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49ers vs. Chargers: Week 15 NFL Lines & Spread Prediction

Thursday NFL Betting – Can 49ers Play Keep-Away From Chargers?

The San Diego Chargers continue to live on a prayer as a win over the Kansas City Chiefs last week keeps their playoff hopes alive. Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers are seemingly always alive in the NFC West, where nobody wants to win.

Date/Time: Thursday, December 16th, 8:20 PM ET
Venue: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego CA
Broadcast: NFL NETWORK
San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers Betting Lines from Just Bet
Money Line: Not available yet
Spread: 49ers +9, Chargers -9
Over/Under: 44

Interestingly enough, the two teams that both of these squads are chasing will square off on Sunday when the St. Louis Rams host the Kansas City Chiefs.

How Can San Francisco City Win?

Do what they do: pass the ball efficiently, rely on the ground game and play defense.

The formula is fairly simple for San Francisco and it’s all about execution. When they do it right, they play fairly well. When they don’t, they are among the worst teams in the NFL.

Interestingly enough, the loss of running back Frank Gore hasn’t affected the 49ers as most people would have thought. Backups Brian Westbrook and Anthony Dixon have run well and the 49ers have been just fine.

The key here will be for quarterback Alex Smith to have another steady effort. He has to be precise with his passes and more importantly, he has to move the chains and pick up first downs.

San Diego is a team that self-destructs and San Francisco has to take advantage. The 49ers have had many self-inflicted wounds as well, though, and they have to avoid them if they want any hope of winning.

How Can San Diego Win?

Don’t make any stupid mistakes. Nobody really beats the San Diego Chargers as they typically do that themselves. Whether it has been special teams flubs, turnovers, penalties or a combination of everything, the Chargers have collapsed in a number of contests and it has cost them. If they play like that again on Thursday, they will be in for a dog fight.

But if the Chargers play their game and don’t make silly mistakes, they should roll.

The 49ers simply don’t have the firepower or the weapons to keep up in this contest and if San Diego can get up early and force this to be a shootout instead of a time-of-possession battle, the 49ers won’t keep up.

Keep in mind that the 49ers have only won one true road game this year, which came in Arizona. Their average margin of defeat in their five road losses is 13.8 points per game.


The 49ers typically look good in the first week of a quarterback switch but then reality sets in. And that will happen this week.

While both quarterbacks in this contest, Smith and Philip Rivers, are first-round picks, there’s no question that Rivers is an MVP candidate whereas Smith is on his last legs as a starter in the NFL.

San Diego will have their offense humming and they’ll get up by a couple of scores early. The 49ers will try to play ball-control but it won’t work and the Chargers will run them off the field. Bet the Chargers in this one.

Pick: Chargers -9

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About Dave Golokhov AKA Vegas Dave

Dave Golokhov has written for Playboy.com, BETUS Sportsbook, Sportsfanmagazine.com, FOX, Askmen.com, Sports-central, and the FOXSports.com Funhouse.



  1. NFL Predictions says:

    The Chargers should cover comfortably.