2012 Season NFL Football Past Picks
January 12, 2013
Green Bay at San Francisco
Saturday 01/12 08:00 PM Eastern
3 units on Green Bay +140 (moneyline) (risk 3 to return 3) RESULT: LOSS
My initial gut feel in this game was that San Francisco was going to roll. But then I dug in to the stats and changed my mind. These teams met in week one in a game won by San Francisco 30-22. More on that in a minute. The Niners are here on the strength of their great defense, or at least one that appears to be great. A closer look reveals something interesting. San Francisco faced five teams this season that are in the top 10 in scoring offense. They allowed 29 points per game in the five games and all of those teams scored at least 21 points. Their five opposing QBs completed 61.3% of their passes for 11 TDs at just short of 7 yards per attempt. Think about what these numbers mean. The Niners crushed average and bad offenses to the tune of just 11.6 points per game allowed. But, when they faced an elite offense this year, they gave up at least 21 and an average of 29 per game. Clearly the Packes qualify as an scoring team and an elite passing team. Aaron Rogers leads the league in QB rating and despite concerns about the Packers offensive line, I believe he will have success in this game. Green Bay threw for 294 yards back in game one, and Rodgers is pretty cool regardless of how frequently he has been sacked. This season was the first time in NFL history that a QB led the league in passer rating while also being sacked the most. In the end, Rogers finds a way, regardless of what's thrown at him. But Green Bay lost 5 games you say? Yes, early on this team struggled. However, after a bad start, the Pack have gone 10-2 SU and 9-3 AS in their last twelve games. They are healthy and peaking at the right time. They have Woodson, Matthews and Shields healthy on defense, something they did not have much of this year. Last week you saw the difference in their 24-10 revenge win over Minnesota. Despite the injuries on defense, the Packers have still held 11 opponents to 20 points or less (including 9 of their last 11). Believe it or not, that is one more than San Francisco, and the culprit for the 49ers has been good offenses. Last week's revenge win for the Packers got me thinking... How do teams seeking same-season revenge do in the playoffs? The answer is that they cover the spread 64% of the time. A lot of people feel that San Francisco's running game will be the difference here as they will be able to chew up yards and the clock. To that I note that under Mike McCarthy, the Packers are 16-5 straight-up vs. great running teams (those like SF that average 4.5+ yards per carry). Also, under McCarthy, the Packers are 24-13 ATS as an underdog. And since Aaron Rodgers took over, this team is 22-14 straight-up and 23-13 ATS vs. winning teams. Since hitting his stride in 2009, this team is 17-6 SU and 16-7 ATS vs. winning teams. Rodgers vs. Kaepernick? Easy choice. Take Green Bay on the moneyline here.