The San Francisco 49ers covered the ten-point spread and almost won the game against the Chargers outright last Sunday, as C.J. Beathard and the rest of the team showed they have a lot of fight left in them despite the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo. Kyle Shanahan and his squad are hoping for their second win of the season when they host the Arizona Cardinals this weekend. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

When: Sunday October 7th, 2017 at 1:25pm PDT (FOX)
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Odds: 49ers -4.5, total at 41

Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals were a Phil Dawson-missed-field goal away from possibly upsetting the Seattle Seahawks in Josh Rosen's first NFL start, falling short as three-point underdogs, 20-17. Offensively, Arizona is last in the league with 208.5 yards per game and 9.3 points per game, with the 31st ranked rushing and passing offense, corresponding with a 31st ranked offensive DVOA-Adjusted for Variation Early (DAVE) rating.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cardinals rank 18th in giving up 377 yards per game and 15th in giving up 23.5 point per game, with a 31st and 11th ranked rushing and passing defense, respectively. Arizona is ranked 12th with a defensive DAVE rating of -2.4 percent. Arizona ranks 31st in total defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA) and total DAVE and is 0-2-1 against the spread (ATS) in 2018.

San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers defense came out strong against the Chargers, scoring the first points of the game with a pick-six on a Philip Rivers throw, but missed tackles continued to plague Robert Saleh's unit and it eventually relinquished 29 points to the Bolts. C.J. Beathard showed that he is very capable of running Shanahan's offense and tough as nails, taking some big hits and making some nice throws, including an 82-yard touchdown to George Kittle, finishing with 298 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Niners offense ranks 21st with 360.8 yards per game and 12th with 25 points per game, with the 21st ranked passing offense, 6th ranked rushing offense and 27th ranked offensive DAVE rating of -9.7 percent. The 49ers defense is 20th in giving up 380.5 yards per game and 27th in giving up 29.5 points per game, with the 22nd and 14th ranked passing and rushing defenses, respectively, and a 25th ranked defensive DAVE rating of 6.7 percent. The Niners rank 25th in total DVOA and 30th in total DAVE and are 1-3 ATS in 2018.

Prediction
After jumping out to a seven point lead against the Chargers and possessing one of the top rushing attacks in the league, Shanahan's game plan included only nine and four carries for Matt Breida and Alfred Morris, respectively, leaving many wondering why the running game was not utilized more heavily. C.J. Beathard will need to be careful about interceptions with Arizona's passing defense, but the Niners' best chance to win revolves around emphasizing the running game despite members of their offensive line struggling with injuries.

Safety Antone Exum was filling in for the injured Jaquiski Tartt and made it count with a pick-six, but that might have been the lone bright spot for the Niners' struggling defensive unit, which will still likely be without Richard Sherman this week and continues to have difficulty generating an effective pass rush.

The Cardinals anemic offense has had a lot to do with Sam Bradford's ineptitude. Josh Rosen may be a rookie who will make mistakes, but he breathed some life into Arizona's offense last week with his willingness to challenge the secondary with deep throws, finishing 15/27 for 180 yards and a touchdown, opening up the game for David Johnson who had his best game of the year with 71 yards on 22 carries and a rushing touchdown.

After getting gashed by the Redskins and Rams to start the season, the Cardinals defense has settled down, limiting the Bears and Seahawks to 16 and 20 points, respectively.

The Cardinals have a history of playing tough against the Niners the past few years and we don't expect this game to be any different. Josh Rosen is comfortable playing in California and will continue to build his confidence against the Niners' depleted secondary and weak pass rush, opening up the game for David Johnson who has had a history of big games against the Niners. If Shanahan leans on the ground game and Beathard continues to play competently, we expect the 49ers to win a close, low scoring game that will be decided by three points or fewer, 20-18. Pick: Cardinals +4.5

Season
1-3 ATS
4-0 SU

Poll

  • What is your best bet for 49ers vs Cardinals on 10/7/18?
  • 49ers -4.5
  • Cardinals +4.5
  • Over 41
  • Under 41