NFL Free Picks for Sunday, October 1: 49ers, Cardinals Clash Out West

Oct 1, 2017

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Oskeim Sports provides NFL free picks throughout the season right here at its award-winning Blog.  Oskeim’s NFL free picks are 55.1% lifetime against-the-spread.

Since 2003, NFL teams that have lost three consecutive games are a profitable 205-175 ATS (53.9%), including 134-98 ATS (57.8%) when getting points from the oddsmakers.

Not surprisingly, the betting public has grown tired of the 49ers, who arrive in Arizona having lost each of their first three games of the 2017-18 campaign. However, San Francisco has outperformed the betting market (2-1 ATS) and is extremely well-coached under first-year mentor Kyle Shanahan.

“I feel like we’re going in the direction that I hoped we’d be going,” Shanahan said. “Obviously, I wish we were 3-0, and we’re 0-3, so that’s disappointing, but I feel like our guys are competing. I feel like we’re playing the right way. I feel like we’ve gotten better in each game. “I’m proud of what I see on tape, even though I know it’s not always the best. But I feel proud that guys are trying their best, and the main thing for us is that we continue to get better.”

San Francisco is actually slightly better than average from the line of scrimmage, rating 0.2 yards per play worse than average offensively (5.3 yards per play to teams that would combine to allow 5.5 yards per play to a mediocre attack) and 0.3 yards per play better than average defensively (5.1 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.4 yards per play).

The 49ers possess a powerful ground attack led by Carlos Hyde, who ranks third in the league with 253 rushing yards.

Overall, San Francisco is 0.2 yards per rush attempt better than average in 2017, and backing an underdog with a solid ground game is generally a good investment.

The scheduling circumstances strongly favor the 49ers, who are coming off a Thursday night affair and have had ten days to prepare for Sunday’s critical division affair with Arizona.

In contrast, the Cardinals are coming off a disappointing 28-17 loss to the Cowboys on Monday night and have a short week to prepare for today’s game.

The technical analysis overwhelmingly favors the road underdog. Arizona is a money-burning 3-10 ATS in its last thirteen games overall, 1-4 ATS in its last five home tilts, 1-4 ATS in its last five games versus .499 or worse opposition, 1-8 ATS after failing to cover the spread in its previous game and 1-10 ATS following a game in which it garnered less than 90 rushing yards.

The 49ers are 8-3 ATS in their last eleven trips to Arizona, while the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings in this series. San Francisco is also a perfect 5-0 ATS in its last five divisional battles and 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall.

.459 or worse NFL favorites of at least 6.5 points in Game 4 forward are just 117-166-8 ATS. San Francisco is 6-0-1 ATS since November 13, 2016 as an underdog when coming off a game in which it was getting points.

Last Thursday’s 41-39 loss to the Rams went over the total by 39 points, which is significant in that NFL teams with an over/under margin of 29+ points in their last game are 184-142-7 ATS.

Since December 20, 2009,  Arizona is 0-6 ATS as a 7+ point favorite when coming off a double-digit defeat and 0-6 ATS since October 23, 2016 after outgaining its previous opponent.

The Cardinals lost under the Monday Night lights despite finishing with a 36:15 time of possession, which is relevant in that NFL teams are just 84-111-5 ATS after a game in which they controlled the ball for at least 35:49 but lost.

One final interesting nugget: Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught thirteen passes for 149 yards against the Cowboys. NFL teams that had a receiver catch 13+ passes in their previous game are a woeful 31-44-3 ATS.

While Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer has performed better than his metrics indicate, the Cardinals have been decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the ball.

David Johnson, who had over 2,000 yards of total offense last season, is sidelined for the remainder of the year, while wide receiver John Brown has missed the past two games with a quad injury and was limited at Wednesday’s practice.

Finally, Arizona is 0-7 ATS since September 30, 2016 at home versus an opponent that is averaging less than ten passing first downs per game. Laying a touchdown with a team that is 0.2 yards per play worse than average from the line of scrimmage is tantamount to burning money.

Grab the points with the 49ers as one of Oskeim Sports NFL free picks for Sunday, October 1.

Oskeim Sports’ NFL Free Picks:

  • San Francisco 49ers (+7) (-120) 
  • Houston Texans (+2.5)