The San Francisco 49ers have been on a downward spiral, losing seven straight games and yes, bringing up questions about Chip Kelly’s future with the team. The truth of the matter is that Kelly has not really had the kind of personnel necessary to implement his no-huddle, spread offense. But at least he has Colin Kaepernick back at the controls, and he came up with a big game last week against the New Orleans Saints. But he can do the same thing against the Arizona Cardinals? That would be a big question indeed. These teams kick it off at 4:25 PM ET on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, and while BetAnySports customers are watching it on CBS, they can engage in real-time wagering against the football betting odds through the magic of Live Betting Ultra.
The situation will be a bit different then the first time these two teams met, as the quarterbacks will be different. Kaepernick did not start for the Niners the first time around, as Blaine Gabbert was the starter from the beginning of the season. But with 398 yards last week against the Saints, and with the mobility he brings the position, they would appear to be little question that the controversial Nevada alum is the much better fit for Kelly’s offense.
For the Cardinals, Carson Palmer had to sit out the first meeting with a concussion, and he was replaced by Drew Stanton, who completed only 11 of his 28 passes for 124 yards. But this team took advantage of a couple of interceptions of Gabbert, and registered seven sacks. David Johnson also had 157 yards on the ground, keying the 33-21 victory. There is no reason to believe that Johnson can’t advance the ball over land with some success once again.
In the football betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, Arizona is the big favorite:
Arizona Cardinals -14
San Francisco 49ers +14
Over 48 points -110
Under 48 points -110
The big problem San Francisco has is on defense. Since chalking up a 28-0 shut out over the Los Angeles Rams in the season opener, it has been almost impossible for them to stop anyone. They have allowed a 100-yard rusher in each of the last seven games, thus tying an NFL record, and they allow 5.3 yards per carry, which means that Arizona should be able to move the chains without a whole lot of trouble. That has been part of the formula for failure for the Niners this year; the opposing team does very well on first or second down, and so San Francisco has allowed a whopping 46.6% success rate on third down. They have allowed 30 or more points six times this season.
BetAnySports patrons also know that if your defense spends too much time on the field, is going to get fatigued sooner or later. Because San Francisco plays at a pace that is faster than any other team, they tend to have shorter offensive possessions. The numbers, in fact, bear that out, as they have averaged only two minutes and six seconds per possession, which is dead last in the NFL. So their defense has been on the field an average of 71.4 plays per game.
We go from one extreme to another in this matchup, as Arizona has allowed fewer yards per game than any team in the NFL (297). The problem with the Cardinals is the fact that they don’t necessarily get off to fast starts; in fact, they only scored seven first-quarter points all season long. So maybe you should not expect that they could come right out and blow the Niners away, but rather, wear them down steadily as the game progresses. But is that enough to win by two touchdowns?
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