Originally posted on Patriots Extra  |  Last updated 12/12/12
The Patriots opened as 5.5-point favorites as they host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football in Week 15. Maybe I’m just being cynical, but this spread seems to be a bit inflated by the outcome of the Houston game. Don’t get me wrong here. Monday night’s massacre of the Texans certainly gave me an erection with such long-lasting qualities that I probably should have called a doctor. But comparing a Houston defense that had been blistered by the pass to this 49ers defense that ranks second in the league is more than a bit problematic. The Texans’ defense is a bit of smoke and mirrors beyond JJ Watt; the 49ers are the real deal on defense from top to bottom. The 49ers have faced some quality passing teams like the Packers, Saints, Giants and Lions, and they have done a decent job of holding down the fort. And let’s not forget that New England hasn’t faced a quarterback with the mobility of Colin Kaepernick in a really long time (for those of you saying Tim Tebow last year, please note I said “quarterback” and not “fullback in denial”). Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree should be able to find at least a little room in the secondary, and I’m sure Randy Moss will not be lacking for motivation against his old team on the national stage. If their second-year signal-caller can buy time with his feet, the 49ers could open up a few big plays down the field to go with an above-average rushing attack. While the rest of America bets on New England to cover, I’m going to take the 49ers and the points. Other Lines I Like Broncos (-2.5) @ Ravens I cannot fathom how a team with Peyton Manning at quarterback could ever be an underdog to a team with Joe Flacco at quarterback. The Broncos haven’t lost a game in two months. Peyton Manning will win a World’s Smallest Forehead competition before the Ravens win this game. Lions (-6) @ Cardinals The best thing I can say about the Cards right now is that they probably won’t lose by 58 again. Until I see a quarterback in an Arizona Cardinals uniform that I think could win a game in the Big Ten, I’m going to keep betting against them. 2012 Record ATS: 25-18 Record ATS since 2010: 96-85-4
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