Injured Jimmy Garoppolo More Valuable to 49ers Betting Odds Than Healthy Trey Lance

Injured Jimmy Garoppolo More Valuable to 49ers Betting Odds Than Healthy Trey Lance article feature image

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance

One of the big unknowns surrounding the matchup between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers on Saturday is what to expect at quarterback from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo is expected to play on Saturday in the NFC Divisional Round while dealing with a thumb injury and sprained throwing shoulder. He was not listed on the injury report, but it's clear he will not be 100%.

The betting odds reflect the uncertainty, with the 49ers opening as 4.5-point underdogs but moving to +6 when word spread of Garoppolo's shoulder injury.

The line has settled — for now — at 5.5. Find real-time odds here.

But what should bettors make of the quarterback situation? How much does it matter whether it's Garoppolo or rookie Trey Lance under center?

According to The Action Network's Director of Predictive Analytics Sean Koerner, Garoppolo is a clear upgrade over Lance, but not so much in his current state.

Koerner makes Garoppolo worth 2.5-to-3 points to the spread over Lance when healthy. However, with Garoppolo playing through multiple injuries, he's downgraded the number.

"It’s closer to 1.5 points with the injuries," Koerner said.  "I moved my projection from GB -4 to -5.5, which is in line with the market."

If anything changes with Garoppolo in the 24 hours before kickoff, that would make the 49ers a 6.5- or 7-point underdog with Lance, according to Koerner's projection.

This data can also help if a quarterback switch were to happen in the middle of the game, though many other factors go into live betting than pre-game worth to the number.

In the Wild Card Round against the Dallas Cowboys, Garoppolo threw for 172 yards with no touchdowns and an interception while completing 64% of his passes. However, he showed in a comeback win against the Rams in Week 18 that he can pick up the offense with his arm. He threw for 316 yards on 23-of-32 passing in a 27-24 overtime win.

Lance has appeared in six games this year, taking significant snaps in three of them. In his most recent start on Jan. 2 against the Houston Texans, Lance was 16-of-23 for 249 yards with two touchdowns and a pick. He ran eight times for 31 yards.

Regardless of who is under center, the key for a 49ers win will likely come on the ground against a Packers defense that ranks 28th in DVOA against the run.

Well, that and stopping Aaron Rodgers.

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