NFL London 2010: San Francisco 49ers (-1) Hold Slight Edge Over Denver Broncos

October 28th, 2010 – by Steve V.

In the NFL’s annual trip to London, the Denver Broncos (2-5) will square off against the San Francisco 49ers (1-6) this weekend. Site of this game will be Wembley Stadium and kickoff is slated for 1pm EST (Eastern – United States), 6pm BST (London). Coverage of this game can be seen in the United States on CBS as well as DirecTV channel 704.

The Niners will go into this week’s match-up two weeks after finally getting their first victory on the year, and a week after giving the Carolina Panthers their first win of the year. Quarterback, Alex Smith is doubtful for the coming game, but San Francisco isn’t losing out on much given Smith’s poor showing over the first half of the season.

His replacement, Troy Smith will hope to fare better in his 2010 debut, and a lot of his success will be dependent on how much responsibility running back, Frank Gore, takes off him. Gore has rushed for 573 yards on the season but a mere one touchdown. He also happens to be the team’s leading receiver with 37 catches while tight end, Vernon Davis leads the way with 422 yards and four touchdowns. Receiver, Michael Crabtree is also steadily improving with 28 catches for 332 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

Defensively, the Niners have been above average playing well behind Patrick Willis who leads the team with 58 tackles. Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer have both done their part as well, putting together four interceptions between them for the team’s seven on the year. In order to beat the struggling Broncos, this group will have to score more than their 16.1 point season average, and keep the Kyle Orton-led bunch below the 23.1 points per game they’ve been giving up to opposing offenses.

On the other side of the field, the struggle continues for the Broncos who absolutely got destroyed by a woeful Oakland Raiders team. This week, the team will attempt to rebound behind a strong showing from quarterback, Orton, who has 2145 yards with 11 touchdowns on 60.5 percent passing for the year. Orton’s numbers would probably be even better if he had any sort of running game to take the pressure off him. So far, the Broncos ground attack behind Knowshon Moreno has amounted to a mere 212 yards. The receivers have done their part, however, particularly Jabar Gaffney and Brandon Lloyd who have 462 yards and 709 yards with three touchdowns, respectively.

Defensively, Denver has rallied behind D.J. Wiliams who leads the team with 63 tackles and three and a half sacks on the season. Mario Hagan and Nate Jones have both done their parts as well with 43 and 36 tackles, respectively. The entire Broncos team has a mere five interceptions and there is no player averaging more than one. In order to erase the memory of last week’s humiliating blowout defeat, Denver will need to pounce on a weak San Francisco offense and absolutely ravage them. Further, this group has to figure out a way to make the running attack work because at this point teams are essentially daring them to run.

NFL Game Lines: With both teams traveling across the Atlantic Ocean for this game, neither team holds the home-field advantage. So, oddsmakers had to handicap both teams as if they were on the road and the result of that… San Francisco 49ers favored by 1 over the Denver Broncos as per the lastest NFL Week 8 Betting Odds. In addition, the over/under for this contest has been set at a total of 41.5 points. The Denver Broncos enter this game with the same against the spread record as their overall record, 2-5. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers come into this game at 3-4 against the spread, 2 games better than their overall record.

NFL ATS Betting Trends: The Niners are 11-5-2 ATS in their last 18 games after a loss and 1-4 ATS in their last five games. Meanwhile, Denver is 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games after a loss and 1-4 ATS in their last five games.

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