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Denver Broncos vs. San Francisco 49ers,
8-19-2017 - Expert Prediction

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#421 Denver
#422 San Francisco

Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 10:00pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

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Denver Broncos (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS, 1-0 O/U)

When and Where: Saturday, Aug. 19, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, Calif., 10pmET

Line: San Francisco -2.5

Total: 40

Last season, these two teams met in the preseason with San Francisco winning on the road, 31-24 in the second game. Denver opened up beat Chicago on the road, 24-17, while San Francisco took care of Kansas City, 27-17 in their opener. These two teams will meet on Saturday night in Northern California.

Is Lynch the answer at quarterback?

Paxton Lynch is getting the start in San Francisco. The second-year quarterback from Memphis completed 6 of 9 for 42 yards last week against Kansas City. Last season as a rookie, Lynch saw action in just three games, completing 59 percent of his passes for 497 yards with two touchdowns and one pick with a 79.2 quarterback rating. He’s battling Trevor Siemian, who started against Chicago, going 6 of 7 for 51 yards.

Fortunately for Lynch or Siemian, they don’t have to be great because they have one of the league’s top defenses. They also should have a strong running game led by C.J. Anderson and former Kansas City star Jamaal Charles. Anderson was injured in Week 7 last season and team wound up with just 1,484 yards rushing, which was their lowest total in 22 years. In the first preseason game, the Broncos ran for 106 yards on 26 attempts led by De’Angelo Henderson, who ran for 54 yards and a touchdown. Denver also scored on a 50-yard interception return for a touchdown from Charles Harris on the opening drive against Mike Glennon.

Are the Niners really that bad?

San Francisco went 4-12 last season and dumped Chip Kelly for offensive genius Kyle Shanahan. He might have to be a genius to bring the 49ers back to being a competitive team. This is a squad with Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard at quarterback. Last week against the Chiefs, Hoyer went 1-of-4 for three yards and left the rest of the action to Barkley and Beathard. Hoyer played well at times for Chicago last season before breaking his left arm that ended his season in October. He threw for 1,445 yards with six TDs and no picks. That included four 300-plus yard games. Barkley also played for Chicago but struggled down the stretch.

Last week against Kansas City, Barkley shined, completing 10 of 17 for 169 yards. Beathard, the rookie from Iowa, completed 7 of 11 for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers ran for 188 yards on 36 carries led by Raheem Mostert’s 89 yards on 15 attempts. Defensively, the Niners held the Chiefs to just 31 yards rushing, 156 yards passing and 13 first downs.

NFL Trends:

Denver is:

  • 2-5 ATS last 7 on grass.

San Francisco is:

  • 6-1 ATS last 7 Saturday games.

Denver is not the same team that won the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Their defense is still strong, but their lack of a steady quarterback could cost them again. Shanahan is trying to get this team back on a winning track so preseason games mean a little more to San Francisco than it does to Denver.

Pick: San Francisco

Benjamin Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!


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