Thursday Night Football Betting Preview: Who Can Take This Pivotal NFC Showdown?
This game could be an interesting challenge -- it's a pivotal one for the NFC standings, but it's going to be missing some key parts.
With Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle missing the contest due to injury, and left tackle Trent Williams along with multiple members of the wide receiving corps missing the game with COVID-19, this one could shift over to the Green Bay Packers' side of the ball. Can Aaron Rodgers lead the Pack to a victory after a disappointing loss last week to the Minnesota Vikings?
Let's dive into what our models think could be some intriguing betting angles for this contest.
Take the 49ers at Home
At first glance, picking a roster as dinged up as the home San Francisco 49ers makes almost zero sense whatsoever. Backup quarterback Nick Mullens will be stepping in under center, they have had a revolving door at running back, and the wide receivers are clearly in a bad spot. Fire in Kittle missing the contest, and this could be bad.
But keep in mind that Mullens is not as significant of a drop off at the quarterback position that you may think, and he rocked his way to 238 passing yards and 2 scores in the fourth quarter alone last week.
Meanwhile, Tevin Coleman left last week's game, and on a short week, that could spell trouble -- however, JaMycal Hasty was solid, and Green Bay has been absolutely obliterated against the run this season. Dalvin Cook and crew just gashed them for 173 rushing yards and over 5 yards per carry.
Losing to a poor Vikings team last week highlighted the smoke-and-mirrors effect Green Bay has been playing with. With both Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon known to be out with COVID-19, if Aaron Jones cannot play, this could spell trouble. Also, for Thursday Night Football, no team traveling from the central time zone to the west coast has won or covered in the last 12 contests, according to CBS Sports.
Interestingly, 93% of bettors and 96% of all bets are slamming in on the Packers, per oddsFire.
Bets to Consider
Our models definitely support the road team despite all of those negative factors. We give the Packers a 63.4% chance of taking the contest.
However, with the spread pushing up to 6.5 points, we think this becomes a two-star bet for the home 49ers to cover the spread, hitting 58.96% of the time. As for the total (48.5 points), we think these two go over 53.64% of the time.
With a potentially negative game script leading to hefty passing volume for San Francisco, the Mullens passing yards prop (211.5 yards) over at the FanDuel Sportsbook combined with the over could get juicy. Not a Mullens believer? Peep this -- he's played the majority of three contests this year, and he's smashed that prop twice already. The Packers allowed 309 passing yards to Deshaun Watson two weeks ago, so get in when you can.
Historical Betting Trends
-- Both teams have been solid against-the-spread (ATS) bets this season, with the Packers posting a 5-2 mark and the 49ers rocking a 4-4 mark.
-- Historically, this is a horrible spot for the Packers. As previously mentioned, CBS Sports notes that a central team has not covered on a Thursday Night Football contest in the last 12 games.
-- For a silver lining for the cheeseheads, they are 8-0 SU in their last eight games following a loss.
-- Additionally, San Francisco has been a terrible cover at home. They have only done so once in their last seven home games and are only 3-15 ATS in their last 18 home contests.