This week Monday Night football will serve as a litmus test for two NFL teams that fancy themselves to be Super Bowl contenders. The 49ers enter the contest at 3-0, but no one is convinced that Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco really have the goods to hoist the Lomabardi Trophy. The Browns were everyone’s darling team of the offseason, but they’ve been pretty inconsistent through four games. Wining Monday Night Football could prove that one of these team’s has legitimate title aspirations.
Our Statschecker tool has a custom page full of helpful information about the match up. It’s a must read before you decide what bets you want to make. As always, this piece will give you five of the site’s most interesting facts about the game. The 49ers head into the game as 4-point favorites, but read on to decide whether or not Statschecker can change your mind about backing Kyle Shanahan’s team to win.
- The 49ers aren’t great favorites
San Francisco has fallen on some lean times as a franchise in recent years, but that still doesn’t excuse how bad the team has performed as favorites. The 49ers have failed to cover the spread in 14 of their last 15 games when they were predicted to win.
That makes the four point line for this game pretty scary. San Francisco certainly has the talent required to win the game, but this game could easily turn out to be closer than the experts predict.
- They are, however, excellent on Monday Night Football
San Francisco may not be a great favorite, but they love the glitz and glamor of Monday Night Football. The franchise in 9-2 in their last 11 games on the big stage.
This is another fact that would seem to make leaning on the 49ers to win the game straight up as a solid bet. Keep reading to find out whether or not we’re convinced that’s the right way to play.
- Nick Chubb travels
Baker Mayfield and Cleveland’s wideouts will get a lot of hype heading into this game, but don’t forget about the Browns’ ground game. If Nick Chubb gets a crease, he has the speed to take any carry to the house.
That’s why he’s found pay dirt at least once in six of his last nine road games. Cleveland is going to work hard to establish the run on Monday night. Whether or not they can handle San Francisco’s talented defensive line could go a long way towards determining the outcome of this game.
- Both teams are perfect away from home
The 49ers are undefeated so it’s obvious they haven’t lost on the road. What isn’t so obvious is that they are already 2-0 away from the friendly confines of Levi Stadium.
What’s even more interesting is that both of Cleveland’s victories this season have also come away from home. It’s clear that Mayfield and company aren’t going to be intimidated by the environment they encounter on Monday night. A raucous atmosphere in San Francisco won’t be enough by itself to power San Francisco to a victory.
- The 49ers can really score
If you asked most neutral NFL fans which of these offenses has more talent you’d get Cleveland as the answer most of the time. The numbers don’t back that up. The 49ers are putting up an impressive 32 points per contest on the young season.
Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the better offense in this match up. The point we’re making here is that you shouldn’t underestimate what Garoppolo and company can do when they have the football. Both of these offenses have a chance to put up a solid point total in this game.
In the end, back the 49ers
San Francisco is undefeated for a reason. They aren’t necessarily Super Bowl favorites, but they’ve got enough juice to take care of business at home on Monday night.
The real match up to watch here is just how dominant the 49ers front can be against Cleveland’s offensive line. That’s the biggest reason why you should lay the points and trust Kyle Shanahan’s team to emerge victorious. They’re going to harass Mayfield and really make things tough for the Browns offense. This may not be a pretty win for the 49ers, but it should prove to be a valuable one.