SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 24: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looking to pass … [+]
The 2020 NFC Championship Game, kicking off at 6:40 p.m. ET and televised by FOX, is set to renew the historic rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. These storied franchises have seen plenty of one another throughout the last few decades, especially at this time of year. Today’s meeting will be the eighth NFL Playoff matchup between these clubs since 1995, the most in the league in that span. Green Bay holds a 4-3 edge in the postseason series (as well as a 36-31-1 lead in all games), but San Francisco is favored to tie things up with a victory at Levi’s Stadium this evening.
Oddsmakers opened betting with the 49ers as seven-point chalk in the NFC Championship Game, a line that the public has been relatively split on. San Francisco is currently drawing a slight majority of both wagers (53%) and money (55%) risked against the spread, which has played a role in moving the line a half-point further in favor of the Niners. It’s hardly a surprise after the 49ers ran all over the Minnesota Vikings in the Divisional last week and breezed through the 2020 NFL Playoff bracket to reach the conference championship, while the Packers struggled at times against a flawed Seattle Seahawks foe in their postseason opener last week. The total on this contest has also shifted a bit based on public betting trends, jumping up to 46.5 points—after going up on the board at 45—due to lopsided action on the over, which has garnered 68% of all tickets and 74% of the handle as of Sunday morning. These teams combined to generate 45 points in their last showdown, although San Francisco was responsible for most of those after notching a 37-8 victory in that primetime affair back in Week 12.
Will the Packers find a way to avenge the embarrassing defeat they suffered against this foe back in November, or will the 49ers secure another easy victory despite the stakes being raised with a trip to Super Bowl LIV on the line tonight? Those looking for an answer to that question have come to the right place, as Vegas expert Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com has sent along his prediction on the outcome of the 2020 NFC Championship Game. You can find the pro handicapper’s pick against the spread at the end of this article, but first have a peek at the complete conference championship schedule, start times, TV channel, live streaming info, final odds and updated 2020 NFL Playoff bracket. There are also betting trends, quotes, tweets and more to assist you in making the best possible bet against the spread on this Packers vs. 49ers battle in the NFC Championship Game.
NFL Playoffs 2020 – Conference Championship Viewing Guide
The 2020 NFC Championship will be live streamed on FOX Sports GO, the 2020 AFC Championship Game will be streamed via CBS All Access.
2020 NFL Playoff Bracket
NFL Playoff Bracket 2020
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers Betting Trends
- San Francisco owns a 5-2 SU and 5-1-1 ATS record over its last seven matchups with the Packers. The 49ers handily covered the three-point spread when they last saw the Packers in Week 12, winning that Sunday Night Football game by a 37-8 margin.
- Green Bay is just 1-3 SU and ATS over its last four trips to San Francisco.
- These organizations have met seven times in the postseason since 1996, with Green Bay owning a 4-3 SU and 4-1-2 ATS record in those contests. The 49ers are 2-0 SU and 1-0-1 ATS in playoff matchups against Aaron Rodgers, however, besting the Packers signal-caller in both the 2013 Divisional and 2014 Wild Card, the most recent elimination contest featuring these teams. Rodgers is just 4-5 SU and 2-6-1 ATS in all games against San Francisco during his career.
- The Packers have gone 6-2 ATS on the road this year and 3-1 ATS as a road underdog, the only contests in which they were ‘dogs in 2019. San Francisco is 4-4-1 ATS at home, where they were favored in every game this season. The Niners went 5-6-1 ATS across the 12 total games they were favored in.
- Green Bay had 10 of its 17 games land UNDER the total, while the 49ers equally split their totals with eight overs and eight unders and one push this year.
- All four games with a total of 45 points or less during the 2019 NFL Playoffs have gone UNDER.
- The 49ers are riding a two-game SU and ATS winning streak into the 2020 NFC Championship Game, while the Packers
- Green Bay and San Francisco are both tied for best winning percentage in the league coming into the conference championships with 14-3 SU (82.3%) records in all games—including playoffs—this season. The Packers have been just slightly better against the number in these contests, going 11-6 ATS (64.7% cover rate) in comparison to 10-6-1 ATS (62.5%) mark that the 49ers own.
- The Packers won 13 games during the regular season and are now the third consecutive team to come into the NFC Championship Game as an underdog after doing so. The last two—the 2018 Los Angeles Rams and 2017 Philadelphia Eagles—not only covered, but also outright won to earn a Super Bowl berth.
- Rookie head coaches, such as Green Bay’s Matt LaFleur, are just 1-6 SU and ATS over their last seven matchups with a more experienced coach in a conference championship game.
- The 49ers went 0-6-1 ATS during the regular season when favored by six or more points. Their 27-10 victory over the Vikings as seven-point chalk in the Divisional was their first cover in such a game since the start of the campaign.
- Each of Green Bay’s three losses this year were by seven or more points, including the 29-point defeat against San Francisco back in November.
NFC Championship Game 2020 Quotes
ESPN Stats & Info found that today’s NFC Championship Game will be just the third ever conference championship contested by a pair of teams that both had losing records the prior year:
Adam Schefter pointed out what each side could accomplish by securing a trip to the Super Bowl tonight:
Rob Lowder highlighted Jimmy Garoppolo’s impressive numbers in five meetings with opponents that made the 2020 NFL Playoffs:
ESPN tweeted a clip from Week 12 of Aaron Rodgers telling Jimmy Garoppolo that they would see one another again soon after the Packers were embarrassed on national television:
NFL Research noted that each of Aaron Rodgers’ last five postseason losses all came against teams that also beat him during the regular season:
NFL Update posted the numerous connections between the coaching staffs for each franchise involved in the 2020 NFC Championship Game, including both head coaches working together for three other organizations:
Akash Anavarathan reported that both sides are almost entirely healthy just in time to compete to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIV
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers Quotes
Courtesy of 49ers.com
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked about the challenges of facing Green Bay for a second time this season:
They were a pretty good team before we played them last time. I think that game just got away from them with the turnover to start and things like that. They played the same way they played all year. They just had one bad game. They have been a tough team offensively and defensively all year and done a good job not turning it over and their defense has kept people from scoring.
San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo discussed the chess match involved with squaring off with the same opponent in the playoffs that they saw during the regular season:
Yeah, whenever you have to do that, it’s always different the second time. It’s a lot of the cat and mouse, we think they’re going to do this, they think we’re going to do that type of thing, and just the back and forth with it. At the end of the day, you’ve got to go out there and play and react to what’s happening on the field.
49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley spoke about the history between San Francisco and Green Bay:
We’ve had a lot of games and had some big games in the playoffs and whatnot. Seem to find each other all the time during the regular season, as well. A team that we are familiar with and we’ve had a lot of great battles with throughout the years during my playing career here. But you know, this is a completely new game and it’s one game at a time. We are expecting their best and we are expecting to have a good, physical game on Sunday.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur had high praise for San Francisco’s star tight end George Kittle:
He’s a great player. He makes plays all over the place. What’s so impressive about George is he doesn’t only do it in the pass game. He’s so efficient in the run game. I think he’s the most complete tight end in the National Football League. I love watching this guy play. Just the emotion he plays with. The energy. He’s a big part of that football team. We’ve got to make sure that we do our best to try and contain him as best as we can. He’s going to get his touches. He’s going to get his yards. What we can’t get beat on is the big play, when they ran the keeper corner post last time we played them for a touchdown. Just got to do our best to eliminate those types of plays.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers gave some insight into how the Packers prepared for the 2020 NFC Championship Game:
I think we all like the plan. It was a good week of practice. Obviously, I don’t think it was the plan’s fault last time, it was the execution. We were so bad on third down and we let them get after us up front. In the pass game, I turned the ball over. A lot of things that didn’t go well the last time definitely want to fix that. Feel good about the week of preparation, the play and the focus of the guys.
Packers wideout Davante Adams broke down the head-to-head matchup he’ll see against 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman:
He’s definitely a great player. People have said a lot about whether he’s fell off or whatever. I don’t see that. I see that he’s still the same guy, still making plays and a respectable corner. The way I attack is just like every other guy. I don’t try to change anything because you’ve got a little bit more talent than the next guy. I just try to play my game and make you play my game. Hopefully that changes the way you go about your business.
2020 NFC Championship Game Prediction
Pick: Packers +7.5
Prediction: Packers 27 – 49ers 24