Thursday, November 5, 2020, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California, 8:20 p.m. ET
Packers at 49ers Betting Preview: Packers (-5.5), 49ers (+5.5)
Green Bay Packers
The Packers (5-2) will be short-handed in the backfield as they try to have better success against a San Francisco squad that hammered them in last season’s NFC Championship Game. Running back Aaron Jones (550 scrimmage yards and seven touchdowns in five games) could be in danger of missing his third straight game with a calf injury though coach Matt LaFleur is willing to wait until shortly before kickoff before making a ruling.
Backups AJ Dillon and Jamaal Williams were left home due to a COVID-19 situation in which Dillon tested positive and Williams was a high-risk close contact, so return specialist Tyler Ervin may see action in the backfield.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is healthy and available and Green Bay figures to rely on the veteran who has passed for 1,948 yards and 20 touchdowns against only two interceptions this season. Rogers has thrown three or more touchdowns five times this season while only topping 300 yards twice. Star wideout Davante Adams has five touchdown receptions over the past two games and seven overall in five appearances.
Linebacker Za’Darius Smith has been Green Bay’s top defender, producing six sacks in seven games after posting a career-best 13.5 last season. Cornerback Kevin King (quadriceps) has a shot at returning while linebacker Kamal Martin is out due to being a high-risk close contact of Dillon.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers (4-4) are attempting to stay afloat despite possibly losing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and tight end George Kittle (foot) for the season. Nick Mullens will make his third start of the season in place of Garoppolo, and he stood out in last week’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks, passing for 238 yards and two touchdowns in less than one quarter of play.
Mullens was sharp in one of his early-season starts but mistake-prone in the other, so backup C.J. Beathard could be called on if things don’t go well.
San Francisco ran all over Green Bay in last season’s NFC Championship Game, but Raheem Mostert (franchise-record 220 yards in that game) is on injured reserve with an ankle injury, as is Jeff Wilson. Tevin Coleman (knee) returned from IR against Seattle after a five-game absence but was re-injured.
He will be sidelined Thursday, leaving JaMycal Hasty and Jerick McKinnon as the main backs. Replacing the production of Kittle (37 receptions for 474 yards and two touchdowns) also will be a chore for the 49ers.
Third-year linebacker Fred Warner has been a force all season and has 61 tackles after logging 124 as a rookie in 2018 and 118 last year. Safety Jaquiski Tartt (groin) could miss his third straight game for a secondary that has been without standout cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) since he was hurt in the season opener.
Packers at 49ers Betting Pick for Week 9
Both teams are facing tough issues at running back and are enduring short weeks of preparations. However, one team has a quarterback for the ages in Rodgers and the other is calling on backup Mullens on short notice.
San Francisco’s defense will need to put forth a yeoman effort to silence Rodgers and keep the team in the game, but it is hard to see Mullens leaving the field victorious with Rodgers on the other side.
Packers at 49ers Betting Pick:
Packers 30, 49ers 17
Packers at 49ers at Best Bet for Week 9
The running back situations could be a major factor when it comes to points scored, particularly if Jones is ruled out. The over-under seems to be a tad too high per the circumstances, so look for the final score to fall under it.
Packers at 49ers Best Bet: UNDER 49.5 total points (-106)