raymond James Stadium.
The Rams recovered from a tough November, where they lost all three of their games, and are now one of the hottest teams in the league. They have picked up victories in six of their last seven games and are raring to go in the hopes of a return victory against Tampa, whom they defeated 34-24 in Week 3.
With Odell Beckham Jr and Von Miller, their roster has got stronger as the season progressed and they'll feel there is no better time to beat the Buccs on the road.
But they'll be coming up against the evergreen Tom Brady in this one, who's post-season record stands at 35-11 with seven SuperBowl rings to his name.
Offensively he's done his part, with great play from that quarterback role and the moving parts in the system performing well. Defensively though they've struggled, especially against the rush, and that could spell problems.
Back the Underdog!
It's not often you get told to go against the reigning champions with arguably the best player of all-time in his position in the side but do it.
LA has a great run-block unit where they can really expose the weaknesses in the Tampa Bay defense in this game and they're peaking at the perfect time. They have all the tools to cause plenty of problems in this game and at +132 there's some decent profit to be made.
If you're worried about that pick, back the spread. The Rams at +3 at a price of -115 covers you well so long as the game stays close as it should.
Learn more about how to bet on the Los Angeles Rams here.