For long time readers of Niners Nation, you know that I'm a bit of a gambling fan. The NFL might try and pretend gambling is a bad thing, but we all know gambling is a big reason the league is so successful.
I like to keep an eye out for the point spreads in part because oddsmakers can tell us all sorts of things. They are looking to get an even split of money, so they try and find that perfect number for a game. There will be adjustments to reflect changes, but that opening number gives us a great jumping off point.
The folks at Cantor Gaming have done a huge favor to the gambling world, as they released point spreads for every 2013 NFL game from Week 1 through Week 16. Cantor Gaming operates several sports books in Las Vegas, including the Venetian, the Tropicana and the Palms. The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook is the baseline for a lot of gamblers, but Cantor provides their fair share of information.
Most, if not all of these lines will change in the coming months, but it is worth noting a few things at this point. First off, for those who are not aware, the spread is on the far right side, and reflects the home team's status. A minus sign (-) means the home team is favored by that many points. A plus sign (+) means the home team is an underdog by that many points. Week 17 is not listed at this point because of the chance that teams are resting starters heading into the playoffs.
The 49ers are favored in all but two games. They open as 2-1/2 point underdogs against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2, and they are a pick 'em against the Saints in Week 11. Their biggest spread right now is 10-1/2 points against the Jaguars in London. Their next biggest spread is 10 points over the Cardinals in San Francisco.
It is not surprising that the 49ers are 2-1/2 point underdogs at Seattle, and 2-1/2 point favorites when the Seahawks come down to Candlestick Park. I think oddsmakers can see that people view this as a pair of tight matchups. Seahawks fans enjoy reveling in their 42-13 beatdown of the 49ers last December, but we all know that the odds are pretty good we'll have a pair of close games next season. One team could end up dominating one or both, but the odds are better we'll see close games.
Most of these spreads will change, but do any in particular jump out at you? I could see the Titans line coming down a little bit. A strong start by the Redskins could also be enough to bump them up into favored status. Of course, that will depend in part on if RGIII stays healthy.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-4)
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)
Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)
San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (+4)
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (-5.5)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-10)
San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans (+7)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (+10.5) @ London, England
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (-6)
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (Pick)
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (+1.5)
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-2.5)
San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3)
Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-3.5)
Week 17 (not listed)