Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers: 2018 Week 5 NFL Pick

Arizona Cardinals (0-4) at San Francisco 49ers (1-3)

A week ago, this line favored the 49ers at home by 2.5, but the line shifted to 4 this week. That might not look like much, but only 4% of games are decided by 2 points or fewer, as opposed to 24% of games decided by 4 points or fewer. That line movement is likely because the 49ers did not look as bad as expected in their first game with backup quarterback CJ Beathard in the lineup, losing by 2 in Los Angeles to the Chargers as 10.5 point underdogs. I think that’s an overreaction. The Chargers’ defense has been terrible this season without Joey Bosa, so that’s not really that impressive and the Cardinals easily could have won their first game of the season against the Seahawks last week if they hadn’t missed two makeable field goals.

Without Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers have arguably the weakest roster in the NFL and Garoppolo isn’t their only injury, with left tackle Joe Staley and top cornerback Richard Sherman both looking like gametime decisions. The Cardinals aren’t much better, but they have more upside with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen making his 2nd career start and this line suggests that the 49ers are better. I have this line calculated at San Francisco -1, so we’re getting significant line value with the visitors. They’re worth a bet.

San Francisco 49ers 24 Arizona Cardinals 23

Pick against the spread: Arizona +4

Confidence: Medium

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