San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert scores a rushing touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
- Buffalo Bills have opened as slim 3-point favorites in their Week 13 clash with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football
- Bills have lost two of three on the road, but the Niners face a tough week ahead after seeing both Levi’s Stadium and their practice facility closed by coronavirus restrictions
- We’ve got you covered with the opening odds and what to watch for in the betting line as the week progresses
After escaping with a 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills look to next weekend’s road date with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football, perched as 3-point favorites in the NFL Week 13 opening odds.
The Bills maintained sole possession of top spot in the AFC East despite turning in a sloppy performance in Sunday’s victory. Buffalo will need better execution against the 49ers, who ended a three-game SU slide with a 23-20 character win over the NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams. However, the Niners have picked up just one win at home next season, and face the real possibility of having to move Monday night’s game from Levi’s Stadium to comply with new local public health orders related to the ongoing pandemic.
Buffalo Bills vs San Francisco 49ers Odds
|Buffalo Bills||-3 (-110)||-156||Ov 48 (-110)|
|San Francisco 49ers||+3 (-110)||+132||Un 48 (-110)|
*Odds taken from FanDuel on 11/29/2020.
Allen Dodges Injury Bullet
The Bills faithful held their collective breath when quarterback Josh Allen went down with an apparent leg injury late in the first half of Sunday’s win over Los Angeles.
Allen left the field for just one play before returning to action, showing little effect from what looked like a potentially scary injury. However, Allen was at the heart of the Bills’ struggles on offense in the fourth quarter, tossing an interception and committing one of Buffalo’s two fumbles in the frame. The talented pivot’s health is worth monitoring, considering he played through injuries to both his ankles down the stretch a year ago.
Here’s the injury to Josh Allen’s right leg. #Bills pic.twitter.com/ZOfuwl3bdx
— Billy Heyen (@BillyHeyen) November 29, 2020
Overall, the Bills have been a middling bet on the road, posting SU wins in just three of seven outings since Week 16 of last season, and failing to cover in four contests as road chalk during that stretch.
While Buffalo has now paid out in each of its past three overall, those ATS wins have come against opponents that have struggled to contain opposing offenses. The Bills may not be so fortunate against a Niners squad steadily returning to improved health after being decimated by injuries.
49ers Optimism Derailed By COVID-19
The 49ers received a big lift in Sunday’s victory over the Rams from the return of receiver Deebo Samuel, rusher Raheem Mostert, and cornerback Richard Sherman. San Francisco had their hands full with the LA defense, committing three turnovers. But the 49ers’ defense showed plenty of discipline of its own, forcing four Rams turnovers, including a game-defining pick-six early in the second half.
BIG MAN TD!! @JavonKinlaw with the Pick 6 and dive 😂#SFvsLAR on FOX/49ers app pic.twitter.com/6UwAiGX5aA
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 29, 2020
While the stout defensive performances by both these teams could eventually lead to movement in the point total in this contest, the single biggest factor in any line movement this week will be where this game will be played.
In response to a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the area, Santa Clara County issued new restrictions this weekend, including a ban on all contact sports, and a mandatory 14-day quarantine for any person traveling to the county from over 150 miles away.
A Desert Move?
Subsequent reports indicate the most likely option for the 49ers is to play their final three home games at State Farm Stadium, the home of the division-rival Arizona Cardinals. While a move to the desert for game day is a workable solution, the Niners are still left with the problem of finding a practice facility outside the Santa Clara area.
Santa Clara County has banned all contact sports for 3 weeks due to COVID-19.
The rule means that the 49ers, Stanford and San Jose State will have to find a different location for practices and home games over the next 21 days.
➡️ https://t.co/bvBcI4BI1D pic.twitter.com/OCQKFAXdwj
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) November 28, 2020
All these developments are just another day at the office for the 49ers, who have endured a tough season marred by a devastating rash of injuries, derailing their bid to repeat as NFC champions.
Until the 49ers can achieve some degree of certainty as to how and where they will conduct their everyday business in the days leading up to next week’s Monday Night Football matchup, it will likely take unexpected bad news out of Buffalo for the betting lines to tip in their direction.
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.