NFL Saturday Night Betting Picks: San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers

San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers
Levi’s Stadium – Santa Clara,  California

Saturday, December 20, 2014, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Network
Opening Line: San Francisco -2 1/2 (-115)
Current Line: San Francisco -1 (-115)
Opening Total: 41 (over -128)
Current Total: 40 1/2
Opening Money Line: 49ers -116 / Chargers +104
Current Money Line: 49ers -120 / Chargers +100

The 49ers host the Chargers Saturday night.
The 49ers host the Chargers Saturday night.

After 3 straight years of making of making it to at least the NFC Championship game, the San Francisco 49ers were officially eliminated from playoff contention after their third straight loss dropped them to 7-7. The 49ers are playing out the string with a potentially lame duck coach, as rumors fly that Jim Harbaugh could be in his last year with the 49ers. San Francisco hosts the 8-6 San Diego Chargers Saturday night. San Diego is tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills, but all three teams are behind the 9-5 Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens for the two wild card spots in the AFC playoffs.

San Diego has won all three meetings against San Francisco since 2002, including 34-7 in San Diego in 2010. The 49ers beat the Chargers handily in Super Bowl XXIX twenty years ago.

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San Diego is coached by Mike McCoy. The Chargers have road losses at the Arizona Cardinals 18-17, Denver Broncos 35-21 and Miami Dolphins 37-0, along with home losses to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-20, New England Patriots 23-14 and Broncos last week 22-10. San Diego has lost 2 straight games. The Chargers have home wins over the Seattle Seahawks 30-21, Jacksonville Jaguars 33-14, New York Jets 31-0, Oakland Raiders 13-6, and St. Louis Rams 27-24, along with road wins over the Bills 22-10, Raiders 31-28, and the Baltimore Ravens 34-33. San Diego is 6-8 ATS and the total is 6-8 this season. The Chargers were 4 point underdogs against the Broncos  and the total was 49.

San Francisco is coached by Jim Harbaugh. The 49ers have home losses to the Chicago Bears 28-20, St. Louis Rams 13-10, and Seahawks 19-3, along with road losses to the Cardinals 23-14, Denver Broncos 42-17, Oakland Raiders 24-13 and Seahawks 17-7 last week. San Francisco has lost 3 straight games after a 3 game winning streak. The 49ers have home wins over the Philadelphia Eagles 26-21, Kansas City Chiefs 22-17, and Washington Redskins 17-13, along with road wins over the Cowboys 28-17, Rams 31-17, New Orleans Saints 27-24 in overtime, and New York Giants 16-10. San Francisco is 6-7-1 ATS and the total is 4-10 this season. The 49ers were 10 point underdogs against the Seahawks and the total was 38.

San Diego is outscoring teams 21.6-21 this season. The Chargers are #17 in scoring and #11 in points allowed. San Diego is averaging 333 yards per game on offense including 250 passing and 83 rushing yards. The Chargers are #11 in passing and #31 in rushing. On defense, San Diego is allowing 337 yards per game including 228 passing and 109 rushing yards. The Chargers are #9 in total and #9 in pass defense. San Diego is 88/193 in third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 84/193. The Chargers have forced 20 sacks and allowed 28 this season. San Diego is -2 in turnovers. The Chargers have two defensive touchdowns and have allowed one this season.

San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers has completed 67.6% of his passes for 3,639 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, along with 100 rushing yards. He is probable with a chest injury. The running game has been almost non-existent. Running back Brandon Oliver has 133 carries for 458 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 31 catches for 239 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Mathews has 74 carries for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns, plus 9 catches for 69 yards. He is out with an ankle injury. Donald Brown has 71 carries for 172 yards, along with 27 catches for 199 yards. Danny Woodhead is out for the season with an ankle injury.

Receiver Keenan Allen has 77 catches for 783 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is out with an ankle injury. Malcolm Floyd has 45 catches for 777 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight end Antonio Gates has 58 catches for 662 yards and 10 touchdowns. Eddie Royal has 48 catches for 559 yards and 6 touchdowns.  Nine defensive players are listed as questionable or out for the Chargers, along with 4 offensive linemen.

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San Francisco is being outscored 20-18 this season. The 49ers are #9 in points allowed and #28 in scoring. San Francisco is averaging 314 yards per game on offense including 199 passing and 115 rushing yards. The 49ers are #27 in total offense and #28 in passing. On defense, San Francisco is allowing 307 yards per game including 206 passing yards and 101 rushing yards. The 49ers are in the top 8 in all three categories. San Francisco is 86/207  on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 80/188. The 49ers have forced 32 sacks and allowed 49 this season. San Francisco has 2 defensive touchdowns and has allowed 3 defensive or special teams touchdowns. The 49ers are +4 in turnovers.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has completed 60.5% of his passes for 3,051 yards with 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 90 carries for 425 yards. Running back Frank Gore has 204 carries for 804 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a concussion.  Carlos Hyde has 83 carries for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 12 catches for 68 yards. He is out with a back injury. It isn’t clear who will be the feature back if Gore is out as well. Besides Kaepernick, no one else has more than 5 carries. Alfonso Smith is listed third on the depth chart.

Receiver Anquan Boldin has 74 catches for 920 yards and 4 touchdowns. Michael Crabtree has 63 catches for 652 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is questionable with a knee injury. Stevie Johnson has 35 catches for 435 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is out with a knee injury. Brandon Lloyd has 13 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Vernon Davis has 25 catches for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns. Twenty six players are listed on the injury report including 4 offensive linemen and 12 defensive players.

San Diego is 6-1 ATS after a double digit home loss, 5-2 in week 16, 7-3 in road games, 9-4 after scoring less than  15 points, 1-6 in Saturday games and after failing to cover, 1-8 overall, 0-4 after a straight up loss, 0-5 after rushing for under 90 yards, and 0-8 on grass.

San Francisco is 5-0 ATS in Saturday games, 11-2-1 after passing for less than 150 yards, 4-1-1 after scoring less than 15 points, 6-2-2 after gaining 250 total yards or less,  8-3 after allowing 150 rushing yards or more, 25-12-3 after a straight up loss, 1-3-1 after failing to cover, 2-6 at home, 1-4-1 in week 16 and against teams with winning records, 0-3-1 overall and 0-5 on grass.

San Francisco struggled to score even with Gore, Hyde, Crabtree and Johnson. Throw in the fact that this is a must win game for the Chargers and I think San Diego wins this game with relative ease in a low scoring game.

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