49ers at Broncos Sunday NFL Preview and Prediction
The San Francisco 49ers head to Denver to take on the Broncos Sunday night as both teams attempt to put themselves over .500. San Francisco is the smallest (-1) of road favorites, with the over-under at 45 points. Numbers are according to NFL odds.
Broncos Scuffling Early
The Denver Broncos are coming off of an unconvincing 16-9 home victory over the lowly Houston Texans. Many don’t believe in Denver after that win, and an opening-game loss to the Seattle Seahawks. These weren’t exactly two of the marquee teams in the league. The Broncos need to prove it against a great Niner defense if they're to be considered more than mediocre.
The Broncos are at their best when Russell Wilson is given the freedom to throw as many times as possible. Denver has solid receivers in Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. However, the Broncos see a 49er defense ranking first in passing yards allowed (and yards surrendered overall). So, Wilson's assignment isn't easy.
Denver's no slouch on defense, either, sitting at No. 3 in yards allowed to this point in the season. Denver and San Francisco allow the same 13 points per game. It will come down to if either offense is somewhat prolific. If Wilson is one his game, that may tilt the scale to Denver. If not, Denver has the better running backs (on paper), with Javonte Wiliams and Melvin Gordon. That’s, of course, provided they can hold onto the football.
Garoppolo's Second Act
The San Francisco 49ers’ season has been all about injuries so far. They haven’t seen their star tight end, George Kittle, on the field as of yet (injured groin). They’ve lost quarterback Trey Lance to a broken ankle. He’s done though this season. The 49ers are going back to their last starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, eyeing some similar results.
It will be seen if Garoppolo can sustain chemistry with the 49er offense despite not being in San Francisco's plans entering the season. It wasn’t a secret that the 49ers and their disgruntled quarterback were attempting to formulate a trade, which never came to fruition. Now, the 49ers lean (again) on Garoppolo It was only one game, but the Garoppolo–led Niners beat the Seahawks-handedly.
San Francisco hangs its hat on a defense that is first overall in fewest yards allowed, first in fewest passing yards allowed and second against the run. It may be due in part to the competition, as the 49ers played the Bears-on one of the worst fields in recent memory-and the suspect Seattle Seahawks. This will be a huge test for the defense. If they pass this test Sunday evening, they’re still a force to be reckoned with in the NFC West.
As per Super Bowl odds, San Francisco is currently at 16-1 (+1600), Denver at 25-1 (+2500) to win the title.
Nod to Wilson
The 49ers and the Broncos are two evenly-matched teams. Offenses haven’t been great, and both have been carried by the defense. However, Denver has more weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Everyone’s still awaiting a Russell Wilson coming-out game in Denver. Expect this game to be close, but the Broncos come out with a win as Wilson gets 300 yards (or close to it), as that's what Denver needs to win this game.
Take the Broncos with the point(s), as they have the higher chance of playing at their peak and winning. However, also make sure to bet on the under here, as two of the best defenses are featured. Denver has the potential to be one of the best teams in the league. This will be the game they figure it out.