Packers vs. 49ers Preview + Free Pick August 14th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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Rodgers and the Pack visit O’Sullivan and Niners
The Green Bay Packers (13-3 SU, 123-1- ATS in 2007 regular season; 0-1 SU & ATS in pre-season) are trying to put the Brett Favre soap opera behind them. On Saturday night they will travel to the Bay Area to face off against the San Francisco 49ers (5-11 SU, 5-10-1 ATS; 0-1 SU & ATS in pre-season) in an NFL exhibition that is set to kick off at 9 PM ET at Monster Park (natural turf) in San Francisco.
Saturday, August 16
BetUS NFL Betting Odds: GREEN BAY -1.5, Total 34.5
NOTABLE STAT: San Francisco was last in scoring in 2007 (13.7 ppg)
KEY NFL FOOTBALL BETTING TREND: Green Bay is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 in pre-season
It’s a battle of the Bay Area in Friday’s NFL slate, as the San Francisco 49ers (5-11 SU, 5-10-1 ATS in 2007 regular season) visit McAfee Coliseum (natural turf) for a date with the Oakland Raiders (4-12 SU, 6-10 ATS in 2007 regular season) in the pre-season opener for both clubs. The game is scheduled to kick off at 10 PM ET. In the Top Sportsbooks NFL football betting odds, the Raiders are listed as a 2.5-point home favorite, with the total posted at 33.5 points.
In the Top Sportsbooks NFL pre-season football betting odds, the Packers are listed as a 1.5-point road favorite, with the total posted at 34.5 points.
Here are some NFL betting trends as they relate to this matchup (reflecting numbers going into the 2008 season):
* GB has covered 16 of its last 22 games
* GB has won 17 of its last 21 games SU
* GB has played eight of its last nine games OVER the total
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* GB has won and covered eight of its last ten road games
* SF has lost 11 of its last 14 games SU
* SF has covered three of its last 11 games
* SF has lost five of its last seven home games SU
* GB has lost five of its last seven pre-season games SU
* GB has covered three of its last ten pre-season games
* SF has lost six of its last eight pre-season games SU
It would not be unfair to say that the Packers, who lost their pre-season opener at home to Cincinnati by a field goal, are incredibly relieved to see a resolution to the Brett Favre situation, and one in which they got themselves a pretty good draft pick too. That doesn’t mean the pressure is off management; indeed, it is still on. But for purposes of this game against San Francisco, a load has been temporarily lifted off the players’ shoulders.
It is also not unreasonable for Green Bay to be posted as the road favorite in this game. If you were with us last week, we were mentioning how difficult it is going to be for the 49ers to be able to adapt to the new offensive system that has been installed by offensive coordinator Mike Martz. It is based on incredibly precise routes, and carries with it a very thick playbook. It is not the kind of thing that is going to be easily digested over a full regular season, much less a few weeks in the pre-season.
And it is even more difficult when you don’t have the kind of offensive talent that is going to make the system work. The Niners do not. The best wide receiver they have is Isaac Bruce, who was with Martz in St. Louis, and they are not going to take unnecessary risks with him. Next is the tight end, Vernon Davis, and he plays a position that is not highlighted in Martz’s scheme.
The quarterbacks are having a particularly hard time. Alex Smith and Shawn Hill have been so unimpressive in camp that the start last week went to J.T. O’Sullivan, who at least learned Martz’s system last year when he was a third-string QB in Detroit. The stats were not strong for this team – O’Sullivan was 5-for-8 with an interception; Shawn Hill was 10-for-20 and was picked off, and Smith was 5-for-9. This is not necessarily tragic stuff, but San Francisco was only 2-for-11 in converting third downs, and averaged 5.2 yards per pass play. There were also four turnovers.
Aaron Rodgers is, at once, probably happy he’s getting out of town, where he’s been taking a little abuse from ignorant fans, glad to be returning to the Bay Area, where he played his college football, and eager to perform well, to give Favre-lovers some faith. He was 9-for-15 last week against Cincinnati with a TD pass.
I’m counting on him acquitting himself well, and for the Niners to continue to struggle, especially when O’Sullivan is not in the game. Let’s lay the point and a half with Green Bay, the favorite in the Top Sportsbooks NFL pre-season football betting odds.
JAY’S PLAY: GREEN BAY -1.5 ** (Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
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