The San Francisco 49ers travel down to Southern California to face the San Diego Chargers in a game fraught with playoff implications for both teams. Given the Chargers explosive offense and the 49ers relative inconsistency this season, the gambling folks have opened the line with the Chargers sitting as 8 1/2 to 9 point favorites. The over/under on the game is 44-45 points.
The 49ers have struggled immensely on the road and I’d imagine that factored into it. Even though the 49ers just whipped Seattle at Candlestick, a 1-5 road team is a 1-5 road team. The 49ers do not have to win this game, but a loss would leave them in limbo through Sunday. I’d imagine whatever the result they’ll be scoreboard watching on Sunday, but if they lose, wins by St. Louis and Seattle against the Chiefs and Falcons, respectively, would eliminate the 49ers from playoff contention.
It will be interesting to see what the short week does to the line. A short week likely means tired players, which could be seen most notably in special teams coverage. If this game remains close it could turn on a key punt or kick return.
As a 49ers fan I’d bet the 49ers all the way, but in attempting some kind of objective view point, it’s tough to bet on the 49ers either to win or to cover. They can definitely spring the upset, but I’m certainly not holding my breath. They’ve played up to competitors at times this season, but also been blown out at Kansas City and Green Bay. Really I’d say just stay the heck away from this game.