NFC Championship Betting: Green Bay Packers: The Good and the Bad
The Green Bay Packers are a team with a championship quarterback, but a coach who’s on his maiden voyage. They’ve got all the tradition in the world. But that really doesn’t mean a whole lot when you have to play 60 minutes against a better team to get back to the Super Bowl.
The odds may not be in their favor, but what IS? It’s worth taking a look into. And what are those things that stand in their way, aside from the San Francisco 49ers? That’s their opponent in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (6:40 PM ET).
Here are the odds in that game, according to our friends at BetAnySports:
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers Odds
|Packers||+7½ (-110)||46½ (-105)||+299|
|49ers||-7½ (-110)||46½ (-115)||-375|
So what do the Packers have going for them?
The experienced quarterback
Of the four teams that are left in the post-season, the Packers have the most experienced quarterback. Aaron Rodgers has been down this road before. He has won a Super Bowl and two MVP awards. And he can rise to the occasion, as he did against Seattle when it counted last week.
If you have witnessed many years of NFL playoff football, you know what experienced leadership can mean. And when you’ve got a guy like Rodgers, who doesn’t throw away the football, you’ve got a chance.
Dual-purpose running backs
Matt LaFleur, who has been the coordinator with the Rams and Titans, needs the running backs to work. And they do, to the extent that they complement what Rodgers does.
Aaron Jones was a 1000-yard rusher, and scored 16 touchdowns. Between him and Jamaal Williams, they had 88 receptions. LaFleur seeks to throw off defenses with play-action. That worked pretty well for him with the Rams.
Here are the future odds……
On each individual team to win the Super Bowl, according to BetAnySports:
Kansas City Chiefs +125
San Francisco 49ers +175
Tennessee Titans +650
Green Bay Packers +785
So what’s going against the Packers?
Rodgers isn’t the guy he used to be
In the second half of the season, Rodgers averaged 5.9 yards per attempt. And the team wasn’t all that successful in converting on third downs (just 36%). He had a higher percentage of “bad throws” than any starting quarterback in the league.
We’re really not sure if it is just a product of Rodgers getting a little older. Or is it a new system that he’s had to adapt to under LaFleur? Rodgers became a creature of habit under Mike McCarthy. He was not brought out of his comfort zone. But now that’s exactly where he’s wandered. The Packers have won games anyway. But can that continue?
The Packers can’t stop the run
There is almost no metric that indicates the Packers can stop most NFL ground games, much less one that is very proficient. They are 31st out of 32 teams in terms of “stuff rate.” This measures the frequency by which a defense holds an opponent to no gain or traps it for a loss. And they are almost as bad in the open field. They are also next to last in “adjusted yards per carry.” Put very simply, this is one of the worst run defenses in the league.
This state of affairs leaves the Pack vulnerable to at least a couple of teams remaining. One of them, of course, is the Tennessee Titans. That’s because they possess a bulldozer in Derrick Henry. But they have to get past the other team first. San Francisco has a three-headed monster at running back that can exploit what Green Bay does poorly.
We report, YOU decide.
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