Free Picks for Packers vs. Seahawks in NFC Championship

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 12, 2015 4:50 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 4:50 PM GMT

Both Green Bay and Seattle have the ability to be balanced offensively, which provides betting value to the ‘Under’ in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

Moving the Football
Green Bay hit its marks of throwing for 300-plus yards and running for another 119 in capturing a 26-21 victory over Dallas as 5.5-point home favorites Sunday, which is important to consider when making your NFL playoff picks, as it looks to gain revenge for a season-opening loss.

The Packers were limited to 255 total yards in a 36-16 defeat to the Seahawks as 4.5-point road underdogs on Sept. 4, with Aaron Rodgers finishing with just 189 passing yards on 23 completion, while Eddie Lacy was limited to 34 yards on 12 carries.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 14-7 SU and 12-7-2 ATS versus teams with a winning record.

 

All Business
Seattle became the first defending Super Bowl champion to win a playoff game the following season since 2006, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NFL playoff odds lines, as it came away with a 31-17 victory over Carolina as 13.5-point home favorites last Saturday.

The Seahawks have won their last eight postseason games at CenturyLink Field, while quarterback Russell Wilson continues to get better with each week—connecting on all eight of his pass attempts on third down last time out.

Since the start of the 2012 campaign, the franchise is 18-4 SU and 16-6 ATS as favorites of 3.5 to 9.5 points, with no clear edge in terms of the betting total (11-11 Over/Under).

 

Targeting Sherman
Much was made of Rodgers not throwing a single pass in the direction of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman in the previous meeting this season, but I’m not sure he needs to in trying to exact revenge in this spot. Green Bay placed its No. 3 wide receiver on Sherman’s side of the field for a majority of the contest—freeing up Jordy Nelson to finish with nine catches for 83 yards.

The Packers demonstrated the ability to move the football without a major contribution from their star wideout against the Cowboys, as he grabbed just two balls for 22 yards.

 

A Potential Weakness?
The Seahawks allowed the Panthers to gain 132 yards on the ground in the divisional round—the fourth-highest total that the defending champs have surrendered in 2014-15.

Seattle is certainly capable of tightening things up against a familiar foe, as it has held nine opponents to single-digit point totals at this venue over the last three seasons—the most such games in the league in that span.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their top football picks, as the UNDER is 3-1 in the Packers last four playoff games, while the Seahawks have fallen short of the number in five of its last seven contests overall.

Free NFL Pick:  Under 47 at 5Dimes

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