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49ers vs. Bills: Odds and history

San Francisco is a slight underdog going into the Monday Night Football showdown.

Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers continue their pursuit of a playoff spot when they take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 13 of the NFL season. The Niners are 5-6 and sit one game out of a wild card going into the Monday Night Football matchup.

Nick Mullens will make his fourth-straight start for San Francisco, who should have Brandon Aiyuk and D.J. Jones back in the fold after the duo missed last week’s game due to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

The game was supposed to be played at Levi’s Stadium, but after Santa Clara County tightened up its coronavirus related restrictions, the 49ers will play the Bills at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.

Buffalo leads the AFC East with an 8-3 record and is 2-1 against the NFC West this season.

Here are the current betting odds for Monday’s matchup:

Line: Bills (-3.0)

Over/under: 48

San Francisco is 5-6 ATS this season.

Buffalo is 6-5 ATS this season.

The 49ers are 3-3 in games they’re betting underdogs, beating the Los Angeles Rams twice and New England Patriots, while losing to the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks. The last three games the Niners have won all went under the projected total score.

This will be the 13th meeting between San Francisco and Buffalo, with the all-time series tied at 6-6. The 49ers have won two out of the last three matchups against the Bills.

The most recent game was in 2016 when Buffalo smashed San Francisco 45-16. Chip Kelly was the Niners coach that season and I remember this game in particular because it was Colin Kaepernick’s first start of the year after missing the first five games while recovering from a shoulder injury. The Bills took an early 7-3 lead before Kaepernick hit Torrey Smith for a 53-yard score to put the Niners up 10-7.

Buffalo took over from there and went to the blowout win, holding Kaepernick to just 167 net passing yards.

Because of the NFL’s rotating schedule, the Bills and 49ers play each other every four seasons. Eight years ago, the Jim Harbaugh-led San Francisco squad thrashed Buffalo 45-3. Alex Smith had himself a day completing 18-of-24 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns. He got some help from the Niners’ rushing attack, which finished the game a whopping 311 net yards. Running backs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for 187 rushing yards and a score, while Kaepernick recorded the second rushing touchdown of his career.

The dominant 49ers defense swamped Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills’ offense, holding them to 204 total yards.