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49ers a slight underdog to Houston Texans for preseason Week 2

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It might come down to four backup quarterbacks.

The San Francisco 49ers are in Houston this week, holding joint practices with the Texans on Wednesday and Thursday, and then squaring off in a preseason game on Saturday. The line for the game opened at a handful of oddsmakers with the Texans as 1.5 point favorites. Since then, most have climbed to 2.5 points, and additional sports books simply opened the line at 2.5 points as of Tuesday morning, according to Odds Shark. The point total is set at 41.

The big question will be how much the starters will play in this second preseason game for each team. Jimmy Garoppolo and Deshaun Watson both played a single series on offense last week. I suspect we see a full quarter, or at least two or three series from each side’s starters, whichever is greater.

Garoppolo made some solid plays, but there was rust. The 49ers didn’t really get in gear on offense until the fourth quarter when Nick Mullens took over. Will we see Mullens get another full quarter of play, or will rookie Jack Heneghan get some work this week?

Betting on the preseason comes down to what you see from the reserves more than the starters. We know the 49ers will be without TE George Kittle, RBs Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon, DL Arik Armstead, CB K’Waun Williams, and LB Malcolm Smith. DL Solomon Thomas and OT Garry Gilliam are question marks while they work through the concussion protocol. There are a handful of day-to-day players, but we’ll have to see what the joint practices look like.

I want to wait and see what the Wednesday and Thursday practices bring, but for the time being, I’d lean Texans if I can get a line of 2 or less (which you still can), and the UNDER. The reason being, I think preseason Brandon Weeden and Joe Webb are likely better bets than preseason C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens. Although, Mullens did look solid last Thursday, so maybe that changes. But we’ll see how injuries progress through the week.

The 49ers are coming off a preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys that saw them win 24-21, but fail to cover the 3.5 point spread. I managed to actually get the pick right, along with the over (35 points). I imagine this will be a rarity, so I figured I would enjoy it.