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Line climbs after 49ers open as field goal favorites over Cardinals

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The 49ers claimed their first cover of the season in Sunday’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

The San Francisco 49ers came up short in their Week 4 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, but they did cover a spread that climbed from 4.5 to 10.5 points after Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL. The 49ers were going to be road underdogs regardless, but sportsbooks view Garoppolo as a five-to-six point player for the line.

This week, the 49ers host the Arizona Cardinals at Levi’s Stadium. The line opened Sunday evening with San Francisco installed as field goal favorites, but it has since climbed to 4.5 points, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. We are less than 24 hours removed from the opening of the line, but early public money is coming in on the 49ers.

What do we make of the 49ers when it comes to deciding how to bet on them? The conventional wisdom had them getting thumped by the Chargers, but they kept it close, and had chances to win the game. The close loss marked their first cover of the season. They now face a Cardinals team that Football Outsiders ranks middle of the pack on defense and dead last on offense.

This is a winnable game for the 49ers, but from a gambling perspective, is there anything we can take from Sunday’s close loss, both for this week against Arizona and beyond? Is this a team that is going to play up to or down to their competition week in and week out, or could C.J. Beathard put them in position to be a decent team — even if they don’t make the playoffs?

I expect the majority of public money to land on the 49ers, but I don’t think we’ll see an overwhelming amount. Both teams are coming off better than expected performances in close losses. I don’t think either loss necessarily counts as “better” than the other, so Sunday’s matchup could provide a little more clarity for the time being.

I’ve successfully used the 49ers game in three of the first four weeks of the SuperContest. In Week 1 I took the Vikings to cover as favorites, in Week 3 I took the Chiefs to cover as favorites, and this past week I took the 49ers to cover. I skipped Week 2 vs. the Lions because I just could not get a good bead on the matchup. This week against the Arizona, I think we see the 49ers cover, but I’m still feeling it out before deciding if I want to use a SueprContest pick on the game.