49ers-Packers spread: Will the cold weather make the under a more valuable bet?

We take a look at the 49ers-Packers spread and over/under in advance of a really cold game.

SB Nation 2014 NFL Playoff Coverage

The San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers will square off in historically cold weather Sunday afternoon. There is plenty to consider in this game, and sometimes looking at the gambling numbers can be of some help.

The 49ers enter the game as a 2 1/2 point favorite, and the over/under set at 45 1/2. The line really hasn't changed much, bouncing around 2 1/2 to 3 points throughout the week. It's not like the Chiefs-Colts line, which swung from Colts 2 1/2 to Chiefs 2 1/2, with most of the action happening on Friday and Saturday.

My initial thought with cold weather was that this could turn into a bit more low scoring affair. The ball is going to be harder, and I figured we could see some drops and general problems hanging on to the ball. While it is entirely possible that does happen, the numbers indicate the over is actually a pretty decent bet in cold weather.

According to our friends at covers.com, in all NFL games played at 31 degrees or less since 2004, the over/under count finished over 60.6 percent of the time. It's also worth noting, the home team is 69-71-1 against the spread in those games. For some more specifics, since 2004, 67 percent of games (23) in 19 degrees or colder have hit the over.

Given that this could be one of the five or ten coldest games in NFL history, I'm not entirely sure how much we can consider some of these records. I think both teams can find ways to score in this weather, but ball control is probably my biggest concern. Whether it be LaMichael James on returns, or the wide receivers just hauling in passes. The latter is probably a lesser concern. Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin strike me as guys who can hang on to the ball, even in the cold. Boldin specifically is about as tough as they come.

Here are some trends for 49ers vs. Packers, courtesy of Odds Shark:

  • Teams have played six straight OVERs since 2006
  • 49ers are just 1-8 SU at Green Bay since 1996
  • 49ers are 10-3-1 ATS past 14 road games
  • 49ers are 8-1 SU and ATS past nine games as road chalk
  • Packers are 1-7 ATS past eight games as underdogs
  • Packers are 5-1 ATS as home dog with Rodgers as QB
  • Packers are 5-2 ATS past seven playoff games
  • 49ers lost five of past six playoff road games SU
  • NFC Wild Card computer prediction: 30-21 San Francisco

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