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NFL Pick of the Week: Chargers at 49ers

by Jeff Allen of Jeff Allen Sports

Saturday night football may not have the same ring to it as its Monday night brethren but ‘tis the season, and this week’s game between the San Diego Chargers and San Francisco 49ers will set the stage for Sunday’s AFC playoff picture. The Chargers have an edge over the Bills by virtue of their Week 3 win at the Ralph and either Kansas City or Pittsburgh is bound to lose on Sunday, barring a rare tie. The Steelers finish against Cincinnati so the implications are endless but none of it means anything to San Diego if they can’t beat the Niners.

Be sure to watch my NFL Handicapping Video for more info on this game. 


Odds for this matchup are following a natural ‘must win’ path toward the desperate road team but the Over/Under odds have held steady at 41.5 and we have a play to consider on the total.


San Fran is coming off a tough loss to the Seahawks and their past five games after Seattle have averaged 37 total points with 2 overs and 3 unders. The Niners haven’t been scoring many points to begin with and in the month of December, teams in an offensive funk show a record of just 6 overs and 17 unders the past four years.


Up next for the Niners is a home date vs. the Arizona Cardinals but last week’s loss dashed their playoff hopes so we’re not concerned about them looking past the Chargers. In fact, it might be more likely the Niners fold next week but this national spotlight game should produce a strong effort and small home faves off a divisional loss in this spot are 29-53-2 O/U.


San Diego has been playing better defense of late, holding the Patriots and Broncos under their season scoring averages by more than seven points apiece. “Good” usually isn’t good enough against those top caliber teams but look for the Chargers to limit Colin Kaepernick’s numbers significantly. With Carlos Hyde (ankle) and Frank Gore (concussion) banged up from Seattle, San Fran will be holding a “live” tryout at the running back position and when the Niners rush for 115 yards or less they are 5-15 O/U the past three years.


The Chargers have struggled against elite teams this year and probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs but with their hopes alive, we are looking for a strong effort on both sides of the football. Shop around for the best total and play this game to stay under the number.

Take the Under