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Expert predictions for NFL Divisional Round playoff game – The Athletic

As long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers, it seems like they’ll have a shot to win a Super Bowl. Green Bay opened as 5.5-point favorites against the 49ers at BetMGM this week, which might appear low to those aware of how well the Packers play at home – they’re 8-0 at Lambeau Field. That’s only part of the winning formula. This year, Green Bay went 5-1 against teams that made the playoffs, including a 30-28 Week 3 win over the 49ers. Rodgers was inactive in the one loss. Speaking of which, he finished the regular season with 37 touchdowns against four interceptions and hasn’t had a turnover since mid-November. Typically, the teams that make deep playoff runs are playing their best football late and have good health. Green Bay’s offense certainly checks that first box and now gets David Bakhtiari back. The defense hasn’t been as sharp, giving up 27.3 points per game to its final seven opponents. However, Jaire Alexander is expected to be back this week while Za’Darius Smith returned to practice after missing 16+ games.

The first upset of these NFL playoffs belongs to the 49ers, who built a 16-point lead on the road and held on to beat the Cowboys. San Francisco hasn’t been an underdog against the spread much this year, but the Niners look more than comfortable playing away from home. They’re now 7-3 on the road with the wins coming by an average of 8.1 points. For what it’s worth, San Francisco nearly pulled off a home win over Green Bay – without Elijah Mitchell – back in September, going ahead in the final minute before falling victim to an Aaron Rodgers game-winning drive. But a tundra-like Lambeau Field is a much different beast. The Niners have been running the ball well over the past three weeks, but Green Bay only allowed 126 rushing yards in its final two regular season games. The 49ers might have to lean on Jimmy Garoppolo more, in addition to a defense potentially missing Nick Bosa (head) and Fred Warner (ankle).

Odds, Over/Under, Moneyline

All odds from BetMGM. Odds updated at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday. Click here for live odds.

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The 49ers barely made it in the playoffs and now they’re heading to Green Bay to take on the No.-1 seed Packers and Aaron Rodgers. The football world didn’t seem too shocked that the 49ers upset the Cowboys on Sunday. I would be very surprised if the 49ers go into Green Bay and upset the Packers. One thing to keep an eye on this week is the injuries to key players on the defensive side of the ball for San Francisco. Nick Bosa entered the concussion protocol during the game and Fred Warner is going to have his ankle injury assessed in San Francisco on Monday. As injury reports come out, those injuries could cause the spread to move a point towards Green Bay.

The one play I do like in this game is under 48.5. It’s going to be cold in Green Bay on Saturday with a high of 21 and a low of 4. If the Packers are able to build up a lead, they’ll slow the pace of the game down and close out the 49ers with a ground and pound game with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. — Andrew DeWitt, senior Sports Betting editor

(Photo of Aaron Rodgers: Nic Antaya / Getty Images; The Athletic may receive an affiliate commission if you open an account with BetMGM through links contained in the above article.)

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