TNF: Packers-49ers Betting Preview, Picks, and Props
TNF: Packers-49ers Betting Preview, Picks, and Props
“Aaron Rodgers, who is from Northern California, was passed on by San Francisco when he was drafted, and he hasn’t forgotten it since.”
I’m actually required to state that as the first sentence here because the Thursday Night Football announcing crew will harp on this fact seven separate times. We can also expect to see a battle of young, smart coaches in Matt LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan, as well as efficient run games and inconsistent defenses that are prone to giving up points.
Offensively, let’s start with the visiting Packers. Green Bay is 5-2 and clicking in large part due to the “Aaron Rodgers Revenge Tour” because the Packers’ front office did nothing to help Rodgers in the draft. And worse, drafted his potential successor, Jordan Love, in the first round. An irritated Rodgers has been playing like it’s 2011, and except for a lone game against Tampa and last week against Minnesota in an always-tough divisional matchup, the Packers haven’t scored less than 30 points in a matchup this year.
Seemingly 10 times a game, Rodgers hits wide receiver Davante Adams in stride with a 40-yard laser, while tight end Robert Tonyan has been given the nickname “Baby Kittle” by football twitter and has played like it. The aerial attack has been balanced nicely by an efficient run game helmed by what was a three-man backfield of Aaron Jones, rookie AJ Dillon, and Jamaal Williams. Jones has been injured the last couple of weeks, and Dillon and Williams were just added to the COVID list, so it will be running back Tyler Ervin show running behind PFF’s ninth-ranked offensive line.
On the other side, the Niners’ season hasn’t gone as well as planned, largely due to injury. The Niners still are a dangerous team: head coach Kyle Shanahan is a masterful play-caller that figures out ways to get his players in a position to succeed. The Niners have had injuries to their wide receiver corps (Deebo Samuel is going to be out for this game as well as rookie Brandon Aiyuk), They’ll also feature running backs JaMychal Hasty and Jerick McKinnon, and any avid football fan knows that a Shanahan zone-blocking scheme is one that can plug in almost any running back and succeed: Lastly, yes, the Niners have a bit of a quarterback issue. Backup Nick Mullens hasn’t looked great either when he’s filled in for Jimmy G. Kyle Shanahan is a magician in the vein of Sean McVay, however, so I am still confident that Shanahan will be able to get his team to put points on the board.
Defensively, to speak of the Packers’ defense, we have to start with ascendant cornerback Jaire Alexander and a very complete secondary, joined by two rock-solid safeties in Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage. The box scores haven’t done the secondary justice largely because of the opposing offenses they’ve faced: Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa Bay, and the Texans all feature more than one capable pass catcher and are solid passing offenses. The Niners should be a bit of a “mental break” week for them if they can contain Aiyuk, where Kittle and Samuel are hurt. Where the Packers need to be worried about, however, is their rushing defense, or their lack of. Dalvin Cook was just the latest of a line of running backs to smash the Packers’ defensive line, and with Mostert being back this week and the Niners’ quarterback questions, it’s fair to assume that Mostert will be rushing the ball all evening against a soft Green Bay front-seven.
On the Niners’ side, their 2019 NFC championship-winning defense has unfortunately turned into a MASH unit this season. Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman and edge rusher Nick Bosa are both out for the season. The only recognizable name from the 2019 team is linebacker Fred Warner, who, in addition to former Charger castoff cornerback Jason Verrett, is having a monster season at his position. That said, the team is a shell of its 2019 self due to injury. The Packers shouldn’t have that many issues moving the ball on the Niners here.
Player Props and Bets
I believe taking Jerick McKinnon Over 55.5 (-113) rushing and receiving yards is a solid prop here: the Niners’ injuries at pass catcher while likely mean a lot of check downs because it’s likely Green Bay defensive coordinator Mike Pettine will bring the house against an overmatched Nick Mullens with no one to throw to. Add in that it’s still a Kyle Shanahan offense, which leads to success for running backs in their zone-blocking scheme, even if it’s a split backfield, and to me, 55.5 seems a bit light. I think he finishes somewhere in the 60s of combined yardage.
My betting analysis on the game? I believe the over 49.5 points is the play here as well as laying the seven points with Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers just lost to a divisional rival at home and now goes into San Francisco to play the team that passed over him in the NFL draft.
The 49ers had numerous injuries last week and now have to play on a short week against Aaron Rodgers. It’s just a bad-luck spot for the Niners in what’s in the middle of a bad-luck season with injuries. A Kyle Shanahan offense can still put up 14 points, though, so if Rodgers can just keep up with what’s been his average scoring of 30+ points, I think the over is the play here.