There are only eight teams left with a chance to win Super Bowl LV and after this weekend we will be down to the final-four. The NFC’s No. 1 seed, the (13-3) Green Bay Packers will host the No. 5 seeded (10-5) Los Angeles Rams on Saturday, January 16, at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX. It should come as no surprise that Lambeau Field will be frozen for a game in January as the kick-off time temperature is expected to be around 20 degrees. Let’s check out all the latest Packers vs Rams betting news.
— NFL (@NFL) January 12, 2021
Divisional Round NFL Playoffs
In boxing, it is said that styles make a fight, well if this game was a fight, then it would have two styles that make for a great story. The first game to bet on the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs features the best-offense taking on the best-defense. The Packers’ offense finished first in the NFL by averaging 31.8 points per game, while the Rams’ defense finished first in the NFL by averaging 18.5 points allowed per game.
The league's No. 1 scoring offense vs. the No. 1 scoring defense.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 12, 2021
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Let’s take a look at the NFL divisional matchups that are going to matter most and find where each team may have an advantage. I will start off with what has made the Packers special this year and, since no one is really giving the Rams’ much of a chance, I will breakdown why the Rams could upset the Packers.
What made the (13-3) Packers the NFC’s No. 1 seed
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 4, 2021
Aaron Rodgers and Devante Adams
Aaron Rodgers is most-likely going to win his third-MVP award later this month after having one of the best seasons of his 15-year career. Rodgers led the league in completion rate (70.7%), touchdown passes (48), touchdown rate (9.1%), and interception rate (1.0%) while his 8.2 yards per pass attempt were his most in a season since 2014.
Despite missing two games, Adams caught a league-leading 18 touchdowns and has caught 25 touchdown passes over the past 22 games played dating back to last season with just six games during that run going scoreless.
The connection between Rodgers and Adams has been the difference in most games that the Packers have played this year.
Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams in the red zone slowly morphed from misdirection to get Adams in space to run plays with an Adams option to just beat a dude — he always beat the dude. pic.twitter.com/N8wWKKQTEY
— Dan Pizzuta (@DanPizzuta) January 12, 2021
Aaron Jones and the O-line
Aaron Jones closed the regular season with 1,459 total yards and 11 touchdowns in his 14 games played. Jones once again did not receive top-shelf usage like his RB1 peers, averaging 17.7 touches per game (12th), but remained one of the league’s most explosive backs, matching a career-high with 5.9 yards per touch.
“The unsung heroes of the squad (are) those seven linemen, eight linemen who’ve played a lot for us, make all of our jobs easier,” said Rodgers. The Packers finished fifth in sack percentage allowed in providing superb protection for Rodgers for most of the season. The Packers had four players named to the All-Pro first-team, and two of the players are on the offensive line, C Corey Linsley and T David Bakhtiari.
Bakhtiari will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL, but the Packers picked up OT Jared Veldheer to help replace him. No stranger to Green Bay, because Veldheer was signed by the Packers for last season’s Divisional playoff game against the Seahawks. He was retired for most of the season this year, but the Colts signed him to the practice squad and started him in their playoff game last week. Veldheer could be the first player to play for different teams in the same playoffs, but he will miss this game because of a positive COVID-19 test.
The Rams Can Win and Here is How
The Packers dominated where it mattered most, ranking No. 2 in third-down percentage and perhaps No. 1 in NFL history in the red zone. Los Angeles was first in yards allowed per game and per play, including first in passing yards allowed per game and per play.
Los Angeles No. 1 Ranked Defense
The Rams’ defense will need to generate pressure on Rodgers. Their 53 sacks in the regular season were No. 2 in the NFL while they added another five sacks last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Los Angeles will first need to stop the run and put Green Bay into obvious passing-downs for them to generate consistent pressure.
Los Angeles Rams: the only CB unit to not allow a 20+ yard passing TD this season ❌ ✈️ pic.twitter.com/1oy3iLaImy
— PFF (@PFF) January 12, 2021
The Rams are the league’s best run defense in EPA and allowed the fewest explosive rushing yardage per game (29.1 yards per game). Just three backs posted 100 or more yards against the Rams this season, with all three of those coming in the opening three weeks of the season. Chris Carson’s 82 yards last Saturday were the most by a back against Los Angeles since Week 3.
Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey
The Rams have the two-best defenders in the NFL to stop a team built like the Packers. Six-time All-Pro DT Aaron Donald is widely considered the NFL’s best defensive-player. In seven seasons, he has 85.5 sacks. He is having another monster year, with 13.5 sacks and four forced fumbles and he led all interior defensive linemen with 98 QB pressures — 27 more than anyone else and 21 more than all of the Packer’s interior linemen combined. Donald added two sacks in Saturday’s playoff victory over Seattle before exiting with an injured rib in the third quarter. He should play but it is worth monitoring how bothered he is by his ribs before placing a bet.
Aaron Donald 🐐👑 pic.twitter.com/NjQGEc3ri3
— PFF (@PFF) January 9, 2021
Two-time, First-team All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey is the best corner in the game. The Rams gave up two-first round picks and a fourth round pick to acquire Ramsey, but it has definitely paid-off and may be the best trade we’ve seen in awhile in the NFL. Ramsey is about the only guy who can match-up with Adams and actually shut him down. Last week Ramsey limited the Seahawks DK Metcalf to three catches and 33 yards when he covered him. Ramsey’s ability to shut down half the field, will allow the Rams to put extra defenders on GB pass-catchers not named Adams – Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 12, 2021
No. 1 Packers vs No. 6 Rams – Betting Breakdown: Final Score Predictions
Aaron Rodgers vs Aaron Donald next week🍿
The two highest-graded players in the NFL (94.5) pic.twitter.com/fJj343RWje
— PFF (@PFF) January 11, 2021
The Packers are seven-point favorites over the Rams. Even though I laid out how the Rams could beat the Packers, I totally agree with this line.
The Rams’ QBs Are a Concern
In NFL injury news, the Rams are having some serious QB struggles. Starting QB Jarred Goff had to surgically get pins put in his throwing-thumb, and their back-up John Wolford had to be rushed to the hospital after a hard hit to his head and neck in the wild-card round.
Even if Goff was healthy his play to end the season would still be a concern. Goff also has performed poorly in cold weather games during his career. Goff is 34 of 72 for 381 with 0-TDs and 5-INTs in games that were below freezing. It will be below-freezing in Green Bay on Saturday.
Goff also has not been a high-flying postseason performer to date. In five career postseason games now, Goff has completed 54.1% of his passes for 6.6 yards per attempt with three-touchdowns and two-interceptions.
Aaron Rodgers is 26-9-1 ATS (74%) and 29-7 SU (81%) in outdoor games with a kickoff temp below freezing
(32 degrees or lower)
6-2 SU and 5-2-1 ATS in the playoffs
(stat via @CBSSportsHQ )
— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) January 13, 2021
Packers’ defense should give the Rams’ offense trouble
The Packers’ defense against the Rams’ offense is another reason that Green Bay should advance. The Packers should be able to slow down Rams’ RB Cam Akers better than Seattle did. With the Rams’ passing attack going dormant, Akers was leaned on heavily in his past five games as he has a combined 124-touches for 612-yards in those games. Green Bay closed the season by holding Derrick Henry and David Montgomery to a combined 167 rushing yards on 45 carries, meaning they should be able to slow down Akers, and make Goff or Wolford beat them through the air.
Most valuable defenders this season, per PFF WAR:
🔸 Jaire Alexander
🔸 Adrian Amos
🔸 Xavien Howard
🔸 Jalen Ramsey pic.twitter.com/L1QsIwrrKn
— PFF (@PFF) January 8, 2021
Throwing on the Packers´ has not come very easy this year as they have been able to provide pressure on QBs and blanket recievers downfield. Second-team All-Pro players LB Za’Darius Smith and CB Jaire Alexander have been the key pieces for the Packers defense having success in defending the pass this season.
Final Score – Packers 31, Rams 20
The Rams have the defense to make it tough on Green Bay to run away with this game. But when it comes down to it, the Rams do not have the fire-power on offense right now to steal this game. The Rams will want to keep it close. This will play right into Green Bay’s hands. Rodgers is capable of winning this game in the fourth quarter and that is the difference when betting this game.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 12, 2021
I think the game will be controlled by the Packers throughout. The Rams will not be able to cover the spread because of the lack of solid QB-play down the stretch. This will limit their ability to make it close at the end.