It’s gameday! Which 49ers unit will show up today? Will it be the defense that we saw through the first seven games that was stingy through the air, or the secondary that’s allowed multiple explosive plays the past two games? The offense should fare better with Trent Williams and Brandon Aiyuk returning to the lineup.
Barrows: The 5 questions the 49ers ought to have answered by season’s end
What will the quarterback composition look like next season?
Garoppolo recently was examined by the NFL’s foot and ankle specialist who agreed with the 49ers’ in-house doctors that the quarterback doesn’t need surgery on his right ankle. That means there’s a solid chance Garoppolo returns to the lineup next month.
That didn’t happen. Garoppolo had a ho-hum performance in Week 1, then was injured early in Week 2.
Meanwhile, neither of Garoppolo’s backups is under contract for next season.
Lynch seemed to answer whether Sunday starter Nick Mullens is a potential heir to Garoppolo by noting how much the 49ers have struggled without Garoppolo, and Mullens has been better than C.J. Beathard. Which — if either — backup quarterback returns next season likely hinges on how well Mullens performs over the next month.
Will SF score on first possession - YES (+200)
I love this one. Professional poker players make a living by understanding, and exploiting, “pot odds.” For instance, if they’re going to make a call in which they only have a 40% win chance, but the pot is so big that if they do win the hand they’ll win 800% profit, they make that call. “Pot odds” suggest it’s worth it.
This bet presents great “pot odds.” The 49ers have scored on their opening drives 56% of the time (5-of-9) and the Saints have allowed opponents to score on their first drive 62.5% of the time (5-of-8). So in other words, math and history tell us there is a greater than 50% chance of this happening Sunday, yet we are getting 2-to-1 odds. You won’t find deals like this on Black Friday.
Making this bet sweeter is the fact that Kyle Shanahan, a master at scripting opening drives, has had extra time to prepare. Furthermore, the game is in a dome and the 49ers have one of the best kickers in the game (Robbie Gould) ready to deliver a 50+ yard field goal if necessary.
Start: TE Jordan Reed
Why not? Tight end is a wasteland this season and Reed’s ceiling is pretty high in the 49ers’ offense. He got his first game back from a knee injury out of the way last week with just one catch for three yards. It stands to reason he’ll be targeted more against New Orleans. If you have a top five TE, keep them in the lineup. If you’re streaming TEs, Reed is worth a flier this week.
Eleven days to rest and prepare.
A 3-1 record on the road.
The 13th-ranked offense and 7th-ranked defense despite injury after injury.
The return of Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne.
A top-five play-caller on offense and a top-five play caller on defense.
The best middle linebacker in the game or close to it.
You better believe the 49ers will come to play this Sunday. But will they actually beat the Saints?
That all depends on third down.
NFL Odds & Picks for Week 10: Broncos vs. Raiders, 49ers vs. Saints Among Sharpest Sunday Bets
There’s no other way to put it … sharps love this game.
SI’s Bet Signals have pegged five separate instances of sharp money hitting San Francisco, showing wiseguys expect the Niners to keep this game close.
Professionals are also backing up their opinions with big bucks, evidenced by the 55% of money coming down on the 49ers on just 45% of the bets.
Not be left out, three of our top NFL betting experts have also joined the San Francisco party.
Sportsbooks are mixed right now, with plenty of 49ers +9.5s and +10s available, so take a minute to shop the market and lock in the full 10.
PRO Report Pick: 49ers +10