San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (+2.5, 45.5)
The San Francisco 49ers enter the postseason as the league's hottest team and it may take the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field to cool them off when they visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The 49ers closed the regular season with six consecutive wins and have won the past three matchups with the Packers, who clinched the NFC North last week with a 33-28 win at Chicago in Aaron Rodgers' return to the lineup. It will be a rematch of the season opener, won by host San Francisco 34-28.
Green Bay has been unable to slow the 49ers' offense, surrendering an average of 36.3 points in the past three defeats, including a 45-31 drubbing in last season's playoffs. The last two meetings have been in San Francisco, but the weather could have a major bearing on Sunday's matchup - the high temperature is expected to be zero degrees with wind chills reaching minus-30. "You just have to block it out," said 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has accounted for seven touchdowns in the past two matchups.TV:
4:40 p.m. ET, Fox.LINE:
The 49ers opened as 2.5-point road faves. The total opened 48.5 but is down to 45.5.WEATHER:
Temperatures will hover around zero degrees with wind blowing across the field at 12 mph.ABOUT THE 49ERS (12-4):
Kaepernick has shown an ability to beat Green Bay with both his legs and arm, rushing for a record 181 yards with a combined four TDs in last year's playoff victory and throwing for 412 yards and three scoring passes in the Week 1 victory. Wideout Michael Crabtree had nine catches for 119 yards and two TDs in last season's playoff meeting and has 19 receptions in five games since returning from Achilles' tendon surgery. Anquan Boldin torched the Packers for 13 catches and 208 yards in Week 1 while tight end Vernon Davis has surpassed 100 yards in four of his five postseason games. The running game is headed by Frank Gore, who is coming off his seventh 1,000-yard season, while San Francisco's defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season and limited 11 of its last 13 opponents to 20 points or fewer.ABOUT THE PACKERS (8-7-1):
Green Bay's offense went into a tailspin after Rodgers suffered a fractured collarbone that caused him to miss seven games, failing to score more than 13 points in three of its first four games without the former MVP. Rodgers threw for 318 yards and a pair of TDs in his first game back, including the game-winning 48-yard strike to Randall Cobb, who was back in the lineup for the first time since suffering a knee injury in Week 6. Cobb provides a dangerous weapon opposite Jordy Nelson (10 receptions for 161 yards last week) and opens up the running game for bruising rookie Eddie Lacy, who rushed for 1,178 yards and 11 TDs, and James Starks. The big concern is a defense that surrenders 26.8 points, has allowed seven 100-yard rushers in the last nine and is without pass-rushing linebacker Clay Matthews.TRENDS:
* Over is 6-0 in the last six meetings.
* 49ers are 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Packers are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.
* Over is 5-1 in Packers last six games overall.EXTRA POINTS:
1. Green Bay and San Francisco rank third and fourth in all-time postseason wins with 30 and 28, respectively.
2. Davis has five touchdown receptions and averages 109.2 receiving yards in five postseason games.
3. Rodgers owns the third-highest passer rating in league history at 103.6.