San Francisco 49ers (3-3 SU, 4-1-1 ATS) vs. Indianapolis Colts (6-0
SU, 5-1 ATS), NFL Week 8, 1:00 p.m. EST, Sunday, November 1, 2009, Lucas Oil
Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind., TV: FOX
by Badger of Predictem.com
Point Spread: 49ers +12/Colts -12
With their solid 3-1 start to the season now long gone the San
Francisco 49ers are making a change at quarterback, going with former
No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith as the starter this week when they
travel to Indianapolis to take on Peyton Manning and the undefeated
The 49ers fell behind Houston last week 21-0 before head coach Mike
Singletary inserted Smith behind center, and Smith responded with
three second-half touchdown throws to tight end Vernon Davis to get
the 49ers back into the game. A late interception killed the rally
and allowed the Texans to slip away with a 24-21 victory, but the
seed was planted in Singletarys head and the former Bears linebacker
pulled the trigger and named Smith the starter this week against the
Unfortunately, hell be going up against the juggernaut that is the
undefeated Colts this week. Peyton Manning continued on his MVP-like
pace with three more touchdown tosses in the Colts easy 42-6 victory
over the Rams last Sunday, giving him 15 for the season to go along
with his ridiculous 72.5 completion percentage through six games.
The point spread for this game opened with Indy as large 12-point
favorites at home in Lucas Oil Stadium, and because the bookmakers
and oddsmakers cant seem to convince anyone to bet against the
Colts, the number has gone up to 12.5 or even 13 points at most
offshore sportsbooks on the Web.
The over/under total opened at 45, but it too has seen a lot of line
movement early in the week and it has dropped to 44 or 43.5 at a
majority of the books.
Smith threw for 206 yards and hit a solid 68.2 percent of his passes last week while he was playing catch up against the Texans. But if
the 49ers dont re-establish a running game soon he wont have much
of a chance going forward.
The 49ers only ran for 59 yards against the Texans, and that was with
the return of Frank Gore to the lineup. The bad news is that theyll
have to do it with a makeshift offensive line, as starting right
tackle Tony Pashos broke his shoulder blade last week and is done for
the season. Pashos had taken over for Adam Snyder, who was moved to
right guard, so the 49ers will have to play musical chairs with the
line this week in order to find healthy bodies to play in front of
One bright spot for the 49ers on offense is that first-round pick
Michael Crabtree is finally getting into the mix. The rookie out of
Texas Tech had five catches for 56 yards in his debut last weekend.
On the other sideline the Colts offense is ranked 4th overall (402.5
ypg), but they do boast the leagues top-ranked passing attack (310.8
ypg) and the 2nd-ranked scoring offense (29.8 ppg).
Defensively the numbers are equally as lopsided, as the Colts
currently rank 9th in defense (291.7 ypg) and 2nd in points allowed
(12.8 ppg), while the 49ers defense is 13th overall (324.8 ypg) and
15th in scoring (20.3 ppg).
The big matchup to watch in this game will be the 49ers 20th-ranked pass defense (236 ypg) against the pinpoint accuracy of Manning and his boys Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon.
You have to go back to the 2005 season to find a game between these
two teams in the regular season, a game the Colts won 28-3 out on the
West Coast in San Francisco. Prior to that it has been all 49ers, as
they won four of five games through the late 80s and early 90s. The
one win for the Colts during that time span was in the old RCA Dome,
a narrow 18-17 victory in 1995.
Both teams sport 3-3 ATS records in the series, including a Colts
cover of a huge 16.5-point spread back in 2005 the last time they
met. The over has gone 4-2 in the series.
There are some interesting betting trends to watch though. The 49ers
are a strong 4-0-1 ATS in the last five games as a road underdog. The
Colts are just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite too.
Badgers Pick: The Colts have been impressive and the point spread
in their games is going to keep climbing until they lay a dud some
week. Im not sure this week will be that dud, but I cant will
myself to wager on the big spreads and the big public favorites. So
Im taking the over of 43.5 and hoping Peyton and his boys cover it
on their own. Take the over of 43.5.