The Denver Broncos travel to San Francisco to play the 49ers in the 2013 NFL Week 1 preseason, Thursday August 8. After the Niners came up a touchdown short in Super Bowl XLVII, expect this Niners team to be back and more inspired than ever. The Broncos won 11 straight to finish the regular season, but they suffered a divisional playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens. NFL oddsmakers have listed the Niners as -3.5 point home favorites over the Broncos with the over/under set at 36 points. Will either team be very interested in gunning for this win, or will they both use it as a talent evaluation. Let’s preview the Broncos vs Niners preseason meeting. Get the current 2013 NFL Preseason Betting Lines now.
The Broncos have plenty to try and figure out this preseason, like will Wes Welker start over Eric Decker, and what will the running back rotation look like. Denver will want to get plenty of looks from their running game in this one, especially from Montee Ball. Ball could come in and run all over the second string, and that should be the plan. Along with the depth they will have in the passing game in the second and third string, theirs plenty of upside here for the Broncos.
QB Peyton Manning might be able to come out and get them on the board, because the Niners aren’t that great when playing from behind. Manning’s eventual protégé in Denver, QB Brock Osweiler will also see some run this game.
The Broncos are going to spend the better part of the first half cycling in guys that will definitely be on their roster, and that should help them get the cover in this game.
Coach John Fox has been very good as a head coach in the preseason. He is 23-21 SU and 7-4 SU in Week 1 of the preseason.
The Niners Coach Jim Harbaugh would be wise to only scarcely play his starters on offense and defense in this game. There’s already the injury to Michael Crabtree, and the Niners shouldn’t risk further injury to any of their major skill players, especially QB Colin Kaepernick.
There’s little question the Niners are the best team. The Niners are ranked in the top three following their Super Bowl loss to the Ravens. Against a Niners team that went 13-3 last season on the strength of a defense that allowed only 14.3 points per game, Manning showed in his abbreviated final preseason test that if he hasn’t completely regained previous form, then he’s encouragingly close.
Coach Harbaugh is 5-3 ATS and SU in the preseason as a head coach, but last year he had a quick hook for Alex Smith after one series, and that is probably the same formula he will follow with Kaepernick this year.
Denver at San Francisco
When: Thursday, Aug 8, 2012@8:00 PM ET
Pick: Broncos +3.5
The Bottom Line: Home team wins in the preseason but the Broncos might play Manning to get a healthy first quartet lead. We recommend you signup with Bovada to receive a 10% signup bonus heading into the 2013 NFL Week 1 preseason.