Now, one day after the world saw San Francisco throw up on themselves, the 49ers are 5.5-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total on the game set at 46. That’s the highest total for a 49ers game this season, which is reflective of the Niners performance in Minnesota.
On offense, Christian McCaffrey’s fumble on the first possession took what was an inevitable touchdown off the board. After failing to convert a 3rd & 5 on the second drive, Jake Moody missed a 40-yard field goal.
Three of the next four drives resulted in scores. And, remember, the latter was a 55-yard field goal after a third down where Brandon Aiyuk was open over the middle but couldn’t get his hands underneath the ball to secure the first down.
The punt in between was the one sack Brock Purdy couldn’t escape from. Plus, Christian McCaffrey had a carry to the left side that lost three yards. It was the first drive where the offense missed Trent Williams — which highlights how valuable their left tackle is.
Add in Purdy’s two interceptions that happened in Vikings territory, and it’s easy to understand why the 49ers are expected to move the ball and score on a Bengals defense that allowed Geno Smith to throw for 326 yards and the Seahawks to have five trips inside the red zone.
The 5.5-point spread would also suggest the Bengals aren’t back to last year’s form at 3-3, even coming off a bye. Cincinnati is last in a competitive AFC North with a -27 point differential. They were fortunate to not lose to Seattle at home in Week 7.
But the Bengals have one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Ja’Marr Chase, another threat opposite of him in Tee Higgins, and a slot receiver capable of doing damage against the Niners with Tyler Boyd.
The 49ers have struggled to stop the top receiver during each of their last two games. The Bengals are an offense capable of threatening Steve Wilks’s secondary moreso than the Vikings.
Calling the Vikings victory fluke is dishonest, They went 0-for-2 in the red zone and one of those was 1st & goal from the 1-yard line. Still, the higher spread implies:
- Nick Bosa and the defensive line will begin to turn their pressures and quarterback hits into sacks
- An interception won’t be wrestled away from a cornerback for a touchdown before the
- Minnesota was 7-for-10 on third downs at one point. The Bengals won’t replicate third down success
- Joe Burrow isn’t 100% and is still shaky compared to Kirk Cousins’ flawless game
- A potential Trent Williams return, meaning the offense will average more than 3 yards per carry on the ground
- Not turning it over 3 times in the opponents’ territory in addition to missing a field goal
The other team is going to score. That’s football. The total of Week 8’s matchup anticipates a 49ers victory 26-20.