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49’ers -3.5 vs. Cardinals: NFL Picks

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NFL Pick on San Francisco as they take on Arizona set tostart at 4:05 PM ET.

The 49ers are having a remarkable season and are flying underthe shadows of the undefeated Green Bay Packers and the offensive juggernaut, New Orleans Saints. They clinched the NFC West Division last Sunday with aconvincing 26-0 win over the St. Louis Rams. 

Currently, the 49ers hold the second spot in the playoffs, andthey and the Green bay Packers would get the very important BYE week in the post season. TheSaints are right behind the 49ers with a 9-3 mark and will have a difficultgame at Tennessee Sunday. 

The 49ers also set an all-time record going undefeated in thefirst nine games ATS of the regular season, posting a 8-0-1 ATS mark. Theyfinally did lose at Baltimore, but by the score of 16-6, which was veryrespectable given the travel and game situations that were working against themthat week. 

The NFL Betting Line

This NFL betting line opened with the 49ers installed as a 3 ½ point favoriteand the NFL odds have remained static through Thursday’s betting action. Sportsbooks,however, do show line movement on the total, which was posted at 40 ½ -110 and hasbeen bet down to a current 38 ½ -110 price tag. This line will continue to edgelower, given the impressive 49ers defense that seems to get better with eachpassing game. 

[gameodds]16/86946/43-19-92-198-238-93/us[/gameodds]

Team Rankings

The 49ers rank 29th gaining 185.3 passing yards pergame, seventh gaining 130.0 rushing yards per game, 16th allowing231.6 passing yards per game, and best allowing just 71.8 rushing yards pergame. By comparison, Arizona ranks 21st gaining 207.8 passing yardsper game, 18th gaining 108.8 rushing yards per game, 25thallowing 251.1 passing yards per game, and 19th allowing 119.4rushing yards per game. 

Alex SmithThe 49ers will dominate both sides of the ball, control both the lineof scrimmage and the clock allowing them to grind their way to another impressivedouble digit win. 

Simulator Projections

My proprietary sports handicapping database and simulator shows ahigh probability that the 49ers will winthis game by a minimum of four points. Only one team, Philadelphia, hasgained more than 100 rushing yards against the 49ers defense. Philadelphia isnot a running team, however, and the majority of those rushing yards wasattributed to the athleticism of quarterback Michael Vick. 

The sim shows a high probability that Arizona will rush for less100 yards in this game. In past games where the 49ers have allowed 75 to 100rushing yards they are 4-1 ATS this season and 12-3 ATS the past three seasons.

The Cardinals’ Beanie Wells

The Arizona third-year running back has begun to reach hispotential and has been a largely effective offensive weapon. Head coachWhisenhunt nearly always sets a game plan to establish the running gamefeaturing Wells. The problem this week is that they are facing the best run defense in theNFL

In the first meeting between these two teams, Arizona ran theball only 11 times, but did gain 80 yards. This was largely because Arizonafell behind and had to go to the air to try to mount a comeback, resulting in five turnovers. 

I just do not see anyway that Arizona’s offense willbe capable of consistently executing ball control plays against the 49ers styleof defense. Again, the 49ers defense will want to get off the field and theoffense will turn the favor by accumulating a maximum edge in time ofpossession.

49ers win this game big!