SNF Picks: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay Packers (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (9-1 SU, 5-4-1 ATS)
Date/Time: Sunday, November 24, 8:20 PM EST
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Ca
Point Spread: GB +3 / SF -3 (BetAnySports)
Over/Under Total: 46.5
Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers to the San Francisco Bay for a Sunday night battle with the 49ers. The Sunday night contest could be a preview of the NFC Championship game, and 5Dimes has made the Niners 3 point favorites and set the game total at 46½. The play is to take the points with the Packers. Here are three reasons.
Green Bay’s Offense Can Score
The Packers offense has gone through a big transition this year. They have gone from an attack dependent on Rodgers to put them on his back and carry them to an offense that wants to run the ball and open the defense up for play-action passes. Rodgers has grown comfortable in the system, throwing 17 touchdowns with only two interceptions. Star receiver Davante Adams has been injured much of the year, but he caught seven balls in each of the two games prior to the bye, and he should be 100% this week. Aaron Jones has been the centerpiece of the Packer offense this year. Jones is top 10 in the league in total yards, leads the league with 11 rushing touchdowns, and also has three receiving scores. Jamaal Williams complements Jones out of the backfield, with the tandem averaging 90 yards per contest. Green Bay has one of the strongest set of tackles in the league in Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari. They should be able to open holes for the runners, match up with Niner pass rushers and open keep Rodgers upright. The Pack has only been held under 23 points twice this year, so expect them to have success this week even against a stout San Francisco stop unit.
The Niner defense has been strong all year. They are second in the league allowing only 4.5 yards per play and second in the league in points allowed. SF allowed only 77 points over their first seven games, but have since allowed 78 points in their last 3 – with 2 of those contests against Arizona. San Fran leads the league in sacks, with Arik Armstead leading the team with 8, just ahead of defensive rookie of the year candidate Nick Bosa. The rush defense has been the weakness for San Francisco, allowing over 100 yards in the last seven games, and over 130 in the previous 4. They lost middle linebacker Kwon Alexander in week nine and have not been able to recover. Look for Jones and Williams to keep the chains moving on Monday night and maybe break off a couple of long runs. This will open up the passing game for Rodgers, who can still work some magic when he has to.
San Fran’s Offense Has Slowed Down
The Niners busted out of the gate to start the season, averaging over 425 yards over the first quarter of the season. The rushing attack was doing the heavy lifting early in the year, exceeding 230 rushing yards in 3 games. But the rushing attack has stalled, unable to get over 100 yards in the last two weeks with only 34 yards on the ground last week against the Cards. Tevin Coleman has been the lead back when healthy but managed just 14 yards last week. Matt Breida has played second fiddle to Coleman, but missed last week with an ankle injury and is not expected to be ready this week. The league may have caught up to some of the motion and misdirection that Coach Kyle Shanahan cooks up and would require Shanahan to go back to the drawing board. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made a great pass to win the game last week, but he has not been a QB that can be counted on to carry a team. He is completing 68% of his throws, but he has thrown ten picks and fumbled the ball seven times. The 49er receivers have been their weak link all year, but Emmanuel Sanders came over from Denver 4 weeks ago and has improved the group. He has caught 16 balls and two touchdowns and taken some of the pressure off the younger wideouts. Tight end George Kittle hopes to be back in action this week after suffering a knee injury three weeks ago and would make things easier for Jimmy G. The squad faces a Packer D that started the year hot, only to regress to their old ways.
Green Bay started the season allowing their first three opponents to only average 12 points per game but has not stayed south of 20 points since those games until their week ten game against the Panthers. They now sit bottom 10 in yards per play and both passing and rushing yards per game. Over their last six games, Green Bay has allowed between 22 and 26 points prior to holding the Panthers to 16 before their bye. The offenses faced during that stretch include the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Chargers, so provide very good comparisons to the 49ers. Preston and Za’Darius Smith joined the Pack this offseason and have already paid dividends with 18½ sacks. They should be able to get after Garoppolo and maybe force him into some bad throws. Green Bay’s defense won’t shut down the Niners but should be able to keep the game close and give Rodgers a chance.
The 49ers Are Not Right
Over SF’s last three games, they have barely slipped by the Cardinals and lost to the Seahawks. Shanahan had the team at the top of their game over the first seven weeks of the campaign, so some regression was to be expected. Last week the Cardinals had the 49ers on the ropes before a mistimed blitz, and a great read by Jimmy G won the game for SF. They have had some injuries that they were able to weather, but over the last couple of weeks, they have not looked the same. Meanwhile, Green Bay comes into Sunday night fully rested and healthier than they have been for most of the season. The Pack is 8-4-1 ATS since Rodgers took over as the starting quarterback coming off of a bye, and this week that should move to 9-4-1.
Play the Pack on the Road +3
Rodgers and the Pack +3 is the play in the San Francisco bay for Sunday Night Football.