*Update: Nick Mullens will now start at QB for the 49ers due to a wrist injury to C.J. Beathard. As a result, the 49ers are now a 1-point favorite.
A pair of one-win teams will take the gridiron for Thursday Night Football with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Oakland Raiders. The Niners and Raiders have a combined 2-13 SU and 4-11 ATS record as we pass the halfway point of the season with both teams coming off ugly Week 8 losses. The Niners are 4-14 SU in their last 18 games at home but opened as 3-point favorites because they’re facing a Raiders squad that may be a bigger mess than they are.
Niners as a Favorite have Been Fade-Tastic
Since Jimmy Garoppolo went down with injury, Niners backers haven’t had much optimism. San Fran has lost five straight games by an average of 9.4 points per game and was beaten twice by the lowly Cardinals. Quarterback C.J. Beathard is used to being a backup and the eye test shows that he is just a stopgap until Jimmy G comes back from injury. The 49ers have been held to less than 20 points in three of the last four weeks and rank 25th in third-down conversion this season.
One of the glaring issues for San Francisco is taking care of the football as it leads the NFL in turnovers with 18 while only forcing three against the opposition. Head coach Kyle Shanahan will need to rework this offense if it wants to have any chance vs the Raiders but if bettors are looking for a bright spot for the Niners offense, it’s worth noting they rank sixth in rush yards per game with 133.6 despite ranking second-last with only four rushing touchdowns.
I can’t endorse a Niners spread bet as they’ve gone 5-10 SU and 1-14 ATS in their last 15 games as a favorite, with their only spread win coming against the Packers in Week 6 in a three-point loss. At 2-6 ATS in eight games this season, they own the worst spread record in the NFL.
Raiders Offense is Putrid this Season
Trying to find good things to say about the Oakland Raiders this season is as hard as finding the remote control in a La-Z-Boy. And if you do find it, your hand is all messed up from digging in that chair. That’s what the Oakland Raiders are this season. A broken La-Z-Boy sitting in your basement.
The Raiders purged two of their best players this season in defensive end Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper and – surprise, surprise – they rank dead last in sacks this season (7) and 26th in receiving touchdowns (10). But they got those lottery tickets in first-round picks for next year’s draft, so at least next season might be good?
Well, for now, this iteration of the Raiders is severely short-handed on the talent side of the ball which is why they rank 27th in points per game (19.7) and 31st in points allowed per game (31.1). Oakland has only won one game this season, against the Browns, which isn’t saying much considering Cleveland just cleaned house of its entire coaching staff. Since the Raiders are 1-10 SU in their last 11 games and 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 road games, I’d stay far away from any wager involving the Raiders.
Should You Blindly Bet the OVER?
The total opened at 47 in this matchup and if you took the OVER in each Thursday Night Football game, you would own a 6-2 record. That’s because the average combined score from those games is 52.8 points per game and factoring in that the Raiders are allowing 31.1 points per contest, it may be the best bet if you’re like me and don’t feel comfortable staking your wager on one of these two dumpster fires.
My Pick Is…
To take the OVER. God help the man or woman who decides to bet on a spread in this game because there is no evidence to support a cover bet on either side.