San Francisco 49ers (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS) vs. Denver Broncos (4-1 SU, 2-3 ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date and Time: Sunday, October 19, 8:30pm EST
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High - Denver, CO
by Bob, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SF +6.5/DEN -6.5
Over/Under Total: 49.5
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This Sunday night in Denver, the Broncos will host the San Francisco 49ers on NBC Sunday Night Football. This could potentially be a preview of the Super Bowl this season and is going to be a highly viewed match-up. San Francisco comes in at 4-2, while Denver has suffered just one loss and that was to the defending champs, the Seattle Seahawks. This should be a great game, and I could see this one going a number of ways, depending on which team shows up and is more focused.
The line for this game opens with Denver as a 6.5 point home favorite, and the total points are set at 49.5. Against the spread so far this year, Denver sits at 2-3, while the 49ers against the spread is identical to their overall record at 4-2. Night games in the NFL are always tough to gauge, but we will break down both of these great teams and see which side is the right side to lean.
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After about three weeks into the season, I came out and said I felt the 49ers were overrated, Kaepernick wasn’t a winner, and I saw the Niners not even making the playoffs. I still do not see this team as a true Super Bowl contender, but after the last couple of weeks, maybe I was wrong. San Francisco has looked good and appear to be getting better and better each week. Also, in week one they put on a show against Dallas. No one had any idea the Cowboys were going to be as good as they are, and now it is obvious that the win in Dallas was a big win for San Francisco. The 49ers are on a three game winning streak and two of those three games were against good teams in Kansas City and Philadelphia. Statistically, San Fran is one of the best teams in all of the NFL, and this impresses me, because up until this time, they have actually faced one of the leagues toughest schedules. The Niners offense ranks 7th in the NFL in rushing and 18th in passing. On the defensive side of the ball, they are ranked 2nd against the pass, only allowing slightly over 200 yards per game in the air and 5th in rushing yards allowed with just under 80 a game given up. This team is solid on defense and is making a case to take over the title as “the NFLs best defense” from their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks. The key to beating Denver, and any team that is led by Peyton Manning is simple…pressure Peyton. If Manning has 4-5 seconds to throw on every play, he will shred any defense. If he is under pressure and uncomfortable in the pocket, he will make as many mistakes as anyone. If San Fran’s front four can get in Peyton’s grill early…its a wrap.
Many still consider Denver the favorite to win the AFC and return to the Super Bowl. Yes, the season is young and anything can happen, but up until this point, no AFC team has beat the Broncos. Led by Peyton Manning, Denver is 4th in the NFL in passing offense. One problem for Denver however, has been the run game. The loss of Knowshon Moreno did not seem to be a big loss in the offseason, but it is now looking as if it was. Denver’s dual running back system with Monte Ball and Ronnie Hillman is ranked in the bottom 3rd of the league with just 91 yards a game; a stat that must improve if this team plans on any postseason success. On the defensive side, Denver is good. They have the 4th best run defense, and their passing defense is good not great, ranked right in the middle of the NFL at 16th. This is a big game for Denver, not only for the overall record and potential home field advantage through the playoffs, but Peyton Manning is on the verge of history. Manning is just three touchdown passes away from breaking Brett Favre’s all time record of 508. Manning claims he is not focused on the record, and more focused on beating San Francisco, but his teammates and fans know that it is a big deal. The key to this game for Denver is a balanced offense. If Hillman and Ball cannot establish some sort of a running threat, that plays right into the hands of the San Fran defense. That is something Denver cannot risk on the big stage in the prime time.
Bob’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I love this match-up. I sense a great game from start to finish and I see this going down to the wire. I will make my pick simple, these are two tital contender teams, and I do not see either side letting it get out of hand. I see a 23-20 type finish and a great battle to the last moments. PICK THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ers +6.5 AND UNDER THE POSTED TOTAL OF 49.5