NFL Picks: Packers vs. 49ers

Swinging Johnson

Thursday, September 5, 2013 3:00 PM UTC

Thursday, Sep. 5, 2013 3:00 PM UTC

This NFC marquee matchup kicks off at Candlestick Park but will the Packers exact revenge from last year's playoff loss or will the Niners hold strong? Let's find the value in our NFL odds.

Swinger's Corner: NFL Record (0-0, 0.00 units)

All wagers based on a 1 to 5 unit system

Can we all manage a little restraint here boys and girls? It's Week 1 in the NFL and the rust is still visible on even the most battle-tested veterans. It's not a good time to manufacture an opinion in order to give you an excuse to bury one team or the other.

So with that said, I am pleased that my editor assigned me this game because we're talking two teams that could very well meet in the NFC Conference championship game. This should be a dandy so let's analyze this game as one of our NFL picks. But just remember that rosters change, players change and coaching staffs change. We also know that some players mature into better players while others get old overnight.

Without further ado, let's evaluate this bad boy and try to put some cushion in our wallet!

Let's revisit 2012

The long and short of it kids is that the Packers had no answer to the questions posed by the 49'ers last season. The Pack lost their very first game of the year at Lambeau by the score of 30-22 with Alex Smith pulling the trigger for San Fran. Fast forward to the divisional round of the playoffs with the incumbent Colin Kaepernick calling signals and the end result was the same, only this time the scores were even higher as San Francisco prevailed 45-31.

No Crabtree

Okay let's talk about the missing piece of the Niners offensive puzzle. Kaepernick's best buddy, between the lines at least, Michael Crabtree will not be suiting up as he is still rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon which may shelve the talented receiver for the remainder of the season. But how did he do against this Packer's defense? Will he really be missed? In a word - yes. A very big YES, as he pulled down nine passes for 119 yards and found the endzone twice in SF's playoff victory.

Though Kaepernick will be without his prime target, Crabtree's absence does not necessarily preclude the Niners from scoring on a Packers defense that was dazed and confused last season. San Francisco scooped up Anquan Boldin in a trade with the Ravens to bolster their suddenly sagging receiving corps but the player who has everyone's tongue wagging in the Bay Area is rookie Quinton Patton. Patton has been a beast in the preseason but will he live up to the hype when the games count for real? That question will be answered on Sunday.


So what's the pick Swinger?

The Niners are simply too multifaceted to be derailed by one missing player. Kaepernick can run for miles against this Green Bay defense and Frank Gore will have a party as the 49'ers are returning all five offensive linemen who dominated Green Bay's defensive front last season.

As for the Packers they were simply too one dimensional last season. Everyone looked for Aaron Rodgers to pump and dump because there was no weapon in the backfield. But maybe, just maybe that's changed with the addition of rookie Eddie Lacy. The former Alabama star has looked quite comfortable in the preseason and could give this offense a more balanced attack.

So we're faced with laying 4 ½ in our NFL odds with the home team or grabbing the points hoping Green Bay will have this as a circled game on their calendar to avenge both losses last season. I'm conflicted boys because I could make a case for either team so I'll just look at the crooked numbers these teams put up last season and wonder why not again here?

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