This mega fixture pits the reigning NFL champions against the current Superbowl second favourites but San Fran should have too much for the misfiring Giants, says Luca Bercelli
"The Niners boast the stingiest defence in the league and the fifth best offence."
Back San Francisco 49ers (-3.5pts) @ 1.758/11
On paper this titanic match-up has the potential to be one of the games of the season - the defending champs up against arguably the most in-form team in the league.
The Niners have become absolute monsters on defence and have only give up a single field goal in their last two matches. That's almost unheard of, and a stat they'll be hard-pressed to add to with the visit of the rollercoaster Giants. This is a team that goes from steamrollering Carolina 36-7 one week, to losing out to the misfiring Eagles the next. Go figure.
One thing is for certain, both teams will bring their A-games.
In the case of the Niners that means the stingiest defence in the league and the fifth best offence. Not a bad combination and a reason why more and more punters are looking at them seriously as Superbowl contenders; they are 6.611/2 joint favourites to go all the way at the time of writing.
The Giants on the other hand have not looked convincing on defence (26th against the pass and 16th against the rush), and owe much of their winning 3-2 record to the man calling the shots, Manning junior.
Eli gets it done time and time again when under intense pressure but even he could find it difficult against the league's best overall defence. The key to their success is neutralising the pass, and without time to throw or open targets to aim at, it could be a frustrating four quarters for the champs.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw has done a sterling job deflecting attention away from Manning, eating up the clock and gaining hard and valuable yards; 65 carries so far with a total of 333 yards. The problem is that I just don't see him pounding through the San Francisco defensive line, and once his route is blocked the passing game will also be stifled.
I'm all over San Francisco on the handicap (-3.5pts) @ 1.758/11 and will be looking to boost that with winning margin punts of the Niners by 1-6 5.04/1 and 7-12 5.04/1.
Handicap Winner - San Francisco 49ers (-3.5pts) @ 1.758/11
Winning Margin - San Francisco to win by 1-6 @ 5.04/1 and 7-12 @ 5.04/1