The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Denver Broncos later this week on Sunday Night Football, and it will mark their first game as an underdog this season. The 49ers are a touchdown underdog to the Broncos. The line opened at Broncos -6, and it has climbed to 6.5- and 7-points depending on where you choose to wager. The point total on this game opened at 47.5, but has quickly climbed to 50.5.
This is an interesting matchup in terms of two teams coming off very similar games in Week 6. Mile High Report broke down the similarities of the games. They both finished with 31-17 road wins. The home dogs took early leads, the favorites stormed back, the underdogs made it close late, and the favorites each sealed their wins with a pick six in the final minute. It was actually a little eery.
During Jim Harbaugh's time as head coach, the 49ers have become less and less of an underdog. In 2011, the 49ers were underdogs in five regular season games, and the Saints divisional round game. In 2012, they were underdogs in three regular season games, but favored in all three playoff games. In 2013, they were underdogs in three regular season games, and then the NFC title game up in Seattle. This touchdown spread is the biggest for them since they were 10-point underdogs in Philadelphia back in 2011. Since then, they were 6-point underdogs against Green Bay to open the 2012 season, and 4-point underdogs in Seattle for the NFC title game.
The 49ers are 8-3-2 in their last 13 road games, including the playoffs. This season, they covered at Dallas and came up short against Arizona. Denver is 5-5 ATS in their last ten home games. San Francisco has gone under the point total in 7 of their last 9 games, while Denver has gone over in 4 of their last 6.
The big question will be how the 49ers injury situation looks come Sunday. Patrick Willis is a big question mark for them, and we're still waiting to hear what is next for Jimmie Ward and Mike Iupati. The 49ers defense is already short-handed, so losing Willis and potentially Ward only adds to that. It does lower expectations, and put the 49ers in an us against the world mentality, so maybe that's a good thing this week!