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Golden Nuggets: Kittle activated; Givens has been ruled out

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday, December 26, 2020

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Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers activated George Kittle off the injured reserve. They also placed Nick Mullens and Raheem Mostert on the injured reserve. Kevin Givens was ruled out of Saturday’s game, but it was not injury-related. Colton McKivitz was removed from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. NT Darrion Daniels was promoted from the practice squad to take the place of GIvens. Jord Matthews, Daniel Helm, Alex Barrett, and Tim Harris were all activated from the practice squad.

NFL Odds & Picks: 49ers vs. Cardinals, Dolphins vs. Raiders Drawing Sharp Bettors Saturday (Dec. 26)

Sharp Action

As you could probably guess, a C.J. Beathard vs. Kyler Murray matchup is going to have a difficult time drawing bettors to the former. As of writing 21% of bets on this spread have landed on the 49ers, yet their line has fallen from +5 to +4.5. That alone should tell you something about the type of bettor they’re attracting.

Confirming San Francisco’s sharp backing, four Sports Insights Bet Signals have been triggered on the Niners, revealing four separate instances of market movement caused specifically by professional action.

Sharp Action edge: 49ers

Big Money

Also giving sportsbooks some reason to drop this number, the 49ers, while attracting only 21% of bets, have generated 74% of the actual money hitting this spread. And while that obviously creates a monetary liability, it perhaps, more importantly, indicates that bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps — are taking the points.

Big Money edge: 49ers

Top Experts

It’s not just the sharps finding underdog value, either. As of writing, two of our top NFL betting experts have also taken the 49ers and the points.

To follow all our experts’ picks, and get notified in real-time when they make them, download the free Action App.

Top Experts edge: 49ers

49ers activate Kittle off IR to play Saturday vs. Cardinals

Kittle is back, but Shanahan said he will take into account the fact Kittle has not played in a while when determining his playing time on Saturday. Kittle typically plays every offensive snap. He likely will see more time on the sideline with Ross Dwelley and Jordan Reed mixing into the action.

Shanahan on Thursday explained that there is no reason to prevent Kittle from returning to action. After all, the bone has healed completely and Kittle had two good weeks of practices.

“He’s probably one of the healthiest guys we have right now — the freshest,” Shanahan said. “He had two good weeks of practice, and he feels great after it. We wouldn’t put him out at all if there was any risk of reinjuring this or he wasn’t healed.”

2021 Offseason Outlook: San Francisco 49ers

3. The Big Question this offseason

Is Garoppolo the team’s long-term answer at quarterback? Shanahan has the offseason to explore that space, not to mention a theoretical cattle call of veterans who would gleefully leave their teams behind to play in that offense. Though Matt Ryan’s contract is largely immovable, we can think that level of grandiose as teams plot their near futures and decide who might be worth holding onto. The 49ers could also wind up with a top-10 pick, giving them the enticing option of buying in for one more year of Garoppolo while they groom his successor for a mid-year takeover. While the 49ers will not get Trevor Lawrence, a rookie will have a generous leg up toward success if brought up under Shanahan. He could have the option of risking more on a toolsy quarterback than hedging on the “sure thing.”

SF 49ers must avoid trade for Eagles QB Carson Wentz

Wentz is in full regression mode. While his 2019 touchdown-to-interception ratio of 27-to-7 looked good enough, his 93.1 passer rating marked a downgrade from his previous 2017 and 2018 campaigns, although one can safely point out a lack of legitimate pass-catching weapons.

But 2020 has revealed a complete fall-off in terms of Wentz’s production. Just check out where his rankings are this season out of 35 qualifiers:

  • Completion percentage: 57.4 (34th)
  • Touchdown percentage: 3.7 (27th)
  • Interceptions: 15 (35th)
  • Interception percentage: 3.4 (T 32nd)
  • Passer rating: 72.8 (34th)

That’s the definition of a reclamation project, and that’s not what San Francisco needs in the wake of a would-be Garoppolo departure.

SF 49ers: 5 players who should be on Santa’s naughty list

No. 5: SF 49ers Right Tackle Mike McGlinchey

Fair or not, right tackle Mike McGlinchey has become the poster player for all the issues the Niners offensive line has dealt with this season.

Some analytics sites, such as Pro Football Focus, still tout McGlinchey as one of the league’s better run blockers this season. But even PFF notes his pass-protection skills have waned from last year. And it does seem McGlinchey winds up being bull-rushed into the ground by bigger, stronger pass-rushers seemingly on a weekly basis.

But if you truly want to see why McGlinchey ended up on Santa’s naughty list, do yourself a favor and simply do a search for the tackle’s name on Twitter.

Yeah, that showed enough.

San Francisco might have too many offseason needs to worry about switching out McGlinchey this offseason. Yet him being the subject of so much criticism isn’t exactly what the SF 49ers wanted to receive as a gift from their top investment in the 2018 NFL Draft.