We have a cross-conference matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars on this Sunday’s early afternoon slate. Although both teams enter this game with sub-.500 records, the path to a playoff berth is much clearer for the 49ers. San Francisco is also coming in on the heels of an impressive primetime victory. The NFL betting odds list the visitors as nearly a full touchdown favorite ahead of the sixth all-time matchup between these teams.
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Opening Lines: 49ers -5.5; O/U 47
Current Lines: 49ers -6.5; O/U 45.5
Location: TIAA Bank Field — Jacksonville, FL
Start Time: 1 p.m. EDT
Last Meeting: December 24, 2017 — The 49ers defeated the Jaguars 44-33 in Santa Clara.
Just when everyone was ready to dismiss the 49ers, Kyle Shanahan’s bunch went out and put a beating on the division-rival Los Angeles Rams. The fact that they did it on the national viewing stage of Monday Night Football left plenty of NFL betting analysts in shock. Perhaps they shouldn’t have been. Injuries created turmoil for the Niners early in the season. With a healthy squad two weeks ago, they simply played a horrendous game against the shorthanded Arizona Cardinals. Last week’s game was a must-win for the 49ers to have any hopes of crawling back into the NFC West race. With their backs against the wall, a team that entered the year with a very respectable power rating exceeded their reduced expectations.
The biggest difference between San Francisco’s loss to the Cardinals and their win over the Rams was their defensive play. Their much-maligned 49ers secondary forced two interceptions and held L.A. under 300 yards for the game. Running the ball remains as difficult as ever against their stacked defensive front, too. Speaking of running, Elijah Mitchell toted a season-high 27 carries on Monday night. He finished out the game despite suffering a broken finger. His status looks okay for Sunday. If the rookie has to miss, veteran Jeff Wilson Jr. is back from his own stint on the PUP list and would shoulder the backfield load. Niners fans certainly had to be thrilled to see Jimmy Garoppolo hook up with both Deebo Samuel and George Kittle on touchdown strikes in last week’s win.
pass-funnel defenses in terms of dvoa:#jaguars (31st in pass-defense dvoa, 7th vs. run)#wft (29th vs. pass, 6th vs. run)#colts (23rd vs. pass, 2nd vs. run)#49ers (20th vs. pass, 5th vs. run)#browns (26th vs. pass, 12th vs. run)#seahawks (25th vs. pass, 11th vs. run)
— Nick Mensio (@NickMensio) November 17, 2021
After shocking the entire NFL betting world two weeks ago with a win over the Buffalo Bills, the Jaguars at least managed to play their AFC South rival Indianapolis Colts to a one-score game last Sunday. The best element of this rebuilding team is their run defense. The Jaguars enter Week 11 ranked 11th in rushing yards allowed per game (106.0) and seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency against the run. As such, it will be strength on strength in this matchup as Josh Allen and the rest of Jacksonville’s defensive front try to slow down the 49ers’ ground game. Doing so will be key to the underdogs having a shot at pulling off another surprise.
On offense, the onus is likely to fall on the arm of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence to make plays. Given how tough it is to run the ball on the Niners’ defense, one has to imagine that James Robinson won’t have his most effective game. Unfortunately, Lawrence doesn’t have a solid offensive line or many pass-catchers. Tight end Dan Arnold has been his most reliable receiving option in recent weeks. In reality, the team’s chances of springing another upset likely rest on the shoulders of the defense just as they did two weeks ago.
- 49ers are just 2-5 both SU and ATS in their last seven games.
- Four of the 49ers’ last five games against AFC opponents have gone over the total.
- Jaguars are 4-2 ATS in their last six games.
- The total has gone under in seven of the Jaguars’ last eight games.
- 49ers are 4-1 ATS in five previous head-to-head matchups against the Jaguars.
An obscure trend that has gone against the 49ers dating back to last season has been their inability to win games at home. That won’t be an issue on Sunday as they travel all the way across the country to Duval County. Riding a surge of momentum after their impressive win on Monday, the 49ers are attracting the majority of public bets. As of the time of writing, 72% of spread tickets were on the road favorites. It is presumably a mix of Pros and Joes alike, given that the line has moved up a full point in San Fran’s favor.
With Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, the 49ers have had relatively few issues winning and covering in games away from home this season. While the Jaguars’ defense was able to wreak havoc on the Bills two weeks ago, the San Francisco offensive line that they will face on Sunday is a fair bit better than the one Buffalo deploys. Look for Kyle Shanahan to waste little time in establishing the run game regardless of who he has to feature in the backfield. Assuming the 49ers win in the trenches and establish said rushing attack successfully, they should have little trouble covering the current 6.5-point spread.
Pick: 49ers -6.5
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Henry John is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Henry, check out his archive and follow him @HankTimeHenry.