Denver Broncos @

San Francisco 49ers

Sun, Dec 9
1:05 PM Pacific
Rotation: 123
Odds: San Francisco 49ers PK, Total:

Game Analysis

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Note: The following was a Best Bet on the Over when it was released to subscribers early in the week but the total has gone up a couple of points and is now just a lean to the over.

*Over (43.5) – Denver vs SAN FRANCISCO

Lean – San Francisco (+4)

San Francisco suffered from an unlucky -5 turnover margin the last two weeks and scored a total of just 25 total points in those games. The Niners, however, did average 6.1 yards per play versus the Buccaneers and Seahawks, so they were much, much better than the scoreboard would indicate and there is value on the over in this game.

Nick Mullens is gaining 7.4 yards per pass play on the season, which would rank just above Matt Ryan and Tom Brady if he qualified. While that level of performance is unsustainable, I think the young quarterback will perform well this week against a Broncos defense without CB Chris Harris, who fractured his fibula last week. Harris is one of the league’s premier nickelbacks, conceding just 0.75 yards per cover snap in the slot (3rd), and Dante Pettis could be in line for a solid outing on the inside after recording 129 receiving yards last week.

Derek Wolfe is also banged-up for Denver’s defense and may miss this game altogether. Wolfe ranks 6th among interior defensive linemen with an 11.5% run stop rate and the Broncos 14th-rated rush defense is likely to drop off with him less than 100% (if he plays). Matt Breida, gaining 3.38 yards per rush after contact (4th), won’t be able to take advantage due to an injured ankle, but Jeff Wilson has looked impressive thus far with a 41% rush success rate. Wilson is also gaining a solid 1.65 yards per route run and should be a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield versus a Denver defense allowing 7.3 yards per target to opposing running backs (25th). However, the 49ers main advantage in this game will be George Kittle, who ranks 2nd in the league among tight ends at 2.45 yards per route run and 9.1 yards after catch. The Broncos are surrendering 8.3 yards per target to opposing tight ends (24th), and I expect Kittle to be used heavily on Sunday.

Denver’s 4th-rated ground game should dominate a Niners rush defense ranked 21st and now down two starting linebackers. Word broke on Wednesday it is believed Emmanuel Sanders tore his Achilles in practice and our metrics value him at 0.6 points to the Broncos offense. But, Denver should still have success offensively and the conditions will be ideal for scoring in Santa Clara on Sunday. Our model predicts 48.0 points and favors the Broncos by 3.5 points. I’ll go Over 44 points or lower in a 1-Star Best Bet (Strong Opinion at 44.5 or 45 and just a lean over at higher than 45 points) and I’ll lean with the 49ers based on a number of good contrary situations that favor them today. Non-division home underdogs that have lost and failed to cover the spread in 3 or more consecutive games are historically good bets in the NFL (SF applies to a 56-18-3 ATS situation based on that premise) and home dogs, or small home favorites, that are coming off a 20-point or more loss and have a losing spread record and also good against non-division opponents (a 151-75-3 ATS angle applies based on that). The Niners played much better than the scores indicate the last couple of weeks and they should be competitive in this game as long as the turnover margin is close.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Broncos
  • 49ers


  • Pass Plays 36.0 38.2
  • Succ Pass Plays 46.4% 49.1%
  • Sack Rate 6.5% 8.5%
  • Int Rate 2.3% 3.4%
  • Deep Pass Rate 16.9% 17.1%
  • Big Pass Yards 45.4% 48.1%
  • NYPP 6.4 7.5


  • Rush Plays 25.6 27.2
  • RB YPR 5.0 4.2
  • Stuff Rate 23.5% 19.1%
  • Succ Rush Plays 48.6% 42.8%
  • Big Rush Yards 52.1% 36.2%
  • Yards Per Rush 5.1 4.2


  • All Snaps 61.6 65.4
  • Early Down Succ 50.8% 48.5%
  • Succ Rate 47.7% 46.1%
  • Big Yards Rate 48.3% 46.2%
  • Yards Per Play 5.9 5.9
  • Fumble Lost Rate 0.4% 1.0%
  • Time Per Play (sec) 27.7 29.2
  • Run Ratio 41.6% 42.3%
  • Starting Field Pos 27.9 27.0
  • Game Control -1.0 1.0
  • Points 22.3 21.7
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