NFL expert Tom Selwyn (@Tom_Selwyn) shares his expert opinion on the best bets available from Sunday evening's Conference Championship match-up in San Francisco.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers | Sunday 19th January 2020, 23:40 | Sky Sports
I challenged one of Green Bay or Seattle to put together a complete game last week and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers duly stepped up, delivering one of his best performances of the season to oust the Seahawks. They still managed to make it more difficult than it should have been, allowing their opponent to climb back into the game, but that just seems to be what the Packers are this season!
The 49ers had no such issues in their game against the Vikings. They came out and dominated the game, effectively strangling Minnesota and coming away with a very comfortable win.
Like the earlier AFC Championship game, this is a rematch from earlier on in the season where San Francisco absolutely crushed Green Bay 37–8. Teams that lost by more than 20 points during the regular season haven’t won a rematch in the playoffs, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing that kind of hammering again as although I definitely see the 49ers as the better team, the Packers talent level is a lot closer than a 29 point margin.
This is especially true on the defensive line where Green Bay’s Za’Darius and Preston Smith, along with Kenny Clark have been superb all season long. They all boast a PFF pressure grade of over 74 and the three of them also accounted for allfive of the Packers sacks against the Seahawks last week.
The numbers rival the fearsome San Francisco front containing Bosa, Ford, Buckner and Armstead, who themselves are all sitting at 76 and above for their pressure grades and contributed five of the team’s six sacks against Minnesota.
With how proficient both teams are at getting to the QB (both teams in the top six for pressures), I’m going to backing this game to go Over 5.5 Sacks (10/11 Bet365).
As I mentioned earlier, both of these teams hit five sacks in their previous games and were among the top half of the league in sacks during the regular season. The two offensive lines are nowhere near the league’s worst, but I give the edge to both defensive lines in this game.
Now, we know that Rodgers will get his share of drop backs, but 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan would usually prefer to run the ball than have Jimmy Garoppolo throw it. In this instance, however, I don’t think he’ll be able to resist targeting Packers MLB Blake Martinez, who’s been poor against the pass all year, in coverage with Kittle, Sanders and co, so I’m hopeful we’ll see a fair few pass attempts from Garoppolo.
No matter how many passes we do see from both QBs, there’s a strong chance they’ll be under pressure as they do.
Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers – Over 5.5 Sacks (10/11 Bet365)