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ATS Pick: Jacksonville vs San Francisco (Wk 12)

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) at San Francisco 49ers (4-6)

Mitch Wilson

Mitch Wilson

NFL Football: Sunday November 29, 2009 4:05 PM EST
The Line: San Francisco – 3

One of the NFL’s rarest match ups renews for only the fifth time since 1996 as the Jacksonville Jaguars visit the San Francisco 49ers.


San Francisco is a tough team to figure out. We can say they had a fortunate night when they knocked off the Bears, intercepting Jay Cutler five times. We could also say the were unfortunate losers as both the Vikings and the Colts scored last minute touchdowns to beat them. Either way, San Francisco is a team that struggles because of poor and erratic QB play. With neither Shaun Hill nor current starter Alex Smith doing anything to impress anyone, it’s tough for defenses to keep their focus of of the running game led by standout Frank Gore. The defense is tough as well but while San Francisco has some good young talent, they still seem to be missing some pieces to the puzzle on both sides of the ball. The addition of first round pick Michael Crabtree has helped but they really needed him from the start as he is a difference maker and you can see him improve every week. Patrick Willis leads the defense which only allows 21 points per game. This team plays better than their record indicates and it’s more of just a matter of them filling some holes and really just learning how to win.

Jacksonville is one of the more surprising teams as they have quietly put together a winning campaign this year. If the season ended today, the Jaguars would be a playoff team. David Garrard isn’t going to wow anyone with his QB skills but his ability to innovate creates opportunities and time for himself and makes up for a lot of missing or areas which are lacking. Jacksonville struggled earlier in the year but once they let Garrard use his talent, they started to win. Of course this also coincided with the running game and Maurice Jones-Drew really getting into gear. Drew is such and exciting player as he’s the consummate home run threat. Jacksonville has been able to avoid major injuries and haven’t had any big set backs in the past month as most NFL teams have as the course of a normal season progresses. The defense has been rebuilt over the years and although they allow and average of 23.5 points per game, more than their offense averages putting up, they have gotten the job done as they come into this one as winners of three straight.

San Francisco is 6-1-2 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record and 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight home games. Jacksonville is 1-5 against the spread in their last six overall and 0-5 against the spread when playing a team with a losing record.

To be 100 percent honest, I don’t like this game and I probably like the play of the under 41 1/2 better than either side. The line seems to be about right as these are two even teams with San Francisco getting a legitimate three points for being the home team considering the road trip for the Jags. If anyone has an angle on this thing, feel free to chime in with a comment. If the number stays where it is I would consider buying the hook either way depending on which side you are playing. With that being said, if the line moves another 1/2 point one way or another, my pick will change. I give the Niners the slightest of edges as I didn’t like Jacksonville’s performance during their last West Coast road trip to Seattle nor the prior one to Arizona.

Mitch’s Pick: San Francisco 49ers – 3

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  1. After a great start the 49ers have struggled over their past several games. They do not have a consistent offense and their defense is no longer dominating games like they did early in year. This is a good chance for Jacksonville to improve their shot at making the playoffs.