San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers (11/24/19): NFL Betting Picks, Lines

Last Week: 2-7
All Time Results: 71-68-1, +9.27 Units

San Francisco 49ers -3 (-115) vs. Green Bay Packers – 1 Unit

Two-factor handicap:

1.) The 49ers are 2.5 points better than the Packers and have an average home-field advantage.

san francisco 49ersMost Power Ratings I have seen – including my own – have the 49ers significantly above the Packers.  The -3 line argues that these teams are even.  While the Bye Week advantage for the Packers may help close the gap, I think if we review the underlying results and statistics the San Francisco prove out to be head and shoulders above Green Bay.

Common opponent: The only team which both of these teams have played is the Carolina Panthers.  Both teams played the Panthers at home.  The 49ers won by 38.  The Packers won by 8, with Christian McCaffery ending the game stretching the ball toward the goal at the half-yard line, as Carolina attempted to equalize on a snowy night in Lambeau.

Underlying Statistics: The 49ers are 2-1 in close games this year (decided by 1 score or less).  The Packers are 5-1.  While the expertise of Aaron Rodgers has plenty to do with the team’s calm, cool & collected nature in tight affairs – this explains why if we didn’t look at the scoreboard and only examined the underlying statistics, the 49ers would have a clear advantage despite their records being close.

The 49ers are 2nd in Total DVOA, the Packers, 8th.  In defensive DVOA, the 49ers are 2nd, the Packers 19th.  If we look at Net Yards per play, the 49ers are 2nd, the Packers are 20th.  While the Packers may have superior offense, overall these teams are further apart than the market thinks.

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San Francisco 49ers -5.5 (+125) vs. Green Bay Packers – .2 Units

San Francisco 49ers -2.5 (-150) vs. Green Bay Packers – .15 Units

2.) In a battle between long-time friends, I’ll take the more experienced and better coach.  While Matt LaFleur is one month older than Kyle Shanahan, the latter has been around the pro-level for much longer.

Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur first worked together in Houston in 2008.  Shanahan had just been assigned his first job as a Coordinator and LaFleur was breaking into the league as a quality control assistant.  LaFleur quickly learned that there are levels to this profession – and he had a long way to go.

Matt LaFleur, circa Spring 2019, via Packers.com:

I was coming from a Division II school and certainly thought I knew a little bit more about football than I really did..I didn’t realize how much I had to learn until I was around Kyle.

While both have found success apart, Shanahan has proven to be more amenable to the fast-changing dynamics of offense in the NFL.  Shanahan has led three different franchises to top 5 offenses (Houston, Washington & Atlanta), LaFleur underwhelmed in his first season calling plays, last year in Tennessee.

Neither of these coaches will bring out a play that the other hasn’t seen before.  It’s almost impossible to truly surprise in the age of iPad video.  That said, I think Shanahan will have an advantage in making in-game adjustments, having taught LaFleur the ins and outs of pro-level offense.

Note: Injury concerns.  I will like this play a lot better if 49ers players, George Kittle and Matt Breida play.  Their statuses, however, are currently unknown.  We take that chance here.

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Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs AlternativeStats.blog, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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