The San Francisco 49ers shut down their practice facility on Wednesday after WR Kendrick Bourne tested positive for COVID-19, but it looks as if they’re moving forward with their game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
This matchup was actually a pick ’em on the advance line last week and reopened at Packers -2.5 after both teams lost Sunday. As more reports of the 49ers’ injury issues (QB Jimmy Garoppolo, TE George Kittle added to the an already overcrowded M*A*S*H unit) came in, the line was bet up to -5.5 and even -6 at some books before being taken off the board. Who knows how high it might go when it’s reposted and the masses jump in on the Packers because of the 49ers’ injury woes and disrupted practice schedule on the short week.
But I hope our readers/followers aren’t among the lemmings following the crowd; we hope you all learned your lesson this season that a team can still win without practice if it has the talent and the right game plan.
The most extreme example was when the Tennessee Titans went into lockdown due to a COVID-19 outbreak and had to have their Week 4 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers postponed, and then the Week 5 game against the Buffalo Bills was pushed back to Tuesday. The whole world jumped on Buffalo, which went off as a 3-point road favorite because of the Titans’ health concerns and distractions as well as the lack of practice (except for the illegal player-led workouts at a local high school). But then the Titans blew out the Bills 42-16.
So, we think this latest market overreaction will make the 49ers the play on Thursday night. For starters, it’s not as if Nick Mullens (70 percent completion rate, 8.7 yards per attempt, four TDs, three INTs) is a downgrade from Garoppolo (67 percent, 7.8 yards per attempt, seven TD, INTs).
Besides, coach Kyle Shanahan’s game plan should be all about running it down the Packers’ throats like the 49ers did last season with 112 rushing yards in a 37-8 rout in the regular season and then even moreso with 285 rushing yards in a 37-20 playoff win on the way to the Super Bowl. The latter was also the game where they had only 69 passing yards, so it again shows that the 49ers can win without Jimmy G.
And I can’t see how Shanahan can watch Sunday’s game film of Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook running for 163 yards against the Packers and not continue with that strategy.
As always, shop around and get the best line you can.
The play: 49ers, +6 or higher.
Dave Tuley writes for VSiN.com, The Sports Betting Network.
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