The San Francisco 49ers (1-4) and the Green Bay Packers (2-2-1) will face off at Lambeau Field on Monday night (8:15 p.m., ESPN). Oddsmakers installed the Packers as 7.5-point favorites early last week, but the line moved rather quickly to 9.5. The betting total is 46.
Injuries have wreaked havoc on both of these rosters, particularly San Francisco’s. Jimmy Garropolo’s season-killing injury from Week 3 notwithstanding, running back Matt Breida (shoulder/ankle) and wide out Pierre Garcon (shoulder/knee) did not take part in the all-important Friday practice for the 49ers. Tight end George Kittle (knee) was limited on Friday, as were three of San Fran’s offensive linemen.
Quarterback C.J. Beathard has been uninspiring in two starts this year, playing to an 80.2 passer rating with four TDs and four INTs. With his team as banged-up as it is going into Monday night, Beathard will be hard-pressed to move the ball against Green Bay on the road. The Packers have the third-best passing defense in the league through five weeks, and have surrendered just 17.3 points per game after three contests at Lambeau. This unit is also sixth in yards per play allowed. Beathard would do well to throw away from Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who already has three INTs on the year, tied for the best mark among all defensive players. Green Bay has excelled at getting to the quarterback as well, as they’re fifth in the NFL in sacks (16).
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers might have to wear a larger knee brace after suffering a “setback” in last Sunday’s loss to the Lions. Yet he participated fully in Friday’s practice. The same can be said for tight end Jimmy Graham. However, two offensive tackles were limited, as was wide out Geronimo Allison. This could handicap head coach Mike McCarthy when it comes to offensive gameplanning.
Despite the adversity, Green Bay’s passing attack is top 10 in the league by yards per game. Points have been tough to come by, as the Packers are mustering just 23 per game. But the 49ers are 28th in points per game allowed this year (29.2), and their soft red zone defense, which yields an opponent TD rate of over 63 percent, should help Rodgers’ squad find the end zone often enough. San Fran’s defense is the worst in the
NFL in takeaways (3) through five weeks, with just one INT and two fumbles recorded. That’s contributed to a league-worst minus-8 turnover differential this season.
The 49ers are tough to endorse in this one, even as nearly 10-point underdogs. They’re one of the worst teams in the league and are limping into this road contest.
Prediction: Packers win, 26-10
You can bet on the Packers versus 49ers game and all NFL games right now at FanDuel sportsbook if you are in the state of New Jersey.
The play: Packers -9.5