The San Francisco 49ers are underdogs later today when they host the Denver Broncos, but professional bettors have been intrigued by SF all week. The line for the game opened as high as Broncos -6, but it has been bet down to as low as a field goal as of this morning.
There is sometimes talk of “pros” vs. “joes” in the betting market. A sizable majority of the public might choose to bet on one side, but the line will move the other way because professional bettors are dropping more money on the other side. 49ers-Broncos is an example of this. We saw it earlier in the week from William Hill tickets vs. money, and this morning we are seeing it at MGM sportsbooks around Las Vegas.
Biggest ticket count discrepancy for week 14 NFL @MGMRaceSports ...4 games have 4-1 margin...Saints over Bucs...Bills over Jets...Broncos over 49ers and Cowboys over Eagles...Rams over Bears is next at 3-1. #fadethepublic— Scott Shelton (@scottatmirage) December 9, 2018
MGM is seeing four times as many tickets betting the Broncos as the 49ers. The line is declining because of who is betting the 49ers. MGM is actually still offering 3.5 points as of this article being published, but more sportsbooks appear to be down to a field goal. If you were looking to bet this game, you’d be better suited taking the 49ers with the 0.5-point hook, but probably staying away from this game if it’s a field goal line.
The Broncos defense is a stiff challenge for the 49ers, but if Jeff Wilson can get going, an upset, or at least a close matchup is possible. The Broncos offense will be without Emmanuel Sanders, leaving Phillip Lindsay and Courtland Sutton as the two primary playmakers. The 49ers will likely stack the box and force Case Keenum to beat them. Of course, the 49ers secondary has been shaky this season, so that could burn them. For now though, I think we see this weekend’s matchup ending with the 49ers losing by low single digits.