Chiefs vs 49ers NFL Week 7 Picks, Prediction
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Mahomes.
- Week 7's premier matchup is Chiefs vs. 49ers.
- Kansas City is a slight favorite against San Francisco, which traded for Christian McCaffrey on Thursday night.
- Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the game and makes his pick below.
Chiefs vs. 49ers Odds
This matchup has some added buzz to it after the 49ers surprised the football world by trading for Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey on Thursday. He was merely an observer at Friday practice and isn't likely to feature much in this game. Despite that, the 49ers did receive some favorable injury news on Friday ahead of hosting the Chiefs on Sunday in a rematch of Super Bowl LIV.
Kansas City lost last weekend at home to Buffalo in the battle of the two consensus best teams in the AFC. San Francisco's move on Thursday clearly suggests that the Niners think they have the opportunity to make a deep playoff run in a wide open NFC, but the 49ers sit at just 3-3 through six weeks.
The Chiefs have shown some cracks at various points of the first six weeks despite their 4-2 record. The offensive line has quietly allowed a ton of pressure and now that the 49ers are getting healthy defensively, this game could be lower scoring than the market expects.
Here are my Chiefs vs 49ers picks and predictions, as well as my best bet in our NFL Week 7 betting preview.
Chiefs vs. 49ers Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Chiefs and 49ers match up statistically:
Chiefs vs. 49ers DVOA Breakdown
The 49ers have dealt with a ton of injuries on the defensive side of the ball and still rank first in defensive efficiency by EPA/play through the first six weeks of the season. San Francisco is 1st in overall success rate allowed and third in drop back success rate allowed.
San Francisco is also top 10 in pass rush win rate and top five in run stop win rate. It's an elite and well-coached defensive unit that is more than capable of taking away the middle of the field.
Now the 49ers will have star pass rusher Nick Bosa back for this game after he was a full participant in practice on Friday. We saw last week the impact that one elite game-wrecking defensive end can have on a game when Von Miller's pressure forced Patrick Mahomes into the game-losing interception late in the fourth quarter.
Bosa has 31 pressures and six sacks in five games this season and both of Kansas City's offensive tackles are allowing more pressure this year than years past. Both rank inside the top 15 in most pressures allowed and that's a huge risk to drag this KC offense down.
Safety Jimmie Ward was also taken off the injury list and he's sure to feature in the defensive game plan against Travis Kelce, along with star linebacker Fred Warner.
Pressure has derailed the Chiefs offense at various points of the season and the 49ers will be able to get enough to slow down Mahomes on Sunday. Buffalo, Indianapolis and Las Vegas for parts of the game showed the blueprint to slowing KC down is taking advantage of the lack of explosiveness and the holes in the offensive line.
The Chiefs will be forced to take long drives to get to the end zone and will be almost entirely one-dimensional.
San Francisco's offense is at its best when it's able to run the ball effectively and the return of both Mike McGlinchey and Trent Williams along the line will go a long way toward helping them keep the ball on the ground. San Francisco's run effectiveness dropped off considerably last week against the Falcons, but the Chiefs have shown vulnerability against the run.
The lookahead line had the Chiefs as a 1.5-point favorite and while that line was as high as three early in the week, it moved back toward the 49ers after the McCaffrey trade and the positive injury news. The line seems about right to me at the current number with no value on either side.
The Chiefs however do rank 25th in Rushing Success Rate allowed and that will enable the 49ers to stay ahead of the sticks, use the clock and keep Mahomes off the field. I still have question marks about the Niners passing game, but the more effective they are running, the more the clock will be draining.
The Niners rank 27th in the league in situation neutral pace and the result of that is fewer possessions and more long drives. Kansas City plays on the faster side, but they do play considerably slower in the second half (16th) than first (9th)
In the world of totals, 49 is a key number, so I wouldn’t play it any lower than the current market offering. But with San Francisco’s ability to run the ball on offense and get pressure on Mahomes defensively, it has the recipe for a lower scoring affair on Sunday in Santa Clara.
Be sure to use our NFL odds page to find which books have 49, as some had already made the move to 48.5 as of Saturday night.