The 49ers are understandably large underdogs against Aaron Rodgers & the Packers in Week 4. But we think the odds are a bit too high and are making a big dog pick on San Fran.
Green Bay Packers (-9) vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Green Bay Packers visit the San Francisco 49ers for this 4:25 PM kick. It is a battle of teams who appear to be headed opposite directions. That is what in part makes this such a contrary pick, and why it will be a point spread winner.
San Francisco hosted a quickly improving Minnesota team in week 1 of MNF. The line maker looked brilliant when he opened the Niners as a small favorite. By kickoff, the Vikings moved to 3 point road chalk. Final: San Francisco 20, Minnesota 3, in a game totally dominated by the home standing Niners. In week 2, the public was eager to back the Niners, as they traveled cross country on a short week to face a Pittsburgh team, who had lost game 1 in New England. That wait was too much for the Niners to bear, as they were blown out by the Steelers (43-18). It was a contrary selection last week on these pages to back San Francisco as 6 point pup when they traveled to Arizona, a field where they had much success. On the first two offensive plays, QB Kap threw consecutive pick sixes, and the rout was on. The eventual score was Arizona 47, San Francisco 7, in a game where Arizona out yarded the Niners 447-156. A (+3) net TO margin sealed the deal. That was part of a 4-0 ATS record for (+3) net TO teams last week, running the YTD total to 10-0 ATS, just slightly above the long term mark of 92%. At this point in the season, it is starting to look like the Niners will be the NFL team who is playing like they have the biggest roster change in the league. As first year HC Tomsula stands on the sideline with a quizzical, puzzled, confused, and at times frustrated look on his face, he must surely be thinking he is in over his head. On the 49ers behalf, however, is the fact that they are controlling the line of scrimmage, rushing the ball an average of 33 times a game for 148/4.5, numbers that are second only to the Buffalo Bills. They allow 98/3.7 overland, yielding a strong differential. Fly in the ointment is a defense allowing 70% completions and 6.7 YP play. Not good when facing the strong right arm of Aaron Rodgers. Supporting our positive stance is an over 80% success rate of home dogs who gave up 40 or more points in their previous game. All the 49ers’ struggles are reflected in this line…and more. Now the 49ers catch a Green Bay team who is traveling in a poor situation.
After cruising by Chicago (31-23), the Packers returned home to double avenge Seattle (27-17). Last week on MNF, Green Bay hosted Kansas City. In what turned out to be a shootout, the Packers won 38-28. QB Rodgers led a passing attack that gained 333 yards, but the meaningful edge came at the point of attack, where Green Bay rushed the ball 32 times for 123 yards to 18/75 for Kansas City. This puts the Packers in a negative situation as they travel west with little respect for the 49ers. In that regard, I note that the Packers are 0-5 ATS following their last 5 MNF appearances.
NFL Pick: San Francisco 49ers +9 (-105) at Bovada