49ers vs. Packers First Half Spread Pick
The 49ers are laying 7.5 points to the Packers in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game in Santa Clara while the first-half line is San Francisco -4.5. When it comes to that first-half number, what’s the best play for bettors?
First-Half Spread & Total
As previously mentioned, the 49ers are laying 7.5 points to the Packers in tonight’s NFC Championship Game, although our NFL Betting Odds page shows that some online sportsbooks are moving San Francisco to -8. As for the first-half number, the 49ers are currently laying 4.5 at Caesars Casino and Sportsbook, with the juice shaded at -115 to San Francisco. As for the total, the number sits at 46.5 for the game and 22.5 for the first half, with the juice shaded to the over (-120).
Where is the money going?
According to our NFL Football Public Betting Chart page, the 49ers are receiving 53% of the betting tickets from online sportsbooks. That’s down from the over 60-percent of betting tickets that San Francisco was receiving throughout the week. Keep checking the link provided because 1) we update our public betting chart page routinely and 2) if the line jumps to -8 but the public starts backing the Packers, we have a reverse line movement situation on our hands, which is often the best indication that sharps are on one side (in this case, they’d be on the Niners).
First-Half Spread Prediction
The Packers are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven playoff games and 4-1 against the number in their last five playoff road games, while the Niners are just 7-19-1 against the number in their last 27 games as a home favorite. Those trends are for the entire game, however. How have these two teams fared in the first half?
The Packers covered the three points in the first half last week of their 28-23 win over the Seahawks in the Divisional round. In their five games played in the month of December during the regular-season, Green Bay was a near-perfect 4-1 against the spread in the first-half, with its one blemish coming versus the Lions in Week 17 when the team failed to cover as a 7-point road dog in the first two quarters. On the road this season, the Packers are just 4-4 against the spread in the first-half, which includes an ATS loss as a 2.5-point road dog versus the 49ers back in November.
On the other side, the 49ers pushed as a 4-point first-half favorite versus the Vikings, although Minnesota intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo late in the second quarter and scored to give the visitors that push. In five regular-season games in December, the Niners went 3-2 against the spread in the first half, but 0-2 ATS in their two home games. For the season, San Francisco is 9-7-1 ATS in the first half, but just 3-5-1 ATS at home in the first half.
With not much separating the Packers and 49ers in the first half of games this season, what’s the best play? When you take a deeper dive into San Francisco’s first-half ATS numbers, you’ll see that the Niners are 1-6-1 against the number when they’re laying 3.5 points or more in the first two quarters. That doesn’t include the first meeting between these two teams, when the Niners covered as a 2.5-point favorite versus the Packers in the first half. Thus, when the number is big, the Niners don’t fare well in the first half. As for the Packers, they were never an underdog of more than 3 points in the first half of any game this season, although Green Bay was 2-0 against the spread when receiving a field goal or more.
Given how quickly things unraveled for the Packers in the first meeting between these two teams, I see Green Bay playing a better half to start this game and cashing the 4.5-point ticket. That’s still a lot of points given the limited first-half possessions for both teams. Plus, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t turn the ball over a lot, but he did in the first half of that game. If he simply protects the ball, I see the Pack covering in the first half.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST HALF SPREAD PREDICTION: PACKERS +4.5