NFL Odds: Favre could see action Sunday at 49ers

By: Jimmy Sirody | Friday, August 20, 2010
Brett Favre

Brett Favre could see action Sunday night despite limited practice this week.

Tarvaris Jackson’s reign as the No. 1 quarterback officially ended when Brett Favre took over the Minnesota Vikings’ first team offense on Wednesday. In other words, the Vikings should be able to get on with their lives and actually focus on football.

Favre’s annual retirement soap opera has made the once-revered face of the NFL a polarizing figure. However, his return couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, at least as far as NBC is concerned.

Favre said he wants to play Sunday night when the Vikings face the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park and the odds are extremely high he will get his wish.

Minnesota is coming off its most successful season since 1998, in large part because of the addition of Favre. But his amazing 2009 season masked an aging team that was declining in all other phases of the game.

San Francisco, coming off last year’s 8-8 finish, which featured a 3-1 mark in the final quarter of the season, is a chic pick to win its division this year and return a little glory to what was once the NFL’s model franchise.

The 49er’s aggressive backups completely dominated Indianapolis’ sloppy backups last week en route to a 37-17 romp at Lucas Oil Stadium, but that usually only matters for roster spots and not playoff berths.

Is the San Francisco offense ready to take over with Alex Smith at the helm? No evidence was provided in the preseason opener, though the first team offense was hindered by two turnovers plus the absence of running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Coach Mike Singletary has said he plans to give young quarterback Nate Davis an extended opportunity on Sunday night. Fresh off his solid performance against the Colts’ third-string — 5-for-6, 84 yards — Davis is in line to get some time with the second-team against Minnesota.

Crabtree (sprained neck) and tight end Vernon Davis missed practices this week and their status for Sunday is questionable.

Favre is likely to be without No. 1 receiver Sidney Rice, who remains on the physically unable to perform list because of a hip injury. Percy Harvin, last year’s rookie sensation, collapsed on the practice field after suffering yet another migraine on Thursday.

Preseason gamblers took a beating betting against the Vikings last week. Minnesota hit the board as one-point dogs at St. Louis and the Rams were bet up to 2 ½ by post time. St. Louis wasn’t up to the task, losing 28-7.

The Vikings have cashed seven of their last 10 as road dogs and they have passed 11 of their past 16 exhibition tests ATS. They have ‘covered’ eight of nine as dogs versus an opponent off a double-digit SU win.

San Francisco opened as a one-point favorite over the Colts, a team notorious for tanking in the preseason, and the Niners were bet up to 3 ½ by game time.

The 49ers have come up short in four of their last five as preseason home chalk.

San Francisco has averaged 22.4 points per game and yielded 16 PPG at home over the past four exhibition campaigns. Minnesota has scored 17.5 PPG on the highway and allowed 14.3 PPG over the same span.

Most offshore books opened the 49ers as three-point favorites, with the ‘total’ set at 34.

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