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The Las Vegas Raiders host the San Francisco 49ers in a rivalry clash on Sunday afternoon from Allegiant Stadium. The 49ers come into this one playing the best football in the NFL, having won eight straight games. For the Raiders, things have been a little more difficult, having lost two of their last three. The last time these two teams played was in 2018, which was a dominating victory for the 49ers, who have won three of the last four in the series overall. With both teams trending in opposite directions in this one, it will be interesting to see how this one ends.
49ers looking like NFC Elite
For San Francisco, a slow start to the season has quickly given way to this group looking like NFC and Super Bowl favorites. The 49ers haven’t lost since October, and while the schedule hasn’t been too bleak, eight straight wins is still an impressive feat. With four of their last five games at home, having to leave home for this one is sure to be a bit of a challenge, as their .500 record on the road leaves a lot to be desired. The good news is that they will be facing a Las Vegas team with little to play for, which should play squarely into San Francisco’s hands.
The wins have kept coming even as the injury reporting has also increased each week. They are already on their third quarterback, while Deebo Samuel (knee) remains out until 2023. The main name to watch is Christian McCaffrey (knee), who is questionable heading into the weekend but is expected to play . While the defense began the season battling injury woes of their own, that group has returned to health and strength of late, with Nick Bosa (illness) the most notable, albeit likely, name.
Best of the West! pic.twitter.com/H8TmZio6rq
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 16, 2022
San Francisco’s offense has been doing enough of late to keep wins going, especially with Brock Purdy quickly looking like a mainstay at quarterback. It helps to have the best defense in the league to lean on and they should lead the way again on Sunday against the Raiders. San Francisco ranks first in the league in total defense, run defense and scoring defense, while they’ll love to see a quarterback make his first run as a starter on the other side. San Francisco’s ability to run the ball in its own right, while also controlling the opponents’ running game, should dictate how this one goes. Dre Greenlaw (119 tackles) and Fred Warner (110 tackles) have formed one of the best linebacker duos in the league, which should fit Vegas in this one.
Raiders end season in chaos
After a good middle part of the season, Las Vegas is ending the season just as it began, plagued with confusion and struggling to find success. A loss last week, which saw them blow a ten-point lead, ended what little hope they had of making the playoffs, leaving loyal fans and the front office wondering what went wrong this season. With a bunch of big names on both sides of the ball, as well as money spent in the offseason to attract some talent as well, missing out on the playoffs looks tough. Las Vegas has a winning record at home this year, going 4-2, and even despite some lineup changes, being at Allegiant Stadium should give them an instant boost. The Raiders have yet to see a defense as strong as San Francisco’s this season, though they haven’t seen a team this complete overall in months. Even at home, Sunday afternoon’s matchup could be difficult as the season draws to a close.
From an injury perspective, the Raiders continue to deal with some issues on the defensive end. Chandler Jones (elbow) is a key absentee on the defensive line, while a trio of linebackers join him. Also, two cornerbacks have been ruled out, while Nate Hobbs (quadriceps) is likely. Defensive help will be needed in this case, as the 49ers will need all the help they can get.
Thursday Week 17 Injury Report » https://t.co/FGEdyOgCys pic.twitter.com/rnesBXo5gw
— Las Vegas Raiders (@Raiders) December 30, 2022
The Raiders will struggle in this one and the changes on the offensive end will surely haunt them. Derek Carr has been sent home for the rest of the season, meaning Jarrett Stidham will start. Given that the offense has already struggled this season, those issues will surely be magnified against San Francisco’s elite defense. The Raiders rank at the bottom of the league in most defensive categories and while San Francisco has lost some key names, it still lacks some of the key playmakers to slow down what the 49ers are capable of. The best bet for Las Vegas to succeed is to mount Josh Jacobs and control the clock, but without a solid passing game, the 49ers will be able to take advantage of that plan.
The best bets for this game
Full Game Side Bet
San Francisco will dominate this game from start to finish and there is no doubt that they will pull off a double digit win. For the Raiders, the questions at quarterback will make it difficult for them to find much consistency in this one, especially against the best defense in the league. For the 49ers, Purdy has been strong since he became the starter, and with a running game he should dominate against a battered Las Vegas run defense, that ability to control the game will be the difference. Also, according to covers.com, the 49ers are 5-0 ATS in their last five games on grass and are 5-0 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win.
Prediction: 49ers (-9.5)
Full Game Full Selection
There is no doubt that this will be a low-scoring game and with both teams insisting on running the ball, it will lower the score. For the 49ers, keeping the ball out of the air has been key to their success of late and their running game is poised to thrive and control the clock in this matchup. For Las Vegas, being without Carr will hurt their already weakened offense, while Jacobs will have plenty of touches on the ground. However, the 49ers defense is elite and their ability to control this game on both sides will bring down the score. Also, according to covers.com, the deficit is 6-1 for Las Vegas in its last seven games of Week 17.
Prediction: less than 42.5
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