Welcome to Week 9 of the 2018 NFL season! Half the league is halfway through their schedule, and we kick off the back half of the San Francisco 49ers schedule with an early game! The 49ers are hosting the Oakland Raiders tonight on Thursday Night Football, with kickoff set for 5:20 p.m. PT. It’s a battle of atrocious football teams, with prime draft positioning up for grabs.
The 49ers opened as a four-point favorite against the Raiders, but the line has come down to 2.5 at most sportbooks monitored by OddsShark. If you’re inclined to bet the Raiders, you can still find a couple field goal lines. There was line movement almost immediately, which I am guessing is due to getting over a field goal for the Raiders. These are two bad teams playing for draft positioning. Neither team has shown it can do a whole lot of much, and so I imagine a lot of gamblers see a game that ends with maybe a field goal’s difference.
In our latest FanPulse survey, I picked the 49ers winning by three points. The C.J. Beathard injury is a tough one to assess. I think he ends up playing, but if not Nick Mullens is a mostly unknown quantity. He has done some good things in the preseason, but he has seen no regular season work. I am still laying the 2.5 points with the 49ers in this one, and that’s primarily because of the run game and the Raiders atrocious pass rush. I think we see the 49ers put up some points in part because the quarterback hopefully has some time to make decisions, but also because the Raiders rank poorly against the run. This could be the game the 49ers offense gets on track — at least for one week.
49ers fans in aggregate predict a two-point San Francisco win, while Raiders fans predict a four-point Oakland loss. Neither team is confident for the time being, although it is interesting to note Raiders fans have been the most inaccurate in their weekly predictions. They have regularly picked relatively close wins, and have been wrong with regularity. On the other hand, 49ers fans have at least been able to pick out some losses along the way. Here are a pair of graphics illustrating fan picks vs. actual results.
Raiders fan picks
49ers fan picks
If you’re still alive in your Survivor pool, the 49ers are not a particularly safe pick if you’re looking to save the big names. Carolina at home against Tampa Bay might be your best bet. Ryan Fitzpatrick is back in the saddle, and I think we see a multi-interception game from him. You could also just play it safe with a big name and use either Chicago over Buffalo or Kansas City over Cleveland.
Here are all my straight-up picks for Week 9. I was 8-6 last week, bringing my season record to 78-40-2. I’ll have the rest of my picks against the spread later this weekend.
Raiders @ 49ers: 49ers
Bears @ Bills: Bears
Chiefs @ Browns: Chiefs
Jets @ Dolphins: Dolphins
Lions @ Vikings: Vikings
Falcons @ Washington: Washington
Buccaneers @ Panthers: Panthers
Steelers @ Ravens: Ravens
Texans @ Broncos: Texans
Chargers @ Seahawks: Seahawks
Rams @ Saints: Saints
Packers @ Patriots: Patriots
Titans @ Cowboys: Cowboys