Buffalo Bills (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: 4:25 PM ET, October 7, 2012
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Buf +9.5/SF -9.5
Over/Under Total: 44.5
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The San Francisco 49ers are big home favorites in this non-conference match up and it is not hard to see why since they are coming off a dominating performance on both sides of the ball in their last game. On top of that the Bills gave up over 50 points in their last game and they are really struggling in both pass and run defense. The latter is really not good since the 49ers rushed for 245 yards last week and have a great rushing attack.
Last week the 49ers blanked the New York Jets 34-30 while the Buffalo Bills were crushed losing to the New England Patriots 52-28.
Alex Smith got some new offensive weapons in the off-season, but the 49ers still only rank 30th in passing yards per game. Still, the 49ers will when he limits his mistakes and they run the ball and play good D. Smith will not have a big passing game, but he will not make many mistakes and have a high completion percentage facing a Bills’ pass D that ranks 23rd in the league and was torched by Tom Brady and the Pats last week.
What is impressive about the 49ers rushing for 245 yards last week was that leading rusher Frank Gore only rushed for 62 yards. Look for the 49ers to have another great game on the ground, as they will look to establish the run early and will be successful doing so against a Buffalo run defense that only ranks 28th in the league.
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The Bills need to play like the 49ers and establish the run with C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson. That will not be easy since the 49ers run defense is so solid and totally shut down the Jets last week.
I see last week’s Patriots game repeating itself, as the 49ers will get up early and the Bills will have to go to the air. Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for over 300 yards and had 4 TD, but he was picked off 4 times and was facing a very weak New England pass defense. The pass defense of the 49ers ranks 5th in the league and they made Mark Sanchez look horrible last week. Still, their pass D is not great and I think Fitzpatrick will have another good passing game, as he will have to air it out.
The Bills spent a ton of money in the off-season to improve their weak D, but the new additions, such as LB Mario Williams, has not paid dividends yet. I look for that to continue, as they will not be able to keep San Francisco from rushing for a ton of yards and controlling the clock.
Look for San Francisco’s DT Justin Smith, LB Aldon Smith, and LB Patrick Willis to wreak havoc with the Bills’ offense and they will help stuff the run and also create some problems in the Buffalo backfield forcing Fitzpatrick to make some bad decisions, which will lead to interceptions.
The Bills have only covered the spread in 4 of their last 13 games overall and are only 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 road games. The 49ers have been good team to wager on in the last couple of years and they are 20-7-3 ATS in their last 30 home games and they are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games overall. In looking at some trends the O/U may be hard to call in this match up, as the 49ers have an Under record of 3-1-1 in their last 5 games while the Bills have an Over record of 8-2-1 in their last 11 road games.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting the 49ers here not really because of their defense, but their rushing offense. Like last week, the 49ers will rack up the rushing yards and they will not only win at home, but also cover the 9.5-point spread.
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