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Another week, another 49ers battle for draft positioning

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The 49ers and Raiders can clean things up, at least a little bit, on Thursday Night Football.

The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders square off Thursday evening in a matchup with draft pick implications. We are only halfway through the season, so plenty will change, but this will shake up the 2019 NFL Draft order, at least for the short term. The current top five draft order is as follows (record and strength of schedule in parenthesis):

1. New York Giants (1-7, .508)
2. San Francisco 49ers (1-7, .525)
3. Oakland Raiders (1-6, .548)
4. Buffalo Bills (2-6, .520)
5. Arizona Cardinals (2-6, .546)

The 49ers lost to the Cardinals last week, and that bumped San Francisco ahead of Arizona in positioning and in their odds for claiming a high pick. Football Outsiders updated their playoff and draft picks odds, and the 49ers are now atop the list for both No. 1 pick odds and top five pick odds. San Francisco has a 32.9 percent chance at the No. 1 overall pick, and an 81.6 percent chance at a top five pick. The Cardinals dropped to fifth in No. 1 pick odds (13.7 percent), and second in top five odds (74.0 percent).

Oakland arrives in Santa Clara with the second best odds for the No. 1 overall at 17.5 percent. Oakland would likely jump just ahead of the 49ers with a loss, while a 49ers loss would probably bump San Francisco’s odds up over 40 percent, and maybe near 50 percent.

We could know a whole lot more about the 49ers draft status in a week and a half after the 49ers have played the Raiders and then Giants. A pair of losses would put the 49ers in prime position for the No. 1 overall pick. On the other hand, if they win both of these games, or at least split them, it will make for a particularly interesting final seven games after the bye week.

Just a reminder that there are only two draft order tiebreakers: first is strength of schedule, with weaker getting the higher pick, and second is coin flip at the NFL Combine.