49ers-Broncos Betting Guide: Who Has the Edge in This Preseason Matchup?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Joe Flacco, Kyle Shanahan
San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos
- Spread: Broncos -2.5
- Over/Under: 41.5
- Kickoff: 8 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
The Broncos host the 49ers in the final game of Preseason Week 2.
Let’s take a look at key storylines and actionable betting takeaways for both teams ahead of Monday night’s matchups.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have a number of competent options at wide receiver before we even consider the talents of their running backs as well as George Kittle.
Still, presumed No. 1 wide receiver Dante Pettis has reportedly not had a great training camp, opening up credence to the idea that one of the team’s new hot-shot rookies could jump all the way to the top of the depth chart.
- Jalen Hurd is pretty much a bigger and slower version of Cordarrelle Patterson. The running back/wide receiver hybrid has unique size (6-foot-5, 226 pounds) to go along with sneaky athleticism (90th-percentile SPARQ-x athlete) that helped him post a strong 3-31-2 receiving line in his preseason debut against the Cowboys.
- Deebo Samuel is a more-polished receiver than Hurd. The second-round pick doesn’t have overwhelming size (5-foot-11, 214 pounds), but he more than makes up for it with pure speed (4.48-second 40-yard dash) and athleticism (86th-percentile SPARQ-x athlete). It’d be surprising if Samuel doesn’t at least start the season in three receiver sets.
Dante Pettis stock down = Deebo Samuel stock up pic.twitter.com/jJgUbCmhdT
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) August 12, 2019
You might’ve heard Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have the best practice the other day, but he remains one of only six quarterbacks to have averaged at least eight adjusted yards per attempt since 2016 among 48 signal callers with double-digit starts.
It’d be borderline shocking if Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan don’t lead an above average offense in 2019, so continuing to discern the depth chart at wide receiver will be very important heading into Week 1.
The Broncos’ decision to sign Theo Riddick was more indication that they don’t plan on fully featuring Phillip Lindsay as a receiver, but Riddick proceeded to fracture his shoulder last week and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
It makes all the sense in the world for the Broncos to feed Lindsay more targets in the pass game. The man is electric in space.
Still, Devontae Booker out-targeted Lindsay 51-to-47 last season and is again tentatively expected to be involved in the offense to some extent. Royce Freeman also figures to see plenty of action, particularly on early downs and in the red zone.
Perhaps Mr. Elite’s tendency to check the ball down will lead to plenty of chances for Lindsay to keep on keeping on…
Ravens rank in total targets to RBs with Joe Flacco:
2015: 5th (during Flacco's 10 starts)
2018: 9th (during Flacco's 9 starts)
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) May 5, 2019
…but it doesn’t appear particularly likely that any of these running backs approach a 50% snap share.
Head coach Vic Fangio has remained adamant about playing his starters throughout the preseason. I trust the Broncos to keep treating these matchups like regular-season games, and they haven’t lost at home in the first month of the regular season since 2012.
PICK: Broncos -2.5