Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:01 AM

TNF - Raiders at 49ers

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Oakland at San Francisco (-2.5, 45.5), 8:20 pm ET, FOX/NFLN

The last Battle for the Bay will be played in Santa Clara. Things change.

The 49ers are no longer at Candlestick Park. The Raiders, established in Oakland in 1960 before moving to Los Angeles from 1982-94, will open play in their new Las Vegas home in 2020.

It remains to be seen where they play next season since their lease at the Oakland Coliseum ends after their Christmas eve home finale, but since these teams won’t see one another for a few more seasons, both will no longer be Bay Area neighbors, even though that in itself is currently a stretch. This will be the Raiders’ first visit to Levi’s Stadium and supplies one last installment for fans to bicker about before fans of the team decide whether to remain loyal supporters of a team leaving town.

Unfortunately, the historical significance is one of the few selling points of an otherwise brutal Thursday night matchup between teams that are already realistically eliminated from playoff contention.




Both teams come off ugly losses to opponents that are also unlikely to reach the postseason. San Francisco became the first team to lose in Glendale this season as Arizona rookie QB Josh Rosen led a late comeback to deliver an 18-15 upset. Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck fueled a come-from-behind 42-28 victory at the Oakland Coliseum, keeping the Raiders in the one-win club alongside the Giants and these 49ers.

Given that the teams are going nowhere, this is one of those matchups were the loser probably benefits most, improving their chances to earn the NFL Draft’s No.1 overall pick. The Raiders traded Amari Cooper to Dallas and are in the process of identifying who it is they want to take to wherever it is they’ll end up playing next season. Head coach Jon Gruden, in Year 1 of a lucrative 10-year contract, wants guys he can trust. Presumably, that trust can be earned by showing out in meaningless games like this one.

Derek Carr bounced back in last week’s loss to the Colts by leading four scoring drives of 75 or more yards. Oakland averaged 8.7 yards per snap despite having traded Cooper and being forced to put RB Marshawn Lynch on IR. Veteran Doug Martin and Jalen Richard did the work out of the backfield, while first-year Raiders Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant started on the outside.

San Francisco has been making due with backups for most of the season, being forced to turn the page on contention when QB Jimmy Garoppolo was lost to a torn ACL against the Chiefs in Week 3. CJ Beathard has struggled as his replacement, coming in 0-5 and nursing a wrist injury that had him listed as ‘questionable.’ Participating in a Wednesday walk-through is a solid indication he’ll be able to play as he looks to build on his first game of the season without an interception after throwing seven over his first four starts.

Beathard, a second-year pro out of Iowa, is 1-10 in games where he takes the majority of the snaps, beating the Giants at home last season by throwing for two TDs and running for another. He hasn’t been as productive since.

Nick Mullens, a 23-year-old second-year QB out of Southern Miss who has yet to take a snap in live action, appears to be in line to start if Beathard can’t go. He turned it over five times in 93 preseason snaps, which isn’t a great sign. Head coach Mike Shanahan said earlier in the week that it would be a challenge for Beathard to play, so I’d expect to see Mullens even if he doesn’t start. Veteran Tom Savage, who was signed on Oct. 16 after being without a gig after the Saints released him prior to the start of the season, would be activated to be the backup if Beathard doesn’t play.

Check out the very long injury report entry below for more news on that front.

Both teams have major concerns that makes this a tough game to handicap, especially since both have been so bad against the spread, covering only twice while winning outright just once. San Francisco ranks second in the NFL with 18 turnovers and has forced only three. Their two interceptions are a franchise-low through eight games.

Meanwhile, the Raiders have just six takeaways and an NFL-low seven sacks. They’ll be facing a 49ers offense that has been sacked 31 times, so that may be where this matchup potentially swings. Bruce Irvin has been phased out and was being shopped at the deadline, so it would be a surprise for him to be a factor if he’s even able to play through a shoulder issue.

San Francisco has only covered one of its last 15 games as a favorite, which makes backing them in that role a huge risk, especially given the likelihood that someone who has never taken a regular-season snap will have to play a role. Of course, backing Oakland carries its own level of peril given that the defense is allowing over 31 points per game, a figure that only one other team eclipses. They’ve been awful on the road of late too and seem to be a divided group.

Thanks for this one, schedule-makers. If there’s a Thursday nighter to skip in lieu of movie night, this is it.


Oakland Raiders
Season win total: 7.5 (Over +120, Under -140)
Odds to win AFC West: 500/1 to 1000/1
Odds to win AFC: 900/1 to 900/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 2000/1 to 2000/1
 
San Francisco 49ers
Season win total: 8.5 (Over +130, Under -150)
Odds to win NFC West: OFF to OFF
Odds to win NFC: 2500/1 to 2500/1
Odds to win Super Bowl: 5000 to 5000/1
 
LINE MOVEMENT

While neither one of these teams were expected to win their respective divisions, both were expected to compete for West titles. The Raiders opened 4-to-1, even with Denver, while the Niners were 7-to-2 behind only the Rams.

The 49ers were 15-to-1 to capture the NFC and the Raiders were 20/1 to win the AFC East when the season began. Westgate's playoff props each had these teams favored to miss the postseason. Oakland was at -275 to fail to qualify while San Francisco came in at -220. The Raiders are now 900-to-1 to win their conference, odds on par with the Cleveland Browns and ahead of only Buffalo (2000-to-1). The 49ers are at 2500-to-1 to win the NFC, which is even with Arizona for the longest odds.

As far as this matchup is concerned, the 49ers were a 2.5-point favorite when the Westgate's early numbers were announced last week and opened at -3.5 before dropping back down to 3 and eventually to where it currently resides at -2.5.

San Francisco opened at -160 on the money line and is available at -140 at the moment. If you like the home 'dog outright, a payout on aRaiders win will get you +115 to +125 depending on the shop.


INJURY CONCERNS

Beathard’s availability is the biggest variable since it would thrust an unknown commodity like Mullens into the mix, but it’s by no means the only concern. The 49ers got good news regarding RB Matt Brieda, who should participate after leaving the loss to the Cardinals with an ankle/arch issue. Tackle Joe Staley, center Weston Richburg and guard Mike Person were all limited in practice, while WR Pierre Garcon is also dealing with a knee issue after missing last week’s game. Corner Richard Sherman (calf) had a rough outing against Arizona and is also dealing with a few ailments that have his status in question. The 49ers defense is already without top LB Reuben Foster due to a knee injury and have also ruled out safety Jaquiski Tartt due to a bum shoulder.

Oakland got good news on guard Kelechi Osemele, who has missed the past three games and would give the offensive line a huge boost by returning. Corner Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley are listed as questionable. Fellow CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie decided to retire, so the Raiders could be vulnerable in the back.


TOTAL TALK

Thursday’s total opened at 47 and the number is sitting at 45.5 as of Thursday morning.

Weekly “Total Talk” writer Chris David of VegasInsider.com provided his thoughts on this matchup:

If you’ve been playing the ‘over’ on Thursday’s this season, then accept our congratulations. The high side has cashed the last five weeks and all of the results have never been in doubt. Bettors craving for extra action have also seen the first-half ‘over’ hit in each of those games.

Last week’s total between the Dolphins and Texans dropped and I thought it was the right move but that was before we saw a slew of big plays in the second-half. The opener on this midweek matchup has also dropped, from 47 ½ to 45 ½ at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

It’s not an easy handicap and you can certainly argue both ways. The 49ers started the season with a 5-1 ‘over’ run but their offense (10, 15 points) has looked lethargic the last two weeks and that’s led to a pair of ‘under’ tickets. Do you trust San Francisco to turn it around against a suspect Oakland defense (407 YPG, 31.1 PPG) on a short week? Plus, if QB C.J. Beathard doesn’t play than that means Nick Mullens, an unknown rookie from Southern Mississippi would be thrown into the mix.

And even if San Francisco puts up a 30-spot on the Raiders at home, will we see an Oakland offense score 28 like they did last week at home versus the Colts or the one that’s been held to 20 or less points in five of seven games?

To answer those questions, I have more confidence in Oakland scoring in this spot. First, Levi’s Stadium is 40 minutes away from the Coliseum and with this being the last game in San Francisco before the team moves to Las Vegas, I expect a good Silver & Black contingent for this matchup. Also, the 49ers defense has been a mess at home (31.3 PPG) at home this season and that trend goes back to 16. We’ve seen 18 straight teams come into SF and score at least 21 points on the Niners and that includes 27, 28 and 39 this season. A look at the Raiders team total ‘over’ (21 ½) looks doable and is on my radar.


RECENT MEETINGS (San Francisco 4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS last six; UNDER 3-3)

12/7/14 Oakland 24-13 vs. San Francisco (OAK +9, 40.5)
10/17/10 San Francisco 17-9 vs. Oakland (SF -7, 41)
10/8/06 San Francisco 34-20 vs. Oakland (SF -3.5, 39.5)
11/3/02 San Francisco 23-20 OT at Oakland (SF +3, 49.5)
10/8/00 Oakland 34-28 OT at San Francisco (OAK -4.5, 48.5)
9/5/94 San Francisco 44-14 vs. Los Angeles (SF -7, 45.5)


PROPS

Of the props available below at [...], I'd ride the first challenge being successful because most refs are terrible and will take a shot that the first turnover is an interception. I'd also recommend riding the 49ers to score the game's longest TD.

Team to reach 10 points first: (Raiders +105, 49ers -125)
Team to reach 20 points first: (Raiders +120, 49ers -140)
Team to score first: (Raiders +100, 49ers -120)
Team to score last: (Raiders -105, 49ers -115)
Team to challenge first: (Raiders -110, 49ers -110)
First score: (Touchdown -160, FG/Safety +140)
First turnover: (None +700, Fumble +150, INT -125)
Highest scoring half: 1st -115, 2nd + OT -105)
Total FGs made by both teams: (3.5, Over (+105, Under -125)
Team with longest TD scored: (49ers -160, Raiders +140)
2-point conversion action: (Successful +310, No conversion -370)
4th down conversion action: (Successful -220, No conversion +180)
Will there be a defensive or special teams TD?: (Yes +210, No -250)
Will there be a kickoff return touchdown?: (Yes +2000, No -5000)
Will there be a punt return touchdown?: (Yes +1200, No -2000)
Will there be overtime?: (Yes +1000, No -1500)
Will the game end in a tie: (Yes +3300, No -10000)
Will there be a score in the final two minutes of 1st half?: (Yes -220, No +180)
Will the first coach's challenge be successful:( Yes -115, No -105)
Will there be 3 straight scores by either team: (Yes -190, No +165)


NEXT WEEK'S NUMBERS POSTED

Westgate Vegas opens its advance lines for the following week on Tuesdays and Week 10 currently has the Raiders liisted as an 8-point road underdog at the Chargers. The 49ers will be back home in prime time to host the Giants in the Week 10 Monday night game and are listed as a 2-point favorite.


Follow Tony Mejia on Twitter at @TonyMejiaNBA

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