Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6) at San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
The 49ers lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season last week and are now starting 7th round rookie Brock Purdy, set to make the first start of his career this week, but, despite that, this line has only dropped from favoring the 49ers by 6.5 last week on the early line to favoring them by 3.5 points this week, which is a relatively insignificant line movement, especially when you consider that the 49ers could be without stud edge defender Nick Bosa, who seems likely to be limited even if he can play, after not practicing all week. This line is also still bigger than you might realize, when you consider that 1 in 4 games are decided by three points or fewer, including 1 in 6 games decided by exactly a field goal.
On top of that, the 49ers are in a tough spot, having to turn around and play a key divisional game against the Seahawks next Thursday on a short week, with favorites covering at just a 43.3% rate all-time before Thursday Night Football. The Buccaneers aren’t in good shape injury wise either, missing top edge defender Shaq Barrett, starting safeties Antoine Winfield and Mike Edwards, and stud right tackle Tristan Wirfs, but those players have all been out for multiple weeks now, so they wouldn’t affect the line movement in this game. My calculated line barely favors the 49ers, doing so by just 1.5 points, so we’re still getting enough line value with the Buccaneers for them to be worth a small bet this week.
San Francisco 49ers 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Pick against the spread: Tampa Bay +3.5