San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers Betting Odds Preview - NFL Week 1

The Packers host the 49ers in their 2012 season opener for what is sure to be a fantastic game. The Packers had an undefeated regular season in 2011 before losing to the Giants in the NFC Finals. The 49ers went 13-3 last season and both teams are primed for another big year returning nearly all of their starters.

San Francisco has a great run offense, a decent pass defense and a great run defense. Green Bay has a great pass offense but an average defense against the run or the pass. However, looking only at performance rankings from last season you miss something big, the Packers love to come out fast and score points, lots of them. The 49ers’ pass defense will be pushed hard this weekend as Aaron Rogers and his teammates will no doubt go to the air. But the Packers are beat-able, that was proven last year when New York, with their dangerous defense, ended the Packer’s Cinderella season. Thus Packers added Cedric Benson at the running back position to help strengthen that weakness in their offensive game. An improved running game would keep opponents from playing to the pass.

But San Francisco has that great run defense therefore they can probably negate any run improvements by the Packers. Last year the 49ers did not play the Packers making it hard to find a great point of reference for Sunday’s game. The Packers are favored to win this game. The spread is about 5 points and the over/under is 45 points. Last season the 49ers were consistently high on the point spread while the Packers were roughly even with a slight lean towards high on the spread. In 2011, for the over/under, the Packers were always over when they won the game, the 49ers were generally under whether they won or lost. So if you believe the Packers will win then go over, if you think the 49ers have at least a fighting chance go under.

To help prevent the pass, the 49ers are playing to their strength, the front seven. Recently the 49ers picked up LB and sack specialist Clark Haggins and signed him to a one-year contract. A strong pass rush from the 49ers, shortening the time Aaron Rodgers has to throw, will greatly work to San Francisco’s advantage. Expect the 49ers to trouble the Packers on the under routes but on the mid to deeper routes the 49ers will be more vulnerable; however the longer routes take more time to develop.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy has said the Packers were spending time in preseason camp preparing for the 49ers and testing schemes to use for this game. As much as two days were devoted to the 49ers. McCarthy also recognizes that the 49ers went out in the off-season and beefed up their talent at the receiver position to balance the offense. Preparation has been key to this game as it could have home field advantage implications come playoffs.

To win this game both teams need to strengthen their weaknesses. The 49ers are hoping their receivers can get open for Alex Smith and the Packers are hoping their defensive front seven will be healthy and aggressive against the 49ers’ run game.

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