Atlanta @ San Francisco (-7)
This pick will not come to a surprise to most of you as we’ve been gleefully fading the 49ers for most of the year. Labeled as having the Worst Offseason of All Time, most of the betting world knew the 49ers were going to struggle this year. However, the swift demise of Colin Kaepernick came as a surprise to me. If anything, I thought the young quarterback would be a piece that the 49ers would protect at all costs. Instead, the Beats spokesman has been put on mute in favor of former Jacksonville starter, Blaine Gabbert.
There are some contractual reasons why the 49ers are moving away from Colin at QB. Some may say that this move is all about creating some "Kaep Space".
Blaine Gabbert is likely a worse quarterback though, hard as that may be to believe. His supporting cast at Jacksonville in 2011 and 2012 is similar to the one he will have now – bad. Gabbert’s career QBR is 66.8 and his career completion percentage is 53.2%. Protecting the football was always a problem as well, with Gabbert carrying a 23/14 TD/INT ratio.
Blaine also did his very best Dave Kreig impression in 2011, fumbling 14 times. He’s fumbled 21 times in his career and lost 8 of those to the bad guys. Over 29 games, Gabbert has turned the ball over a total of 32 times. He will give Atlanta at least one extra possession on Sunday, likely many more.
Picking against San Francisco this week is hardly controversial. The line opened with Atlanta favored by 2.5 points on the road, and that line has swelled to 7.5 points at some offshore books. As of Saturday morning, nearly 98% of the betting public was still on Atlanta at -7.5. Usually, that amount of public action is a red flag to wager the other way. This is a rare occurrence where it is just fine to pile on.
Atlanta will be motivated in this game to protect playoff position, as they trail the 7-0 Carolina Panthers in the NFC South. Any chance to catch the Panthers is likely gone with a conference loss this week. For the 49ers, they actually have more to lose by winning this game, have jettisoned TE Vernon Davis to Denver, and are down to their 4th string running back.
This is going to be ugly.
Betting System: Motivation Mismatch
Denver (-5.5) @ Indianapolis
Andrew Luck will throw three interceptions in this game and won’t have fluky weather to save him like he did in Carolina.
With Denver having the best defense in the league outside of Seattle, this line is an absolute gift. Don’t look now, but Denver’s running game is finally starting to click with over 150 yards rushing in their last two contests. This had to happen for Peyton Manning to survive the season. The Colts happen to be 28th in the NFL in defending the run, so expect that to continue on Sunday.
The Colts average under 100 yards per game on the ground, and Denver gives up less than 90, which will force them to beat the Broncos through the air.
There are too many mismatches in this game on both sides of the ball for the Colts to have a realistic shot in this one. Peyton Manning won’t be playing a true road game either at Lucas Oil Stadium. Denver stays perfect through 8 games and covers easily in this one.
And just like Atlanta, the public is backing Denver at a blinding pace with over 95% of wagering value backing the Broncos. It’s time to ride with the masses on this one.
Betting System: The Master Comes Home to Teach a Lesson
Odds and trends supplied by our friends at Sportsbookreview.com.
As always, do your due diligence and be aware that lines are made to get action at 50% on each side. Good luck!