For the second straight season, the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers will battle in Week 1. While the setting has moved from Wisconsin to California, the folks at OddsShark think the results will be be similar to last year's contest, when the 49ers upset the Packers on the road by the score of 30-22. The defending NFC champion 49ers are 4.5-point favorites as they host the high-scoring Packers on Sunday afternoon.
The last time these two teams squared off was in the second round of last year's playoffs, when the 49ers pulled off a 45-31 thrashing of the Packers in San Francisco. 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had 263 yards in the air and 181 yards on the ground with a combined four touchdowns to lead his team to victory. His most useful target in the game was Michael Crabtree (nine catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns), who is out of action due to injury, so Kaepernick will have to look toward tight end Vernon Davis and newly acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin to pick up the slack.
The Packers will hope to create a road upset of their own on Sunday with a powerful passing attack. Aaron Rodgers will plan on airing it out to his weapons that include Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones to test the 49ers' secondary. The big matchup in this game is Green Bay outside linebacker Clay Matthews against San Francisco's left tackle Joe Staley. If Matthews can get by Staley with consistency, the Packers will have a good shot at upsetting the 49ers, in what should be a battle of quarterbacks.