Washington Redskins (3-7) at San Francisco 49ers (6-4)
The San Francisco 49ers are 9 point favorites here at home over the Washington Redskins, but I think that line is much too high. For one thing, San Francisco has actually played significantly worse than their record this season, as they rank 19th in rate of moving the chains, moving the chains at a 72.13% rate, as opposed to 72.35% for their opponents, a differential of -0.22%. Meanwhile, the Redskins have played significantly better than their record this season, moving the chains at a 72.78% rate, as opposed to 72.11% for their opponents, a differential of -0.68% that ranks 15th in the NFL.
I’m not saying that the 49ers are the 19th best team in the NFL or Washington is 15th, or even that Washington is better than San Francisco at all, but the advanced metrics suggest this line is way too high. Despite that, the public is all over San Francisco and I love fading the public whenever it makes sense (and it does here) because the odds makers always make money in the long run. This line is way too high normally, but the 49ers have a very important game with the Seahawks in 4 days after this season, which could easily provide a significant distraction for them. Since 2008, favorites are 36-58 ATS before Thursday Night Football. This game will be a lot closer than 9.
San Francisco 49ers 24 Washington Redskins 20
Pick against the spread: Washington +9