Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#431 San Francisco 49ers vs.
#432 Denver Broncos
Monday, August 19, 2019 at 8:00pm EDT
Sports Authority Field, Denver
Written by Adam Rauzino

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The Denver Broncos will continue their preseason schedule with a home date against the San Francisco 49ers Monday night from Broncos Stadium at Mile High. The 49ers recorded a 17-9 home win against Dallas in their preseason opener, and the Broncos dropped a 22-14 road decision in Seattle last week. The 49ers tallied a 20-14 home win against the Broncos last season.

49ers Preseason with Win, Garoppolo Sits Out

The San Francisco 49ers will be on the prowl for their second straight win after notching a 17-9 home victory against the Cowboys in their preseason opener. Niners’ #1 QB Jimmy Garoppolo could see action in this one after he did not play last week. The young QB should be in for a solid season, he just needs to stay healthy after a torn ACL ended his 2018 season early. Garoppolo owns a 12:8 TD to INT ratio in his nine regular-season games played with the 49ers.

Garoppolo will play but maybe a series or two.

“I’d like to get him in there a little bit, not as much as in Week 3 (next Saturday at Kansas City),” Kyle Shanahan said. “We get more out of these two practices than we will in the game.”

San Francisco’s head coach Kyle Shanahan is watching his QB’s Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard closely in the preseason as they are duking it out for the #2 role behind Garoppolo. Nick Mullens was mediocre last week, completing only 11 of 18 pass attempts for 105 yards with one TD and one pick. C.J Beathard was better, throwing for 141 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The 24-year old QB does have more experience than Mullens, although Mullens did have a few big games last year.

The 49ers will be without Jerick McKinnon who is currently listed as their #3 RB behind the dangerous Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman. Both Breida and Coleman did not play last week. San Francisco anticipates a big season from Dante Pettis who did not suit up in the opener. Pettis tallied 467 receiving yards in 2018, and he has the opportunity to establish himself as the 49ers #1 receiver.

Last season San Francisco scored an average of 21.4 points, ranking them 21st overall, and that number should increase with Garoppolo back. The 49ers defense squandered an average of 27.2 points last year, positioning them down at 28th overall.

Broncos Falls to Seahawks, Flacco Makes Debut

The Denver Broncos have already played two preseason games after opening their exhibition schedule with a 14-10 win against the Falcons in the annual Hall of Fame game. They gave their backup QB’s plenty of playing time in a 22-14 loss in Seattle last week. Broncos’ #1 QB Joe Flacco completed 3 of 4 passes for 19 yards last week, and he will likely see limited action this week. Drew Lock was outstanding against the Seahawks after a subpar outing in the Hall of Fame clash. The rookie QB racked up 180 passing yards last week, and he is expected to open the season as the backup, although third-string QB Kevin Hogan could also win the backup role.

Lock is the key to the team’s future. He has been up-and-down like most rookies thus far.

“He continues to get better,” said team President John Elway. “He’s been overloaded. Anytime you have young guy like that, he’s going to have his good days and he is going to have his bad days. Obviously, we’re excited still about the talent that he has and what he has showed. He is flashed a lot, but it’s a big jump for him, especially with what we are doing offensively and the verbiage that goes along with it. It’s going to take him some time, but he’s done a nice job.”

The Broncos running game should be a strength this season. They are expected to split the carries between Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Lindsay had a big rookie season last year, accumulating 1,037 rushing yards while Freeman collected 521 yards. Denver also has former Detroit Lion Theo Riddick as their third-string RB, however, he sustained an injury and is out for 6-8 weeks.

The Broncos are very excited to see Courtland Sutton’s progression this season. The 2nd-year receiver had a terrific rookie year that saw him notch 704 receiving yards, and he could overtake Emmanuel Sanders as the #1 WR as the season wears on.

Last year the Broncos averaged 20.6 points, ranking them 24th in the NFL. They held opponents to an average of 21.8 points, good for 13th overall.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am siding with the Broncos in this one. Broncos new head coach Vic Fangio will be coaching at Mile High for the first time in this one, and while it is only the preseason, I believe he wants to win this game at home. Denver has a heated battle for the backup QB role between Kevin Hogan and Drew Lock. Hogan owns a solid 5:2 TD to INT ratio in his last six preseason games, and rookie Drew Lock accumulated 180 passing yards in Seattle last week.

Furthermore, the 49ers two QB’s in C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens combined for a subpar 2:2 TD to INT ratio in their preseason opener at home against Dallas last week. Lastly, San Francisco has lost three out of their last four preseason games, and head coach Kyle Shanahan holds a 4-5 record in preseason play in his career.

Prediction: Denver Broncos

Full-Game Total Pick

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I am opting with the over in this one. The over was a common trend in the NFL last week, as it went 9-6-1. I expect a strong output from Denver with Hogan battling with Lock for the backup role, and overall Denver has solid depth at running back which included 91 rushing yards in Seattle. Also, the over converted in each of the Broncos first three preseason games last year.

In addition, the 49ers also have a backup QB competition underway between C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens. Both have NFL experience and their presence should translate to points for the 49ers, plus the over is 5-2 in the 49ers’ last seven road games.

Prediction: Over

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The over on the Broncos team total offered on PointsBet is a strong option worth looking at. I expect Denver to play their starters for a good portion of this one on their home field after playing their first two games on the road. Denver scored 23 and 28 points in their two preseason home games last year. Lastly, the Broncos and 49ers participated in joint practices this week, and I believe this will help Flacco, Lock, and Hogan along with the entire Broncos offense.

Prediction: Broncos Team Total Over

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am going with the under on the halftime total. Denver has played terrific defense in the first half, allowing only a combined 10 points in the first half in their two preseason games. The Broncos haven’t generated any significant offense in the first half, scoring a total 13 points in the first half in their two games.

Prediction: Under

Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about about various sports as well as personal finance. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.