Expert NFL Picks and Best Odds: Jimmy G takes his 49ers ( ) to face the ailing Broncos ( ) on Sunday Night Football
The San Francisco 49ers will move forward with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season as they head to Denver to face the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. NFL betting expert, Ian Cameron gives us his free NFL betting picks and predictions and the best odds available.
Backup Jimmy Garoppolo will be in charge of the Niners offense for the rest of 2022 © Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
|Matchup||San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos|
|Location||Empower Field at Mile High, Denver, CO|
|When||Sunday, September 25, 7.00pm ET|
|Where to watch||NBC and Peacock|
San Francisco dominated Seattle 27-7 on Sunday bouncing back after a rough game in their opener on the road against Chicago. Garoppolo completed 13 of 21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown; he also scored on a 1 yard TD run late in the game to clinch the victory. Jeff Wilson Jr. filled in as the lead running back for Elijah Mitchell and had a game high 84 rushing yards on 18 carries. The 49ers offensive line played well after having some struggles in the first week. The big news in that game was the injury to 49ers starting quarterback Trey Lance early in the game - he went out with an ankle injury which required surgery and has him ruled out for the rest of the season. That means this now becomes Jimmy G’s team for the 2022-23 season. I’m sure general manager , John Lynch is relieved he decided to sign Garoppolo in the offseason as opposed to trading him which was speculated to be what would wind up happening.
The Denver Broncos got their first win of the season on Sunday against the Houston Texans, 16-9 but they failed to cover the point spread again falling to 0-2 ATS. It was hardly a confidence inspiring performance for Denver: the offense once again had problems as quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t sharp completing fewer than 50% of his pass attempts, as the lack of preseason playing time showed. The defense did play well, allowing just 234 total yards to Houston’s offense and it kept the Broncos in a tight game with the Texans until the offense finally started to move the football and put some scoring drives together in the 4th Quarter to secure a hard fought win. There are still plenty of concerns about the state of this offense which could be without WR Jerry Jeudy after he left the game on Sunday with a rib injury potentially joining KJ Hamler out of the wide receiver rotation.
I think the key matchup here is definitely Denver’s struggling offense against the San Francisco, defense which to me looks like an edge toward the 49ers. Denver’s offense doesn’t look right and has not found it easy to move the football against Seattle and Houston in their first two games. If those offensive woes persist, it could be trouble for them here and the 49ers defense, even in defeat, played well against the Chicago Bears in week one and completely shut down Geno Smith and the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. San Francisco is allowing just 210 total yards per game, 142.5 passing yards per game and 67.5 rushing yards per game after the first two weeks and they rank top two in the NFL in each of those statistical categories. Denver’s offense couldn’t get much going against a pair of opponents who rank in the bottom 10 in the NFL in total defense after the first two games of the season - now they must try to navigate their way down the field and try to score points against an even better San Francisco defense.
The one thing that bodes well for the 49ers offense with Jimmy G at quarterback is his experience and the familiarity that he has with this offense and his receivers. That is something that Garoppolo has gotten from being here for years and taking this team to a Super Bowl one year and an NFC Championship game last season. He knows the scheme and the system inside and out. It clearly showed last week when he entered the game against Seattle in early after Trey Lance left the game due to his season-ending injury and he was confident and ready to direct the team. The Broncos have been very good against the run this season which is the 49ers preferred route of moving the football, but the secondary lost a key piece on Sunday in Patrick Surtain II who has played very well in his brief time in the NFL and he’ll be questionable for this game. That could open up some plays in the passing game for the 49ers who got good performances from Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk in the win over Seattle.
The Under is 5-0 in San Francisco’s last five games and 6-0 in Denver’s last six September games. Denver is on a 1-5 ATS slide in their last six games.
San Francisco 49ers vs Denver Broncos player to watch - Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers
One thing we can expect to see in the San Francisco offense with Jimmy Garoppolo under center is more pass attempts. The run game will always be a strong component of the 49ers offensive attack under Kyle Shanahan but with Lance it was even more skewed toward the run. With Jimmy G at QB, the 49ers have enough confidence in him to be able to throw the football down the field. He was a tidy and solid 13-for-21 passing against Seattle and worth noting was the fact that San Francisco receiver Brandon Aiyuk was targeted a whopping 8 times by Jimmy G on Sunday. Aiyuk had 5 receptions for 63 receiving yards and I could see him being active as he pretty much now is the #1 WR on the team next to Deebo Samuel who remains a hybrid running back and wide receiver within this offense.
Denver may also be forced to play without one of their top players in the secondary Patrick Surtain II and that could create even more space down the field and opportunity for Aiyuk to make an impact for San Francisco in the passing attack which will be counted upon at least somewhat more for the 49ers with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB as opposed to Trey Lance.
Aiyuk Over receptions and receiving yards props look like a solid consideration for me in this game. For Denver, it’s been a whole lot of Courtland Sutton in the passing game for Russell Wilson. Sutton has clearly emerged as Wilson’s favorite target with 18 targets in the first two games resulting in 11 receptions and 194 receiving yards against Seattle and Houston combined. Sutton would be my choice for Over receptions and receiving yards props for the Broncos in this game.
The money has poured in on San Francisco early in the week with the 49ers opening as FG road underdogs at +3 but now they are favored pretty much everywhere ( ). I agree with the market move and recommend San Francisco in this game. It’s not easy to win in Denver but the Broncos are not a finished product and clearly still have plenty of issues they need to work out before they are ready to become an upper echelon team.
The offense is still a major work in progress until Russell Wilson gets comfortable in this offense and with his receivers - making things even more difficult is that now the Broncos will face the best team and the best defense they have seen to this point of the season. I don’t expect San Francisco to march up and down the field in this game either but they could have TE George Kittle back for this game, making them more dangerous offensively and we saw enough out of Jimmy Garoppolo last week to think he can go into a tough road environment and do his part to give his team the best chance to win. There are too many issues right now for Denver between the reeling offense and some horrific, inept in-game management from head coach Nathaniel Hackett.
I have upgraded San Francisco in my own NFL power ratings with the QB change from Trey Lance to Jimmy Garoppolo and would look to San Francisco here on the ML at ( ) and also Under ( ) in this game as I do not envision either offense putting up touchdowns in bunches here.