Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: San Francisco -6 & 47.5
Opening Line & Total: 49ers -4.5 & 48
The 49ers look to get back on track with a road win over the lowly Redskins on Monday night.
Both San Francisco and Washington have lost two straight games. The most recent defeat for the 49ers was against the Saints on the road where they fell 23-20, but covered as 3.5-point underdogs. Washington, on the other hand, has two straight SU and ATS losses, dropping road games to the Vikings and Eagles. The last time these two teams met was in November of 2011 when San Francisco prevailed 19-11 on the road as a 4.5-point favorite. Since 1992, the 49ers are 4-1 SU against the Redskins in Washington, but are just 3-2 ATS in those games. As the coach of San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh is 14-3 ATS versus poor defensive teams that allow more than 5.65 yards per play. However, teams such as Washington after a game where it forced no turnovers, against an opponent after a game where it forced 3+ turnovers, are 138-79 ATS (64%) over the past 10 seasons. Although Redskins starting WR Leonard Hankerson will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury and starting TE Jordan Reed (concussion) is questionable, top WR Pierre Garcon (ankle) is listed as probable. The 49ers will likely be without CB Tarell Brown (ribs) and G Mike Iupati (knee), but there’s a slight chance that they could be getting back top WR Michael Crabtree, who has missed the whole season recovering from a torn Achilles.
The 49ers have lost two straight games and their offense has really struggled in those defeats with a paltry 14.5 PPG and 173.5 total YPG. Against the Saints last week, the 49ers rushed for a season-low 81 yards on 22 carries (3.7 YPC). San Francisco ranks last in the NFL in passing offense with a paltry 168.0 YPG and QB Colin Kaepernick must play better if the 49ers are going to get back to the playoffs. After tallying a 98.3 passer rating in 2012, that number has dipped to 81.8 this season as he has completed just 56.7% of his passes for 1,802 yards (7.2 YPA), 11 TD and 7 INT. He has also lost four fumbles. Despite last week’s struggles, the Niners are still a great running team with 141.0 rushing YPG (5th in NFL). RB Frank Gore has led the way this season, rushing for 748 yards with seven touchdowns, and before being held to 48 yards last week, he had compiled at least 70 rushing yards in each of his previous seven contests. Kaepernick has contributed a lot to the running game too with 335 yards (6.0 YPC) and three touchdowns on the ground. San Francisco’s offense is much better when TE Vernon Davis is healthy. Davis has been slowed by numerous injuries but still has 34 receptions for 553 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns this season. WR Anquan Boldin has been the top target with 630 receiving yards, but the possible return of Michael Crabtree (1,105 rec. yards, 9 TD last year) could really add another element to this offense. San Francisco’s defense has been solid this year allowing just 323.8 total YPG (7th in NFL). This includes 220.0 YPG through the air (10th in NFL) and 103.8 YPG on the ground (T-12th in NFL) The Niners rank fourth in the league in scoring defense (17.8 PPG allowed) and sixth in defending third downs (35.0%). This has also been a very opportunistic unit with multiple takeaways in six of their past seven games, forcing 18 turnovers during this stretch.
After surprising many with a playoff berth last season, Washington has had a very disappointing 2013 campaign. The Redskins offense has moved the ball very well this season with 412.1 total YPG (6th in NFL), which includes 256.9 YPG through the air (11th in league) and an NFL-best 155.2 YPG on the ground. The problem, however, is that the Redskins are getting these yards after falling behind early and that their defense can’t stop anybody. Washington’s defense is allowing 389.9 total YPG (28th in NFL), including 274.9 YPG through the air (26th in league) and 115.0 YPG on the ground (19th in NFL). The Redskins have also been terrible in the red zone (68% efficiency, 2nd-worst in NFL), which has led to 31.1 PPG allowed (3rd-worst in league). This is despite being on the field for just 28:36 (6th-fewest in NFL) because of how well the Washington ground game has been. RB Alfred Morris has been one of the few bright spots for Washington as he has rushed for 918 yards (5.1 YPC) and five touchdowns on the season. The Redskins offense would be better off giving him the ball more often than letting QB Robert Griffin III continue to turn the ball over. Griffin has really struggled this season as he continues to recover from a torn ACL, throwing for 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. That is twice as many picks as he threw in 15 games in his rookie year, when he finished with 20 TD and 5 INT. And after rushing for 815 yards (6.8 YPC) and 7 TD in 2012, Griffin has just 345 rushing yards (5.2 YPC) and zero touchdowns this season.