For Monday Night Football, most stats favor the Bills – so we’re taking the 49ers

There are reasons why the pointspread on

Buffalo Bills +1½ at San Francisco 49ers, over/under 47½

…is so low and fluctuating wildly. With about seven hours to game time, spreads from Buffalo +1½ to San Francisco +1 may be found. (For sake of this piece, NFLbets is playing this like a “pick ’em” at odds of 10/11.)

But on the face of it, such a line makes little sense, unless we’re merely figuring upon the East-to-West advantage. Since 2005, West/Mountain Time Zone-based teams are  36-26 SU and 30-26-6 ATS on Monday Night Football – and, because we’re considering this line a “pick ’em”, the former may be more important.

Beyond this, though, the statistical comparison looks in favor of the visitors. The Bills are a solid 8-3 SU/6-5 SU and are riding a 4-1 SU streak into San Francisco Phoenix. The Buffalo offense is unquestionably solid, a top-10 unit in scoring, yardage, first downs, time of possession and most passing stat categories. The defense is fair enough, though below-average against the running game.

Meanwhile, in their NFC championship defense, the 49ers have been mediocre whether Jimmy Garoppolo or Nick Mullens is in at quarterback; their squeaker over the no-comeback Rams in week 12 snapped a three-game SU/ATS losing streak against prospective playoff teams, and the Niners are now essentially playing must-wins throughout the season’s remainder, with four games left against NFC West and NFC East teams.

But here’s the thing: The 49ers have been decked by injuries throughout the season and this week’s IL may be the shortest of 2020 for this team thus far. From the offense, OT Tom Compton is the only major notable, though TE Jordan Reed may be a gametime decision. The defense, too, is near full strength and regardless has been at least as impressive as Buffalo’s plus includes better run-stuffers.

So when NFLbets advises bettors to take the San Francisco 49ers money line (ML) vs Buffalo, we’re betting on the Bills’ statistical regression and the 49ers’ general desperation but the truth is that San Francisco has more talent than the 5-6 SU mark indicates – nor are we sure that Buffalo is truly a .720 team.

Beyond this, we’re also thinking you should take the over on an O/U of 47½ points. Yes, NFLbets is going to be taking hard looks at unders for the rest of 2020, but going into the Washington-Pittsburgh early Monday(!!!) game, the under is 8-4 in week 13 – plus we’ve already covering under in Football Team-Steelers are thinking under for Cowboys-Ravens as well…

–written by Os Davis

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