The Week 9 NFL schedule begins with a Halloween clash between one team that's downright scary and another looking to find its footing at home.
The undefeated San Francisco 49ers (7-0) visit the Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona with kickoff just after 8 pm EST on Thursday Night Football.
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49ers vs. Cardinals Betting Prediction Week 9
The 49ers opened as eight-point favorites at William Hill NJ and the spread hasn't moved from there just yet with the total set at 44.5 points.
Some other platforms first posted the line at San Francisco -7 with the early action coming in on the favorites, so most sportsbooks have this as a 7.5 or 8-point spread. As the week goes on, we'd expect bets to continue coming in on San Francisco, which has won by at least nine points in six of seven games so far this season.
49ers Betting Preview Week 9
Following a 51-13 drubbing of the Panthers in Week 8, the Niners are now 5-2 against the spread and remain the only undefeated team in the NFC and one of two undefeated clubs in the NFL (Patriots).
Coach Kyle Shanahan has set QB Jimmy Garoppolo up for success. He's spreading the ball around nicely and is now 15-2 in his young career as a starter, but San Francisco is really anchored by its defense. It ranks second in defensive DVOA at Football Outsiders, mostly stemming from an elite pass defense and the ability to rush the QB, piling up the fourth-most sacks to this point.
The 49ers have also made huge strides in the ground game, grinding out 232 yards last game and now facing a bottom-10 run defense that just allowed 137 rushing yards to New Orleans.
Cardinals Betting Preview Week 9
Despite the 3-4-1 record, the Cardinals have been a pretty decent bet with rookie coach Kliff Kingsbury and rookie QB Kyler Murray. Despite the loss in Week 8, Arizona is 5-3 against the spread and holds a plus-three turnover differential to this point.
The injury bug has bitten Arizona's backfield with David Johnson and Chase Edmonds both injured, so the acquisition of Kenyan Drake from the Dolphins could play a major role this week.
The Cardinals middle-of-the-pack when it comes to run blocking, but struggle in pass protection. Being forced to throw the ball predictably is a recipe for disaster against this Niners defense, so whoever suits up at running back should still get the ball.
49ers vs. Cardinals Prediction
On a short week with less time to prepare, teams are likely to stick to what works. For both of these clubs, that means establishing the run game first and going from there. That remains especially true for Arizona, which can't get into a run-and-gun shootout against such a stout pass defense. =
We should expect the Cardinals to try and run the ball and go with the short passing game rather than throwing into the teeth of the defense while San Francisco goes with one of Shanahan's well-balanced game scripts.
In the end, Arizona will likely be trailing and forced to throw more than they'd like, which is likely to be their eventual downfall. Before this line gets closer to double digits, hop on the visitors to make it 9-0 and move to 6-2 against the spread.
Pick: San Francisco 49ers -8 (-110) - Bet On Niners vs. Cardinals at William Hill NJ
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NFL Week 9 Picks: Thursday Night Football Props
Bettors are constantly looking for a generous NJ sportsbook bonus and reliable lines. Before making any Week 9 NFL picks, head over to the William Hill app and view what's available for Thursday Night Football!
Among the variety of markets are props, which is where we look to find something interesting to lay a few bucks on aside from the traditional odds and totals. This week, we are looking squarely at the Cardinals' first-half team total.
Before struggling last week, the Arizona offense had gotten going in the opening half three games in a row, albeit against weaker defenses. Still, if there's a time to take advantage of this hellacious 49ers defense on a short week, it's early in the game, even with all of Arizona's injuries.
The Niners' defense is likely to figure things out as the game goes, but we think the Cardinals put up enough points to beat the extremely low total of just 8.5 points. Want to learn more? Check out our NFL betting guide!