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Upset of the Week: Packers over 49ers

The Green Bay Packers will be on the road to face the San Francisco 49ers for Sunday Night Football. The game is primetime and will air live on NBC for Week 3 of the NFL. If you’re looking for an underdog bet on NFL this week here’s a good game to review.

You might look at how the Packers did ATS facing San Francisco in recent years and you might find yourself hesitant to place a wager when looking at Las Vegas NFL odds. That’s understandable considering Green Bay is 1-3 ATS the last four times the Packers faced San Francisco.

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Quinn Harris/Getty Images/AFP

If you’re considering NFL picks against the spread this week, here are a few bits that will make you consider the underdog when handicapping this game. The 49ers were 7-9 ATS in the regular season last year. San Francisco only won once ATS when favored by 3.5 points or more. The 49ers won when they were favored by three points in Week 3 last year but that was against the New York Giants, not the Packers led by a motivated Aaron Rodgers.

It’s a small sample size, but Green Bay is among the worst teams in the NFL in points scored ranking 26 in the league and averaging 19 points per game. The 49ers were 0-10 when their opponent scored 21 points or more last year. Expect Rodgers to slap more than 21 on the board on Sunday Night Football.

You can blame the season’s small sample size for Green Bay’s deceiving scoring production statistics but more so on the three-point performance, it had in Week 1 against the New Orleans Saints. Green Bay was facing a motivated Saints team that was playing for fans coming off another hurricane disaster.

“That was for the city,” Saints QB Jameis Winston told reporters. “We did that for them. We knew how much it would mean to get a great victory for that region. They’ve been through so much. … Hats off to them for their resilience, because they motivated us. They inspired us to come out there and ball.”

The chances of the Packers having a single-digit scoring performance against San Francisco is highly unlikely even if Rodgers has another two-interception outing as he did against the Saints.

Let’s look at some more statistics and trends that may not justify the 49ers being the three-point favorite if you choose to bet online for this game. The way the first half starts could dictate the remainder of the game. Rodgers was able to secure a touchdown pass in each of the first two-quarters last year against San Francisco. Rodgers was able to do the same last week with a touchdown pass to Aaron Jones in each of the first two quarters against Detroit.

The 49ers didn’t really show they can build off of any momentum last year. With a record of 0-3 ATS when favored at home and 3-3 ATS in games after a win. A sub-par performance can be expected by the 49ers.


Like many teams, the 49ers were hit with the injury bug as well. Four players left the game for San Francisco last week including RB Trey Sermon (head), RB JaMycal Hasty (ankle), FB Kyle Juszczyk (lower body), and DL Kevin Givens (ankle). Givens was the only player able to return from injury. The remaining three were all running backs, left in the fourth quarter, and never returned.

The 49ers like to rush more than the Packers and need running backs. The Packers pass the ball 59.29% of the time versus the 49ers’ 46.34%. That could put more pressure on the 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garopolo in the event they are not healthy enough at running back or if the front office does not address the depth properly before going into this game.

Pick: Green Bay Packers +3 (-105)

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