But Arizona is 6-1 straight up ("SU") at home this season. With playoff implications for both teams on the line, the Cardinals host the Niners Sunday afternoon.
49ers, Cardinals point spread: The 49ers vs. Cardinals game opened as even odds and remained there through Thursday—the total was 42.5. (Line updates and matchup report)
Odds Shark computer prediction: 27.7-23.3 49ers
Why the 49ers can cover the spread
San Francisco has won five games in a row after beating Atlanta on Monday night 34-24. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick caught some flack earlier this season for his throwing ability, but his critics have been quiet lately as Kappy has posted a QB rating above 100 in four of his last five games. The Niners rank third in the league in rushing and fifth in run defense.
Add it all up and they've out-rushed foes by 44 yards per game. So far this NFL season teams that out-ground their opponents have covered the spread 60 percent of the time.
Why the Cardinals can cover the spread
Head coach Bruce Arians won the NFL Coach of the Year award last year for his efforts with the Indianapolis Colts. He could win it again this year for what he's done with this Arizona team.
Playing in the toughest division in football, Arians has gotten the Cardinals to 10 wins and within a sniff of the playoffs. Arizona only ranks 20th in the league in total offense, but sixth in total defense. They are the NFL's best against the run, giving up just 85 yards per game on the ground.
They have shown a curious knack for covering in season finales as well, going 8-2 ATS in the past decade in Week 17.
The Odds Shark computer is calling for a Niners victory, but the Cardinals are playing with some verve, after upsetting the Seahawks in Seattle. Arizona has won seven of its last eight games and the only loss in that span was a three-point defeat at Philadelphia.
The Cardinals also catch San Francisco on a short week after its taxing victory over Atlanta on Monday night. Take Arizona against a divisional rival.
- Niners are 8-2 ATS past 10 games vs Arizona
- Niners are 7-1 ATS past eight trips to Arizona
- Cardinals are 6-1 SU at home this season
- Cardinals are 8-2 ATS past 10 season finales