NFL Week 1 Prediction: San Francisco at Chicago
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS at CHICAGO BEARS
San Francisco 49ers -7 (-110) o41.5 (-110) -300
Chicago Bears +7 (-110) u41.5 (-110) +240
The 49ers are one of 10 road favorites in Week 1, which is much higher than usual.
Home-field "advantage" has been a diminishing factor in the NFL in recent years. Many data-driven analysts give only 1.5 points for HFA, down from the standard 3 points since spreads first began. Nonetheless, we shy away from laying extra points in unknown situations.
T. Lance, the San Francisco starting QB, is an unknown. He might turn into a great leader and be the right pick for the 49ers. But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.
This comes down to a question -- how bad are the Bears? Some say they're Bottom-5. Offensively, there's little on this roster to suggest much improvement from the team that was 7-10 ATS last season. QB J. Fields has even more pressure on his shoulders, though nothing like the talent of the 49ers on the opposite sideline. He'll be scrambling a lot this season and is probably a target to not make it through a complete season. Given the Bears' woeful numbers and voids at skill positions, it's hard to see how they'll score many points.
San Francisco might not have to do much offensively to win this game, allowing the defense to keep the Bears frustrated and get enough points to leave with the victory. With so much at stake for the 49ers in a season many are predicting could turn into a dethroning of the NFC West, they won't have to show as much in this opener.
Accordingly, we lean UNDER the total of 41.5, but admittedly, that's a low total in today's NFL.
San Francisco was one of the league's best bets in its last dozen games last season, going 10-2 ATS. But they were dogs in most of those games and playing solid opponents with playoff implications. This is an uncharacteristic role for a team to be laying a touchdown on the road with an unproven starting QB, so it's a pass on the side and a slight lean on the UNDER.