San Francisco (0-0) at Las Vegas (0-0)
When: Sunday, August 13th, 2023
Where: Allegiant Stadium,
Las Vegas, NV
Time: 4:00 ET | TV: NFLN
Opening Odds: San Francisco -3/37
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The NFL preseason kicks-off for longtime rivals in the San Francisco 49ers and Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday afternoon from Allegiant Stadium. Both teams fared well in the 2022 preseason with the 49ers going 2-1. They opened up with a loss to the Houston Texans before beating the Vikings and Packers.
The Raiders played four games including the Hall of Fame Game and won all four contests. However, the perfect 4-0 mark didn’t translate into a winning campaign and there’s not much optimism this year. They are predicted to finish last in the AFC West behind the Chiefs, Chargers and Broncos.
The 49ers opened as a 3-point favorite to begin the week and have been bet up to -4 as of Saturday night. The total is currently set at 36 over at Bovada Sportsbook. The underdog has covered the spread in the last four meetings, while the home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five.
The 49ers are loaded with talent and have the ability to take down the NFC crown. However, the one uncertainty is at quarterback. One of those QBs, Jimmy Garoppolo, will be on the other sideline Sunday afternoon. Brock Purdy, who suffered a shoulder injury in the NFC Championship game last year against the Eagles, is back. Reports are that his practice this week has not been great.
Trey Lance, who was drafted to be the franchise quarterback, has many question marks surrounding his play. The team also signed veteran Sam Darnold as extra insurance. Most of the offseason moves were made to improve the defense under new coordinator Steve Wilks. Safety Ji’Ayir Brown was their top pick in the draft, while defensive tackle Javon DeAndre came over from the Eagles.
Garoppolo is the new man in Vegas, taking over for Derek Carr. Everyone has their opinions on Garoppolo, who hasn’t won a Super Bowl, but is very consistent and wins most of his games. Running back Zamir White could take over the RB1 duties with 2022 NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs in a contract dispute.
Compounding issues for the Raiders’ offense is the apparent leg injury WR Davante Adams suffered late in the week. Las Vegas will once again enter a season with plenty of question marks. The defense has been horrible for a few years, so they drafted DE Tyree Wilson in the first round and DT Byron Young in the third.
The 49ers have a lot of depth at the QB position, which will lead to points during the preseason. The Raiders starting defense is bad, which means their backups are probably worse. I’ll lay the points.
Pick: 49ers -4