Since establishing my sports investment firm in 2007, I have only featured 26 6 Star selections as these releases must satisfy the strictest criteria in order to become my highest-rated investment. After Saturday’s easy winner on the San Francisco 49ers, I am now a documented 20-6 (77%) on my ultra-rare 6* investments.
San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) over Green Bay Packers
Analysis: It is simply mind-boggling how underrated San Francisco continues to be as the 49ers are 0.6 yards per play better than average offensively and 0.7 yards per play better than average defensively this season. Specifically, San Francisco is averaging 5.1 yards per rush attempt, 7.6 yards per pass attempt and 6.2 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 4.4 yards per rush play, 6.5 yards per pass play and 5.6 yards per play to mediocre offensive squads. The 49ers’ attack is even more productive at home where they are averaging 5.4 yards per rush play, 7.9 yards per pass play and 6.6 yards per play, which is certainly good enough to exploit a pedestrian Green Bay stop unit. Meanwhile, starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick has averaged 7.5 yards per pass play in his seven starts against secondaries that combined to allow just 6.1 yards per pass play to mediocre quarterbacks, thereby making him an impressive 1.4 yards per pass play better than average.
San Francisco Offense vs. Green Bay Defense:
+0.8 yards per rush attempt advantage
+0.6 yards per pass attempt advantage
+0.5 yards per play advantage overall
San Francisco also possesses an elite defense that is allowing 17.1 points per game, including 3.7 yards per rush attempt, 5.6 yards per pass attempt and 4.8 yards per play to teams that combine to average 4.3 yards per carry, 6.5 yards per pass play and 5.5 yards per play against mediocre defensive squads. And, similar to its offense, San Francisco’s defense excels at home where it is limiting opponents to just 13.9 points per game, including 273 total yards (19.7 yards per point). Green Bay’s one-dimensional offense will struggle to move the ball in this game, yet the betting public and so-called “experts” remain infatuated with Aaron Rodgers’ performance last week’s against the Vikings.
San Francisco Defense vs. Green Bay Offense:
+1.1 yards per rush attempt advantage
+0.1 yards per pass attempt advantage
+0.4 yards per play advantage overall
Based on the foregoing analysis, it is absolutely absurd that the oddsmakers have installed the 49ers as mere 2.5-point favorites against an inferior Green Bay team (my math model favors San Francisco by 8.5-points). What baffles my mind more than anything else is the public’s infatuation with the Packers’ offense, which is only 0.1 points per game better than average (5.6 yards per play against teams that combine to allow 5.5 points per game). Even with the return of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, Green Bay’s offense is only 0.2 yards per play better than average. Assuming All-Pro defensive end Justin Smith plays at a moderate level (he practiced all week with a partially torn triceps), I do not expect the Packers to have success moving the ball against one of the best stop units in the NFL.
From a technical standpoint, NFL home teams in their first playoff game are 34-19 ATS if they were upset as favorites in the previous year’s playoffs. Moreover, NFL teams in Game Two of the playoffs are 3-28 SU and 6-24-1 ATS following a home win since 1980. Let’s also note that San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh is 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS versus .667 or greater opposition, including 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS this season. Finally, teams that lose their regular season finale before winning their first playoff game are 14-32-1 ATS on the road, including 4-20-1 ATS since 1994. With San Francisco standing at 18-6 ATS at Candlestick Park in the postseason since 1982, take the 49ers and invest with confidence.