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NFL Betting: Week One Showcase Puts The Pressure On The Packers To Perform

Posted by Stan Simmons on 9/4/2013 7:53:38 PM

For a week one game, this is as good as it gets in professional football. Two highly successful franchises that are favored to win their divisions will meet near the San Francisco Bay.

Green Bay Packers @ San Francisco 49ers – Sunday, September 8

Betting line: 49ers -4.5

Why Green Bay Will Win

This is a tricky betting play at any sports book, but Green Bay certainly has a very realistic chance of winning on the road. The Packers know that the last time they played a meaningful NFL game, they were drummed out of the postseason by the 49ers in San Francisco. Green Bay got thumped by the Niners, 45-31, in Candlestick Park, primarily because the Packers had absolutely no answer for the 49ers’ read-option-based running plays, executed to perfection by emerging quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Green Bay has spent so much of the offseason trying to get its defense to become more mobile and agile. The Packers have been working to cultivate the kinds of instincts that will enable their defensive ends and their linebackers to be more responsive to read-option-style actions and movements.

When the best online betting sites tackle this clash, they will acknowledge that if the Packers’ adjustments pay off, and if San Francisco does use the read-option (the Niners didn’t use it much in the preseason, but one wonders if San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh is trying to hide some things for week one), Green Bay will attain a pronounced strategic advantage. Green Bay, by bottling up the read-option, could make San Francisco more predictable and less dynamic on offense. If the Packers can hold San Francisco under 30 points, they’d love their chances of winning, since they have one of the top three quarterbacks in professional football, Aaron Rodgers (who sits on the mountaintop alongside Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos).

Why San Francisco Will Win

Sport betting lines fluctuate based on the performance of team units, but also individual players. The importance of Charles Woodson, no longer in the Green Bay secondary, will make the Packers younger and less tested in that section of the field. Yes, one could make the very credible argument that Woodson is getting really old, but without his veteran leadership, this game might be a very difficult one for the Packers’ secondary against the Niners’ diversified offense. San Francisco is going to throw so many different looks at the Packers – personnel groupings, formations, the works – and without Woodson acting as something of a second coach on the field, Green Bay’s back four might find itself out of position when it comes to defending both pass plays and read-option runs. Green Bay’s inadequacies in terms of run support might lead to a huge day for San Francisco’s offense.

Who Will Win

The sense here is that San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick will play well, given the way in which San Francisco’s offense matches up against Green Bay’s defense. The Packers will score 28 to 31 points. San Francisco will score at least 38.

NFL Betting Pick: 49ers -4.5



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