49ers vs. Packers: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent ISeptember 7, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 23: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass the football against the Cincinnati Bengals during a preseason NFL game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 23, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

If you only watch one NFL game this weekend, make sure it's the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers.

This matchup features two premier playoff squads from 2011 who are both favorites to make it to the Super Bowl this season.

Below you will find complete game information, including the betting lines, fantasy impact, keys to each team's win and my final prediction.


Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

When: 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday

Watch: Fox


Spread: Packers -5 (Bovada)

Take San Francisco in this game.

I took the 49ers in my game-by-game predictions because of their staunch defense and improved offense.

I believe Green Bay will come out of this game victors, but I don't see them covering the spread against the 49ers' defense.

It's going to be an extremely close game right up until the clock strikes zero, which is why I would go with San Francisco.


Over/Under: 47 (Bovada)

Take the over.

The total has gone over in all five of the Packers' previous games while the total has gone over in five of the last seven games in which the 49ers have traveled to Lambeau to take on Green Bay. 

The Packers can put up points in a hurry, and with new weapons in his arsenal, Alex Smith and the 49ers should be an improved offense as well.


Key Injuries:


SF RB Brandon Jacobs—KNEE—QST




GB LB Jamari Lattimore—ANKLE—QST



Big Fantasy Plays:

Vernon Davis

Vernon Davis is poised for a breakout fantasy season with the additions of Mario Manningham and Randy Moss in the passing game.

Opposing defenses will have some tough decisions to make as to who to blanket, and as we saw in the NFC Championship game in 2011, Davis knows how to get behind the defense.

ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry has Davis as his No. 4-ranked TE for Week 1, so expect big things this Sunday.


Aaron Rodgers

Who else?

Aaron Rodgers had a ridiculous MVP campaign in 2011, highlighted by 45 touchdowns and a mere five interceptions, and was one of the highest-ranked fantasy quarterbacks a season ago.

Rodgers has too many weapons at his disposal to not expect the world from him fantasy-wise, and he usually delivers.

Rodgers is Matthew Berry's No. 1-ranked quarterback for Week 1.

It's a no-brainer.


Keys to a 49ers Win: Defense, Defense, Defense

The San Francisco 49ers are built on defense as well as a ground-and-pound rushing game, and that's exactly what they must do to beat the Packers in Lambeau on Sunday.

The 49ers' D led the entire NFL in turnover differential in 2011, at plus-28, including 23 interceptions and 15 fumbles.

San Fran will need defensive end Justin Smith to get after Rodgers and make him uncomfortable in the pocket to win this football game.


Keys to a Packers Win: Establish Ground Game

Everyone knows the Packers are a pass-first team, including the 49ers, who are excellent at creating turnovers.

For Green Bay to win, they're going to need to establish the rushing game early in order to open up the passing game.

If San Francisco begins to respect Alex Green and Cedric Benson on the ground, Rodgers should find single coverage down the field in the passing game.


Prediction: Packers 28, 49ers 24

It's going to be a close game throughout, but in the end, I trust Aaron Rodgers and his well-established Packer offense over Alex Smith and the new-look 49ers.

Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs are all in a new offensive system in San Francisco and it may take some getting used to before they start to gel on offense.

The 49ers' defense will do all it can, but I like Rodgers and the Pack in this one.


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