Week 16 kicks off on Thursday Night Football as the San Francisco 49ers travel east to take on the Tennessee Titans in an inter-conference matchup that both teams would love to have to boost their playoff hopes. Let’s look at the bets we believe you should consider backing in Thursday’s action.
The 49ers and Titans will duel it out for legitimate playoff implications on Thursday Night Football, with Tennessee being the slight home underdog at +3. These two teams have been trending in entirely opposite directions as the Titans have dropped three of their past four while the 49ers have won six of their previous eight games since starting the season 2-4. This game may be able to pan out well for whoever is most capable of stopping the run in a game between two teams who dial up a similar balance of run and passing plays. The 49ers average a rushing play 47.67 percent of the time, good for fourth in the league. Tennessee ranks just ahead of them in third at 47.84 percent. Both teams heavily rely on the ground game to open up the pass for their quarterbacks.
A failure to see success on the ground seems more possible when you look at what the 49ers will face in this one. The Titans have allowed just three teams all season to accrue 100 rushing yards in a game and rank third in the league in rushing yards allowed per attempt. Their front four often dominate the trenches and can keep running backs in check for most of the game. Tennessee is one of five teams to keep Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor under 100 rushing yards this season, and they did it twice. Look for them to make San Francisco one-dimensional, which likely puts quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in an unfavorable spot of relying on his passing game. Take the Titans and the points as home underdogs here.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson is likely the lead back for Thursday’s contest, and fading him feels necessary based on our analysis from above. The Titans will seek out defusing their opponent’s run-game, something they have been dominant at all season long. Wilson has had a solid stretch without backfield mate Elijah Mitchell in the mix. Still, a poor Atlanta Falcons rush defense in Week 15 helped him soar over this number which likely explains this heightened total compared to what he is typically assigned. Take Wilson to stay below this number on Thursday night.
49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has suddenly burst back onto the scene after a slow start to the season, and he is suddenly becoming a perfect complement to Deebo Samuel at the right time. He has beaten this number in four of his past five games, and as his confidence grows in his second season, he will only be getting better. The attention that Samuel requires only benefits Aiyuk more who is a talented young player in his own right. If our game script involves the Titans getting some stops on the 49ers’ run-game, expect Aiyuk to get some looks on third downs, and if they fall behind. Take the wideout to beat this receiving yards on Thursday.
All NFL game predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.
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