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- Time: Sunday, 9/25/2022 at 8:20 PM EDT
- TV: NBC
- Location: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, CO
- Weather: Sunny in the low 70s
The San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos both enter this out-of-conference matchup with identical 1-1 records. Both teams lost in Week 1, but rebounded to grab victories in Week 2. The Broncos beat the Texans at home 16-9 and the 49ers took care of the Seahawks at home 27-7.
The big news coming into the game is Jimmy Garoppolo returns as the 49ers starting quarterback following a season-ending ankle injury to second-year quarterback Trey Lance.
Garoppolo came off the bench and led the 49ers to 3 touchdowns in first action since last season.
The 49ers defense continued to look good, giving up only 7 points to the Seahawks, after allowing only 19 points to the Bears in an opening day loss.
The 49ers continued to control the game on the ground, running the ball 45 times last week compared to just 24 passing attempts.
Despite having a star QB in Russell Wilson, Denver continued to show a balanced attack on offense last week, attempting 31 passes and also rushing the ball 31 times.
The Broncos defense has also come out of the gates strong to start the season. They allowed 17 points in a Week 1 loss at Seattle and they did not allow a touchdown last week against Houston.
The Broncos have really struggled in the red zone to start the season, failing to score a touchdown in 6 trips inside the opponent’s 20-yard line to start the year.
It may not get any easier as Broncos star WR Jerry Jeudy is questionable for the game with a rib injury. Even if he does suit up he won’t be playing at 100%.
The 49ers have been an under team recently, especially on the road where 9 of their last 13 games have seen the under cash. The 49ers are 2-0 to the under to start the 2022 season.
The Broncos have also been trending to the under. They were 12-5 to the under last season and both of their games this season have gone under. They are 7-3 to the under in their last 10 home games.
Given the Broncos' struggles on offense in the red zone and the 49ers' focus on the run as they get Garoppolo back up to speed, this game has all the makings of a low-scoring affair.
Total pick: Under 45
The Broncos opened this game as a small favorite, but the line has since moved to make the 49ers a small favorite in this game.
The 49ers are probably the only team in the NFL to get an upgrade at the quarterback position after having to go to the backup.
Garoppolo is an experienced QB, having led the 49ers to the NFC title game just last season. He has a strong familiarity with the offensive game plan and personnel.
The Broncos meanwhile have struggled to get things going with Russell Wilson under center. The offense has been a mess and the coaching under first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett has been even worse.
In a competitive game between two teams, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is clearly an asset, while Hackett has not proven himself yet for the Broncos.
Given the upgrade at QB and the fact that the 49ers look more in sync as a team early in the year expect them to get the win a close game.
Spread Pick: 49ers -1.5
With Garoppolo getting his first start since off-season shoulder surgery, don’t expect the 49ers to ask too much of him. Look for them to focus on the same formula as last week: run heavy.
Jeff Wilson Jr. had 18 carries for 84 yards last week and another similar performance should be in the cards in Week 3. The Broncos have allowed the opposing teams' top backs to hit at least 60 yards in the first two games of the year. Look for more of the same, especially with Wilson’s backup Ty Davis-Price out with an ankle injury.
Prop Bet: Jeff Wilson Jr over 55.5 rushing yards (-115) at BetMGM
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