BetUS sportsbook is trading the San Francisco 49ers at -13 for their game with the Houston Texans in Week 17. However, with the Texans playing with house money and the Niners facing quarterback concerns ahead of this game, it raises the question of whether the NFL odds and lines are overly inflated.
Game: Houston Texans (4-11-0) at San Francisco 49ers (8-7-0)
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara
Day/Time: Sunday, January 2, 2022 4:05 p.m. ET
|Houston Texans||+13 -120||+000||44 -110o|
|San Francisco 49ers||-13 Ev||-000||44 -110u|
The Texans and Niners haven’t had many occasions to cross paths since Houston joined the league as an expansion franchise. The Niners lead the head-to-head series 3-1-0, including winning two straight. The last meeting between this pair came in 2017 when the Niners beat the Texans 26-16.
Next game: vs Tennessee Titans
Bookmakers and the punditocracy gave the Texans no hope against the Los Angeles Chargers last week, tipping the hosts as the 13-point home underdogs. The Texans were 3-11-0 ahead of their Week 16 contest and already eliminated from the postseason. The Chargers, by contrast, were in the playoff hunt.
Tale told, the Texans delivered one of the biggest upsets of the season as they crushed the Chargers in a 41-29 win at the NRG Stadium to pull off the outright upset for NFL picks against the spread.
Rookie Davis Mills had a solid outing, going 21-of-27 for 254 yards and two touchdowns, connecting with Chris Conley and Nico Collins. Rex Burkhead rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns while Tavierre Thomas had a pick-six.
Defensive lineman Demarcus Walker (hamstring), wide receiver Danny Amendola (knee), wide receiver Philip Dorsett II (ankle), and defensive back Terrance Mitchell (undisclosed) are questionable for Sunday; running back David Johnson (quadricep) is out indefinitely.
San Francisco 49ers
Next game: at Los Angeles Rams
The Niners have won six of their last nine games to improve to an 8-7 record and keep their playoff bid alive. Last week’s 20-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans though was a big setback. To add to coach Kyle Shanahan’s woes, it turns out that Garoppolo suffered a hand injury that will likely require surgery.
The injury likely explains why Garoppolo’s throws were off-kilter in the second half against the Titans. Garoppolo finished 26-of-35 passes for 322 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. The Niners’ run game failed to get going too as it accounted for just 83 yards and a touchdown. Deebo Samuel led the team with 159 receiving yards while Brandon Ayuk went 40 yards on four receptions and a touchdown.
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 29, 2021
Garoppolo (thumb) is doubtful; linebacker Dre Greenlaw (groin), defensive lineman Dee Ford (concussion), running back Trey Sermon (ankle), running back Elijah Mitchell (knee), and safety Talanoa Hufanga (knee) are questionable; punter Mitch Wishnowsky (illness) and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) are out indefinitely.
Betting on the Game
The Texans may be eliminated from the postseason, but they have nothing to lose as they look to wrap up their 2021 campaign on a positive note. If last week’s win over the Chargers is anything to go by, they’ve certainly not thrown the towel in and that’s something to be commended.
The San Francisco 49ers have everything to gain with a win on Sunday at the expense of the Texans, but Garoppolo’s recent injury could put a spanner in the works. It opens the door for rookie Trey Lance to get another start and further his case as the future of the franchise.
There’s a lot of hype and excitement surrounding Trey Lance, who was drafted third overall by the Niners in the 2021 NFL draft. And that’s reaching a fever pitch this week with the prospect of his return to the starting lineup.
Lance’s lone start in Week 5 of this season resulted in a 17-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He stepped in for Garoppolo in the second half of the Niners’ week 4 contest with the Seattle Seahawks, a game that resulted in a 28-21 loss as the Seahawks stormed back in the second half to snatch the win at Levi’s Stadium.
The Niners are in sixth place in the NFC standings, but a lot rests on the outcome of their last two games. The quarterback quandary hasn’t impacted the betting online odds negatively, which is somewhat interesting.
Lance is short on experience at both the college and NFL level. To put him into a game of this magnitude and importance – with the season literally on the line – could be the making or breaking of him. If this season is anything to go by, it could be the latter.
The 2021 quarterback draft class has been mostly disappointing, with the exception of Mac Jones who has enjoyed a measure of success. Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson (the No.1 and No.2 picks) have struggled spectacularly. Justin Fields (No.11) has had his fair share of struggles too. Last weekend, Ian Book (No.133) was a total disaster in the Saints’ 20-3 loss to the Dolphins…. And so on.
Overall, the Niners are the better team and should win this game. However, laying 13 points when the quarterback position is up in the air isn’t appealing. The Texans have a shot to at least cover this game regardless of which quarterback starts, and that makes Houston +13 the choice NFL pick here.
The game total is a modest 44 points, which offers value on both sides of the coin. If Shanahan is forced to field Lance in this game, it’s likely the Niners will turn to the ground game and control ball possession as much as possible. It’s possible the same strategy will apply if Garoppolo starts on account of his injured thumb. Thus, either way, a low-scoring affair looks likely and that makes the under the best bet.