Washington Commanders (7-6-1) at San Francisco 49ers (10-4)
The 49ers began this season just 3-4, but they had a lot of injury problems early in the season and, once they got healthy and acquired feature back Christian McCaffrey in a trade, the 49ers looked like one of the best teams in the league and a legitimate Super Bowl, with among the most non-quarterback talent in the league. Their Super Bowl ambitions seemed to be threatened when starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo went down for the season with an injury a few weeks ago, leaving unproven 7th round rookie Brock Purdy as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season.
However, Purdy has more or less picked up where Garoppolo left off, playing well enough to win and taking advantage of all of the talent around him to push the 49ers’ winning streak to seven games. Now the general consensus seems to be that the 49ers aren’t any worse off with Purdy under center, but I think that might be a little premature, given that he’s still only played about two and a half games and the rest of the league is just starting to learn his tendencies. It’s possible he will continue playing this well and prove to not be a downgrade, but I think it’s too early to say that definitively.
This line, favoring the 49ers by a touchdown over a capable but underwhelming Commanders team, seems to assume that Purdy will continue playing as well as he’s played and that could be the case, but, if he happens to have his first bad game this week, the 49ers will definitely be overvalued as favorites of this many points. With that in mind, I am going to take the Commanders for pick ‘em purposes, but I can’t be confident enough in them to bet on them, as Purdy could easily continue playing at the level he’s played at, in which case a multiple score win by the 49ers would definitely be possible.
Update: Safety Kamren Curl, one of the Commanders’ best defensive players, is surprisingly out for this game. Despite that, this line has dropped to 6.5. I am going to change this pick to the 49ers, but for a no confidence pick.
San Francisco 49ers 24 Washington Commanders 17
Pick against the spread: San Francisco -6.5