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There are some really good games in the NFL this weekend and this is definitely one of them. The 9-1 San Francisco 49ers host the 8-2 Green Bay Packers. It could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship game. The Niners are 3 point favorites in the early lines. Kickoff is Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. ET at Levi's Stadium in San Francisco, California.
The Green Bay Packers have had a nice bounce back year. They are 8-2 and lead the NFC North by a half game over the Minnesota Vikings. They are coming off a bye week following a win over the Panthers two weeks ago. A week of rest will be good for some of the banged up players on both side of the ball. This is a huge game for the Packers as their chief rivals, the Vikings, will have their hands full at Seattle.
The 49ers have been the surprise of the 2019 NFL season at 9-1. People thought they'd be better, but not this good. They do it with defense. Their offense has been okay, but its the defense that's been the difference. But the last couple of weeks that defense has shown some vulnerability. Can the packers take advantage of that? The Niners have a brutal schedule the rest of the way, so they would obviously like to win here.
Packers look to hold NFC North leadThe Green Bay Packers are 8-2 and lead the NFC North by a half-game over the Minnesota Vikings. They are coming off a bye week following a win over the Panthers two weeks ago. This is an important game for the Packers as their chief rivals, the Vikings, will have their hands full at Seattle. If the Packers win and the Vikings lose, they'll have some breathing room in the division. But if the games both go the other way, they'll find themselves looking up at Minnesota in the division.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has not had a typical Aaron Rodgers type year. He hasn't had to carry the team as he has in years past. His numbers are fine, but not spectacular. But he's gotten great production out of running back Aaron Jones and the defense is much improved. The offense is ranked 9th in points per game at 25 per game and 14th in points allowed. They give up 20 points per game.
Garoppolo has big day for San FranciscoThe 49ers have been the surprise of the 2019 NFL season at 9-1. Many pundits expected them to be better this year but I don't think many people thought they'd be this good. The story has been their defense, which is ranked second in the NFL in terms of points allowed. They only give up 15 points per game. They are particularly good against the pass, allowing only 142 yards through the air -- which is first in the NFL. They are more vulnerable to the run.
Jimmy G, ICE COLD pic.twitter.com/eksxljWei0— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 18, 2019
But some cracks in that defense have shown in recent weeks. It seems as if teams are figuring out how to attack them as opponents have scored 25 points, 27 points, and 26 points against them in the last 3 weeks. They managed to win two of these games. In last weeks 36-26 win over Arizona, it was the offense led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that got it done. Garoppolo was 34 for 45 for 424 yards and 4 touchdowns. Deebo Samuel had 8 catches for 134 yards.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- 49ers are 14-30-2 ATS in their last 46 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- 49ers are 9-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- 49ers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 49ers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. NFC.
- 49ers are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 games on grass.
- 49ers are 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games in November.
- Packers are 5-0 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Packers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Packers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Packers are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games after accumulating more than 150 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Packers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Take the Packers getting the points. There are a few reasons here why I like the Packers. They are coming off a bye week, so banged up players like Rodgers, Jones, and DeVante Adams have had time to rest. Also, Rodgers seems to step up in big games. Throughout his career, Rodgers has delivered in big games and I think he will here too. Three, the 49ers may not yet be ready for this spot. They may get there, but right now, I don't think they are. Plus, the packers have some trends on their side. The Packers are 6-2-1 against the spread in their last 9 meetings in San Francisco. Also, the Packers are 11-5-2 against the spread in their last 18 meetings versus San Francisco.
Prediction: Green Bay +3
Full-Game Total Pick
Take the under. Despite all the gaudy offensive numbers we see, the best teams still win with defense. And when it comes playoff time, good defense usually beats good offense. This is not officially a playoff game, but in many ways, it will feel like a playoff game as first place in their divisions is on the line for both teams. So, forget the big offenses, this will come down to defense and the ability of people like Rodgers to make the plays when they need to. The under is 4-1 in the 49ers last 5 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game. Also, the under is 7-1 in the Packers last 8 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.