Sunday, Oct. 6, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: San Francisco -7.5
Total Line: 41.5
The pressure has been dialed-up on Houston heading into this showdown after back-to-back losses to Baltimore and Seattle. After getting hammered by the Ravens 30-9 as a one-point road underdog in Week 3, this past Sunday it fell to the Seahawks 23-20 in overtime as a one-point underdog at home. The Texans are 2-2 straight-up on the year, but they have failed to cover against the spread in all four games. The total has gone OVER in three of their four outings.
This team has built its reputation over the past few seasons behind a shutdown defense, but there are some cracks in the foundation so far this year. This unit is still ranked first in the NFL against the pass and in total yards allowed, but it is giving-up an average of 113.2 rushing yards and 26.2 points which are both ranked 23rd in the league. It has been hit or miss on offense as well. The Texans have been able to rack-up the yards through the air and on the ground with an average of 410.2 yards a game, but they are ranked 19th in the league in scoring with 22.5 points a game.
San Francisco is another high-profile contender that has been strapped with a couple of head-scratchers so far. In back-to-back losses to Seattle on the road and Indianapolis at home it was outscored 56-10. The 49ers bounced back last Thursday night with a 35-11 victory over St. Louis as three-point road favorites to improve to 2-2 both SU and ATS. The total went OVER the 42.5-point line against the Rams and it has been evenly split on the year 2-2.
Much of the attention for San Francisco’s shaky play has been directed at third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick. After assuming the starting role halfway through last season and leading the team all the way to the Super Bowl, he has suffered some early growing pains in his first four starts this season. Kaepernick has passed for 856 yards and five touchdowns, but he is completing just 58.1 percent of his throws and he has been picked off four times. Frank Gore has also been inconsistent running the ball with 295 yards on 61 carries. The 49ers are ranked 21st in the NFL in total offense and 23rd in scoring with 19.8 points a game.
Free NFL Pick
Both of these perennial playoff teams have struggled with consistency on both sides of the ball this season and it has cost them some games. I still see San Francisco as the better overall team in this matchup, but I do not like the extra half point on the current spread. Look for the 49ers to get the SU win, but the free NFL pick in this contest is Houston plus the 7.5 points.
San Francisco 24 Houston 17
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.