NFL Picks Week 9: San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins

San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins
Sunday, 11/6/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  San Francisco -4.5
Current Betting Line:  San Francisco -3
Opening Total:  39
Current Total:  37.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

san francisco 49ers football frank gore
San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore is enjoying a great season thus far

San Francisco heads out with a 6-1 straight-up record and 6-0-1 ATS mark, coming off a 20-10 win over the Cleveland Browns as nine-point favorites.  The 49ers have won the statistical battle the past three weeks after failing to do so in the first four games of the 2011 campaign.  The team will be aiming to win six games in a row for the first time since 1997.  “If you’re in that locker room after the game, you don’t have to say anything.  You can just feel it,” commented 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.  San Francisco is 9-8 ATS on the road the last two-plus seasons.

The 49ers have flourished under first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh, especially Smith and running back Frank Gore.  The former Miami Hurricanes runner has gained 675 rushing yards and scored five touchdowns in seven games.  He comes in averaging 4.8 yards per carry.  On the defensive side of the ball, San Francisco leads the NFL in allowing just 15.3 points per game, while causing plenty of turnovers in being tied for third in that particular category.

Washington is suffering through a three-game losing streak that includes a 23-0 shutout loss to the Buffalo Bills as four-point road underdogs last week, as the team has been out-gained by a triple-digit margin in two of those contests.  Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is going to stick with quarterback John Beck, who is coming off throwing 208 yards with two interceptions, but was chased relentlessly in being sacked 10 times.  Washington is 2-1 at FedExField this season, losing only to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6.

The Redskins and 49ers have met 24 times during the regular season, winning three of the last five games, but trailing 9-14-1 all-time.  Washington must get its offense turned around, averaging just 11 points and 273 yards during its current losing streak, which is light years away from the 21 points and 356 yards it opened the season with during an upstart 3-1 start.  The defense hasn’t been any better recently, surrendering 463.3 yards and total and a total of seven touchdowns during the dry spell.

Bettors will likely back the Redskins due to their 4-1 ATS mark as a underdog of 3.5 to 10 points, while the 49ers are 1-6-1 ATS as a road favorite within the same range.

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