NFL Week 1 Picks: Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, 9/8/13, 4:25 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  San Francisco -5.5
Current Betting Line:  San Francisco -4.5
Opening Total:  48
Current Total:  48
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The San Francisco 49ers won both of their meetings with the Green Bay Packers last season
The San Francisco 49ers won both of their meetings with the Green Bay Packers last season

Green Bay kicks off its 95th season in team history, as it prepares to open up a new year against San Francisco for the second consecutive time.  The Packers suffered a 30-22 defeat as six-point home favorites on Sept. 9 of last season, while also suffering a 14-point loss in playoff matchup in the series.  Sunday’s game will feature two of the three teams in the league that have won 24 or more regular-season games over the past two years, which is important to consider when looking over the NFL betting lines.  Green Bay is 21-14 ATS since 2011.

The Packers are tied for the second-best mark in the league in the month of September, while head coach Mike McCarthy has a 16-8 record in that situation since taking over on the sidelines in 2006.  Green Bay will be led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers on the offensive end, who has not thrown an interception in 144 consecutive passing attempts in the regular season.  In three career regular-season starts versus the 49ers, Rodgers has completed 83 of 119 passes for 945 yards and seven touchdowns with a single interception.

San Francisco has posted a 33-29-1 record on opening day, including wins in three of the last four seasons.  The 49ers have gone 13-2-1 during the regular season at home under head coach Jim Harbaugh, which is important to consider when making your NFL expert picks in Week 1.  All eyes will be on third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who rushed for 181 yards in last year’s divisional playoff game against the Packers—the highest single-game rushing performance by a signal-caller in league history.  San Francisco is 4-1 ATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 7 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 4-1 in those five opportunities.

The 49ers have been known to win the turnover battle under Harbaugh, as they’ve posted a plus-37 differential in that category during his time on the sidelines, which ranks second in the NFL over that span.  Under the direction of offensive coordinator Greg Roman, San Francisco has ranked third in the league in amassing 4,535 rushing yards over the past two seasons.

Sports bettors will likely back the Packers due to their 5-1 ATS mark in their last six season openers.

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