Arguably the most anticipated NFL game of Week 8 will happen during the afternoon slate. Though the early part of the season has turned out a little differently than we all expected, the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers will clash in what could be a preview of the Super Bowl in February.
Bet on Bengals vs. 49ers
The game in Santa Clara will certainly have the attention of the NFL world even though it isn’t a primetime game. In this preview, you will find out everything you could want to know about the teams, this game, betting trends, and more.
Bengals vs. 49ers odds
|Bengals Moneyline Odds||+195|
|49ers Moneyline Odds||-450|
|Spread odds||Bengals +5.0 (-110), 49ers -5.0 (-110)|
|Over/Under||43.5 points (over -110, under -110)|
|Time/Date||Oct. 29, 4:25 p.m. ET|
About the Cincinnati Bengals (3-3 SU, 2-3-1 ATS, 2-4 o/u)
Let’s get things clear right from the jump. The Bengals have not been the world beaters that everyone anticipated this season. Injuries have been a major factor in that, especially with a calf injury that has seemingly plagued QB Joe Burrow since early on in the preseason.
The season started as poorly as it could. They lost three of their first four games, with the offence looking completely broken. They managed just six total points in losses to the Browns and Titans and just 19 points in a win over the Rams in Week 3. Alarms were sounding.
An easy win over the Cardinals didn’t really instill confidence. Nor did a 17-13 victory at home against Seattle. But things are now trending up and there are clear positives to take away. For one, the defence is starting to look like the one that brought the Bengals to the Super Bowl two years ago.
The offence is also getting wide receiver Tee Higgins back this week. Burrow seems like he’s shaking things off enough to look like the Joe Cool we all know. This game will be a true litmus test for the Bengals. If they can rise to the occasion and at least make this a tight game, the Bengals have to be considered among the favourites in the AFC when all is said and done.
About the San Francisco 49ers (5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS, 3-3-1 o/u)
Through the first five weeks of the season, no team was better than the San Francisco 49ers. Their lowest offensive output in any single game was 30 points, a number they hit exactly in each of the first three weeks. That only ramped up with 35 points against a bad Cardinals team in Week 4.
The peak of the 49ers’ season so far came in Week 5. Playing the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, the world was ready for a matchup between bitter rivals. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they forgot to get off the plane. The 49ers thoroughly embarrassed what is considered to be a Super Bowl contender, trouncing them 42-10 in primetime.
In complete contrast to the first five weeks is the last two weeks. Playing in Cleveland against a Browns team without Deshaun Watson, it seemed like another slam dunk. But the Browns’ defence, arguably the best in the league, showed that they are very much legit. A missed Jake Moody field goal ended regulation, giving the Niners their first loss. The offence struggled once again on Monday Night Football in Week 7, putting up just 17 points in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Right now, the 49ers are dealing with key injuries and a slumping Brock Purdy. With this matchup hovering, the 49ers need to show that they can respond when they’ve been punched. Another loss, especially at home, would create serious questions. It would also open up the competition in the NFC completely.
The biggest thing to watch (we will cover it more in-depth later on) is the health of Purdy. He has spent the week in concussion protocols, leading to the announcement of Sam Darnold as the starter if Purdy cannot go. Purdy would have faced a challenge in this Bengals’ defence, but Darnold really makes this interesting.
The former top pick of the Jets, Darnold doesn’t exactly have a sparkling track record. Who can forget the game against the Patriots when he said he “saw ghosts out there”? The Bengals have the 11th-most sacks in the NFL with 19 so far. They are also 13th against the pass, allowing 213 passing yards per game.
With tackle Trent Williams potentially out of the lineup, it could be a scary day for Darnold. If pressure starts to mount, it won’t be long before Darnold is making extremely questionable decisions. The Bengals offence might not shine, but it may not need to if the Bengals defence is on top of things.
Christian McCaffrey (SF) to score a touchdown
For all the injury troubles they’ve had so far this season, the Bengals are starting to look closer to healthy than ever. Burrow does not outwardly seem to be having trouble with his calf, but it remains an issue. Tackle Orlando Brown is dealing with a groin issue and his presence will be needed against this defence.
The real focus from an injury standpoint is the 49ers. Where to begin? All-world RB Christian McCaffrey is dealing with an oblique injury but should be in the lineup. Purdy is still in concussion protocol but is practicing. He may play but it is too early to tell.
The biggest injuries come in the form of Williams and Deebo Samuel. The latter will miss the game with a shoulder injury that has been plaguing him in recent weeks. But losing Williams (ankle) would be a massive blow. He may be the single most important player on the offence, and his absence is a massive one, both literally and figuratively.
The weather report is calling for sunshine and clear skies when the two teams take the field on Sunday afternoon. Temperatures should be around 20 degrees at kickoff, creating optimal conditions for both teams.
- The 49ers are just 4-3 against the spread this year, but there is one point of interest. In games where they have been favoured by less than five points, they are 2-0 with victories against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers are favoured by four points heading into this one, their smallest line since that Cowboys game.
- As the Bengals’ defence has come alive, the over/under has become an interesting point. They have hit the under in four of six games, including three of the last five. The offence has scored more than 20 points just twice this year, but the defence has been improving, giving up just 13 points to a talented Seahawks offence.
- The Bengals will be the underdog for the first time this year. Historically, the Bengals have been underdogs 20 times with Burrow as the starter. They are just 7-12-1 over that span and are just 4-17-1 as road underdogs since 2019.
Player Prop Trends
- McCaffrey started the season on fire, topping his rushing yardage prop total in the first four weeks. He has since been trending downward. He went from 106 yards against Arizona to 51 yards against Dallas, 43 against Cleveland, and 45 against Minnesota, coming in under on his rushing prop. The oblique injury may be a factor, but it is tough to tell at this point.
- Burrow got off to an extremely slow start but is heating up. His passing touchdowns prop is set for 1.5 (+115 over, -145 under), a number he has bested two weeks in a row. He has topped the number three times this year but has also thrown exactly zero touchdowns three times as well.
- Since Deebo Samuel will be out, Brandon Ayiuk should receive more looks on Sunday. His rushing and receiving yardage total is set at 61.5 for Sunday. He has bested that total three times, including twice in the last four games. He is a boom-or-bust player, going for 75 or more yards three times and under 60 yards three times (he did not play against the Giants in Week 3).
Wagers to Consider
- The Bengals are historically not great as road underdogs, and they are playing what still has to be considered one of the best teams in the league. The 49ers have covered in games where they are favoured by less than five points both times this year, setting the table for another cover (-5, -110).
- As mentioned, the Bengals have hit the under four times in six games this season. The 49ers, meanwhile, have an under and a push in the last two weeks. With Darnold potentially starting, the under (43.5, -110) should be the play for this one.
- McCaffrey, despite being banged up, set an NFL record by recording a touchdown in his 16th consecutive game last week against the Vikings. Until anyone stops him, keep riding that wave and take him as an anytime touchdown scorer (-188) this week.