The 49ers are trying to avoid a fourth straight loss to the red-hot Jaguars
This trip to Jacksonville couldn’t come at a good time for the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers were arguably the best team in the NFL through five weeks. Then he suddenly changed. They have lost three in a row. The Seahawks jumped them in the NFC West standings. They’re faltering a little.
Now they face the team with the longest winning streak in the NFL.
The Jaguars’ season was the opposite of the 49ers’ season. They started out very slow, and within three weeks it looked like they might be one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. They haven’t lost since. The two-game trip to London was huge for the Jaguars’ season, and they kept the momentum going once they returned stateside. They have won five straight games while everyone else in the NFL seems to be struggling to win two in a row.
The 49ers could have used a game against the Cardinals or Rams to get back on track. Not a trip all the way across the country to an early start against a very good Jaguars team that is also not far behind and still feels good about itself.
The betting market hasn’t changed its mind much about the 49ers. San Francisco is a three-point road favorite at BetMGM. That’s either not a whole lot of respect for a good Jaguars team or a whole lot of respect for a good 49ers team, depending on how you look at it.
If the Jaguars win on Sunday, we’ll have to start wondering if they’re Super Bowl contenders. With a win, they would move to 7-2 and play in the AFC’s least competitive division. Their chances of getting the No. 1 seed will increase dramatically. They will also validate everything they did. The offense is capable of being one of the top 10 in the NFL and the defense is already No. 3 in DVOA. Beat the 49ers, and we’ll spend the next week talking about how the Jaguars are this year’s surprise contender.
I’m not there with them yet. I’ll take the 49ers -3. I don’t think a team as good as San Francisco loses four in a row. If they lose for the fourth time in a row, the Jaguars aren’t the only team we’ll be talking about next week.
Here are the picks versus spreads for Week 10 of the NFL season, with odds from BetMGM:
Panthers (+3.5) over Bears
The less said about this game, the better. Although there are details about it in The Daily Sweat, if you are going to watch any prime time NFL game no matter how bad it is.
Colts (-1.5) over Patriots
It’s a Germany game and it could get shaky. It’s impossible to know how much travel will impact this game but it’s pretty clear that the Colts are the better team, even though they have flaws as well.
Bengals (-7) over Texas
The Bengals are starting to shine and it’s concerning to see Houston have 23 players on the injury report. I’m quite interested in CJ Stroud’s story. It’s the best thing the NFL has come up with this season. But this seems like a weakness for a young team coming off a very emotional win.
Saints (-2.5) over Vikings
Joshua Dobbs’ story last week was great. But let’s not go crazy. This is a team using a quarterback who was about a week and a half old, and had just been benched by the terrible Cardinals. Justin Jefferson is also unlikely to play, despite his return to practice from a hamstring injury. The Saints are unreliable, but buying the Vikings seems like an overreaction to a great story.
Steelers (-3) over Packers
At some point, the Steelers are going to back down. They somehow have a winning record despite being outscored in every game this season. But it’s really hard to trust Jordan Love against a defense that can rush the quarterback like Pittsburgh can.
Titans (+1) over Pirates
It’s counterintuitive, but the Giants are a much better team with rookie Will Levis at quarterback. They are smart to stick with him the rest of the season over Ryan Tannehill. The Buccaneers are fading and taking a tough loss in Houston. Tennessee appears to have a little more momentum.
Brown (+6) on crows
The Ravens are a really good team, but the Browns are a familiar opponent (Lamar Jackson’s ridiculous record against the NFC isn’t just a weird fluke, which tells us that the Ravens’ two stunning blowouts this season have come against NFC teams) and they have the defense to keep this interesting. If the Ravens beat Cleveland, their claim to being the best team in the NFL will be very strong.
Falcons (-1.5) over Cardinals
The Cardinals have looked terrible and what can we really expect in Kyler Murray’s first game back after a torn ACL? If the Falcons lose this one, the pressure on Arthur Smith will be too obvious to ignore.
The Lions are better, they rested a bye, and the Chargers just played Monday night in New York. Regardless of the schedule/travel advantages, the Lions are the much better team and the Chargers don’t have the home court advantage to make up for that.
Giants (+16.5) over Cowboys
I’ve been making these picks for a while, and I don’t know how many times I’ve picked a favorite that scores 16.5 points or more. It doesn’t happen often, although I thought about it here. The Giants draw absolutely dead.
Seahawks (-6.5) are on the leaders
When good teams get embarrassed, I like them to bounce back the next game. The Seahawks were eliminated by the Ravens last week. The Chiefs won after trading two of their best defensemen, but that was against the Patriots. This is a different challenge.
Planes (+1) on invaders
It’s common to see teams having a great game when they fire their coach or need to pivot around a backup quarterback. The question is what will happen in the second match? The Raiders were great last week, and they clearly wanted to hang on to fired coach Josh McDaniels. I mentioned this in last week’s picks. And now it’s a team disappointed by that bounce, with a rookie quarterback against one of the NFL’s best defenses. It’s not fun to back planes but I’d do it again.
Broncos (+7.5) on Bills
Maybe the Broncos will actually be decent the rest of the way? They have played much better over the last three weeks and came away with a win over the Chiefs. The bills look modest. They are probably much better than average and we will see that, but I wouldn’t put them in a position of more than just relegation.
last week: 7-7
Season so far: 65-68-3