Just four teams remain from the NFC, and after this weekend, two will play in the NFC Championship Game. The San Francisco 49ers pulled off an upset after the Dallas Cowboys ran the clock out on themselves, while the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cruised in the Wild Card round.
The Green Bay Packers had a first-round bye and will host the 49ers while the Rams head to Tampa Bay. There’s plenty of NFL betting to be had on these exciting matchups, so let’s have a look at who is likely to prevail this weekend.
Rams at Buccaneers (-3)
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022
- Time: 3:00 PM EST
- Venue: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
The Buccaneers are first in the league in yards per game (402.8), while the Rams are eighth (372.2 YPG).
Defensively, the Buccaneers rank third in yards allowed per game (92.7), and I don’t expect the Rams’ 25th ranked running game to have much success.
The Buccaneers rely on their passing game to move the ball on offense, and even with the return of RB Leonard Fournette, I think the quarterbacks decide this game.
Both teams have top-five passing attacks and beatable secondaries, with each ranking in the bottom third of the league in passing yards allowed per game. It should be a classic quarterback matchup, and I believe that Tom Brady has the edge.
Brady, at age 44, orchestrated another MVP caliber season, throwing for 5,316 yards and 43 TDs. While Stafford threw for 4,886 yards and 41 TDs this season, he’s only won one playoff game in his career.
The Bucs love to start fast, averaging 6.7 points in the first quarter. A fast start for the Bucs means the pressure will fall on Stafford, who has thrown eight interceptions in his past five games. The Buccaneers have a +10 turnover differential on the year, while the Rams are only +2. I like the Buccaneers to win this game because of their ability to score early in games and because they do a better job of limiting turnovers.
49ers at Packers (-5.5)
- Date: Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022
- Time: 8:15 PM EST
- Venue: Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI
San Francisco has now won eight of its last ten games and has held its opponents to 20 points or less in four of their previous five games.
Meanwhile, the Packers have been rolling themselves, winning five straight before a Week 18 game where Rodgers only played until halftime. Green Bay was also undefeated at home this year.
Both teams are balanced, with Green Bay ranking tenth in scoring offense (26.5 PPG) and 13th in points allowed (21.8 PPG), while the 49ers rank 13th (25 PPG) and eighth (21.2 PPG), respectively.
What could be San Francisco’s undoing are turnovers. QB Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown 12 interceptions this season, and he’s also dealing with a thumb and shoulder injury. Rodgers, meanwhile, only threw four interceptions on the season. The Packers have a +13 turnover differential, while San Francisco has a -4 differential.
This one has upset potential, but I have to lean toward the home team with the MVP quarterback and a massive advantage in turnover differential. I expect the Packers to win this game.
Who Plays in the NFC Championship Game?
I like the Packers and Bucs to advance in what would be an epic Brady/Rodgers showdown in the NFC Championship. It certainly won’t come easy for either team this week, though.
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