Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:15 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Las Vegas +9½ over San Francisco
4:05 PM EST. No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you, as the Raiders are taking back a huge pile of points here. You may have noticed that the 49ers opened at what now looks like a modest 5½-point favorite, but that number has now skyrocketed on the news that the Raiders will bench QB Derek Carr for the rest of the season. You may recall a couple of months ago we wrote about how Las Vegas was in a tough spot when it comes to head coach Josh McDaniels, who is the one that made this call. With more than one former coach already on the payroll, the Raiders flat out cannot afford to fire McDaniels and are stuck with him unless owner Mark Davis wants to patrol the sidelines himself. We’re not going to get into the behind the scenes drama in Las Vegas, but from the outside, this looks like a power play and a big “eff you” from the embattled coach to his boss.
Carr will not even dress when Jarrett Stidham takes his place under center, as the former franchise pivot has been given permission to “take off ‘eh?” and he is no longer required to stick around the Raiders facility through the end of the season. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Raiders are going to cut Carr to get out of the three remaining years and over $100-million still remaining on his contract. Vegas can cut ties with Carr after this season and limit the financial damage to both their bottom line and their cap space.
Stidham will make his first start here as a pro. Dude was All-SEC in his sophomore year at Auburn, where he also won the SEC’s Newcomer of the Year in 2017. Stidham would lead the Tigers to a SEC West Division crown after he knocked off both Alabama and Georgia, but that team would lose to UCF in the Peach Bowl. Sensing his stock was high, Stidham split Auburn before his senior season and declared for the draft, but he didn’t get as much love as he may have thought after falling to New England in round four.
Meanwhile, the 49ers are rolling with their new quarterback, having not missed a beat under Brock Purdy, AKA “Mr. Irrelevant.” We’re not going to spend much time on the ‘Niners, as they are the hottest team in football. A true powerhouse, and Super Bowl contender. However, whether or not the 49ers are any good is not the question here. The question is are the ‘Niners spotting inflated points to a first time starter? With at least a four point jump since open (and more likely coming), we are going to have to come down hard on the “yes” side of that argument. As hard as it might be to back the Raiders, who look to be a mess, we cannot recommend spotting inflated points.
Las Vegas +9½ -103 (Risking 2.06 units - To Win: 2.00)