Although NFL betting opinion is split down the middle for the Week 7 marquee game between the San Francisco 49ers & Denver Broncos, the NFL betting market leaves no doubt about which side is the bookies’ favourite.
San Francisco 49ers (4-2, 2-1 away)
The Niners are riding a three-game winning streak, reversing a 1-2 SU start on the season to improve to 4-2 SU and ATS. Since a lacklustre defeat to the divisional rivals Arizona Cardinals on the road, the Niners have gone on to beat the Eagles, Chiefs and Rams, outscoring the opposition 79 to 55 points. The win over divisional rivals St. Louis Rams in week 6 NFL betting proved one of their best accounts to date, complete from offense to defense.
Kaepernick completed 22-of-36 passes for 343 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He enjoyed an average of 9.5 yards per pass attempt as he rallied the Niners, who were trailing by two touchdowns in the early goings, to victory. On the other side of the ball, the Niners gave up 309 yards in total offense to the Rams. But after a strong start by the Rams, scoring two touchdowns, the Niners closed ranks and held the Rams off the scoreboard save for a late field goal.
By the numbers, the Niners were compelling against the Rams. That they’ve found form and overcome their early season wobbles, public scandals and various injury setbacks is commendable, not to mention ahead of a date with the Broncos quite opportune. It hasn’t correlated to market confidence though. The Niners are trading as the decided underdogs at +230 to win straight up and at plus 6.5-point against the spreads.
Denver Broncos (4-1, 3-0 home)
Denver Broncos are off to a flying start on the season with just one defeat in five games, a 26-20 overtime defeat to the Seattle Seahawks. Despite the lone loss, the Broncos are sat second in the AFC West behind the San Diego Chargers.
By the numbers, Peyton Manning is second to none. Last season, Manning poured the points on the opposition without restraint. This season he’s yet to find the awe-inspiring form that saw him lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl, but he’s no less effective than he was last season. After all the Broncos are continuously winning, and since week 3’s loss to the Seahawks, their wins have been more convincing.
Denver Broncos are averaging 29.4 points per game from a 4th ranked passing offense that averages 297.8 yards per game and a 26th ranked rushing offense that averages 91.2-points per game. Manning has 15 touchdowns already and is averaging 8.01 passing yards per game. Broncos defense isn’t too shabby either ranked 16th against the passing and 4th against the rush.
They are behind a two-game winning streak over the Arizona Cardinals 41-20 and New York Jets 31-17. The Niners however will prove a sterner test both offensively and defensively. Nonetheless, market faith in the Broncos is unwavering: they are the hot -280 home favourites to win straight up and they are the 6.5-point chalk, which is appropriate considering they boast an 8.6 margin of victory through a 2-3 ATS mark.
NFL Betting Verdict
Although the NFL betting market is firmly cornered in the Broncos camp, many NFL bettors aren’t convinced entirely they’ll have an easy time of it because a) they aren’t exactly putting up the same numbers as they were last season, despite their winning form and Manning’s mission to surpass Favre’s all-time touchdown record, playing like he’s a young buck and not a 38-year-old veteran; and b) the Niners defense, which is 2nd against the pass and 5th against the rush, could be up for the task, if not to mastermind the upset at least to keep the game close.
Broncos are back at the top of NFL power rankings since Dallas got the better of Seattle on the road on Sunday, and the Niners are up to third in the NFL power rankings after a come-from-behind win over St. Louis. In more ways than one you’d have to split hairs between this pair to decide which side of the coin poses the value NFL pick. It’s also worth considering public NFL betting trends that are most likely going to be split between two very popular teams, jump on both bandwagons only to blur NFL betting lines further.
By the stats, Broncos are 12-9-1 ATS at home since 2012 with an average margin of victory of 14.3 points. San Francisco meanwhile are a convincing, league-leading 15-6-1 ATS as the road team since 2012, which yields a 71.4 % cover ratio all while boasting a margin of victory of 5.4 points. Since 2012, Niners are 8-2-0 ATS in non-Conference games with an average margin of victory 15.6 points while the Broncos are 6-5-0 ATS with an average margin of victory of 9.2-points. We could go on, waving more stats. All that does is press home the fact that these are two credible opponents set to collide in a game that could go either way. That leaves us with one thing and one thing only: if both teams play up to their perceived lofty levels, we should have a close, nail-biting, nerve-wracking affair. In which case, taking the points with the Niners may appear to be the value NFL pick.
NFL Free Picks: Niners +6.5 at William Hill