On Sunday (10/29/23), the Cincinnati Bengals face the San Francisco 49ers in what should be a fascinating game. Get the latest betting odds for Bengals vs. 49ers and a full matchup preview. In addition, find our best bet which is the Bengals +3.5.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction
After they beat the Dallas Cowboys in dominating fashion on Sunday Night Football, it looked like the 49ers were decisively the best team in the NFL. However, two straight losses to the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings have changed the tune in San Francisco, and injuries to offensive tackle Trent Williams and wide receiver Deebo Samuel certainly haven’t helped.
Now, quarterback Brock Purdy has entered concussion protocol following the Monday night game, and it appears very unlikely that he will be playing in this game as I’m writing this on Thursday. Pay attention to the injury reports to see if his status changes leading up to kickoff.
Sam Darnold would get the start in this game, and it’s difficult to know what to expect from the sixth-year player. His career 61 touchdowns to 55 interceptions certainly aren’t impressive, but this would also be by far the best situation of his career. Injuries to Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams might be the bigger issues for San Francisco leading up to this game.
While the 49ers do have the luxury of returning home after two difficult road losses, the Bengals will be fresh coming off a much needed bye week. Quarterback Joe Burrow was given a chance to get 100% healthy after he was working through a calf injury earlier this season. When healthy, Burrow is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and capable of picking apart even an elite 49ers defense.
The 49ers are the top team in the NFL by DVOA and the Bengals are 20th, so San Francisco is a rightful favorite in this game. However, if there was ever someone to end the Niners’ ten-game unbeaten home streak against the spread, it would be Joe Burrow, who is an elite 14-2 ATS in his career as an underdog. I’ll take Burrow catching over a field goal against this banged up Niners team.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Prediction: Bengals +3.5
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Best Odds
The spread for this game originally had the 49ers favored by 5.5 points, but the news about Brock Purdy’s concussion pushed the spread to 3.5. There’s a chance once Purdy is officially ruled out, the spread could push further in the direction of the Bengals. If you’re looking to bet the Bengals in this game, I’d do it soon as 3 is the most key number in betting football spreads.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Key Injuries
Brock Purdy will likely miss this game for the 49ers with a concussion while wide receiver Deebo Samuel has been ruled out with a shoulder injury. Left tackle Trent Williams is also important to monitor as he missed last week with an ankle injury. The Bengals are much healthier going into this game, although offensive tackle Orlando Brown’s status is worth monitoring as he’s dealing with a groin issue.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Francisco 49ers Key Matchups
The Bengals and 49ers are loaded with talent as both teams made it to the conference championships last year. Let’s take a look at the key matchups that could decide this game on Sunday.
Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins Vs. 49ers’ Cornerbacks
Joe Burrow is trending up in terms of health, and his return to 100% will be a welcome sight for the Bengals’ wide receivers. Ja’Marr Chase told reporters that he’s always open prior to the game against the Cardinals, and he was right – Chase caught 15 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns against Arizona.
Tee Higgins has been much more quiet to start this season, catching just 14 passes for 149 yards through five games. However, Burrow’s return to health will be a boon for his production. Burrow has been uncharacteristically bad on deep passes, completing just 12.5% of his 20+ yard throws, but I expect improvement in that area moving forward.
San Francisco lost defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans prior to the season – he’s the new head coach of the Texans – and it’s possible their pass defense took a hit. We haven’t exactly seen them play a murderer’s row of elite quarterbacks, but Kirk Cousins was dealing on Monday night, completing 77% of his passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie wideout Jordan Addison caught 7 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the game, and if that performance is any indication, we could see a breakout showing for this Bengals’ passing attack on Sunday. Chase and Higgins could offer a lot of value in the player props department, as a result.
Ja’Marr Chase TORCHED the Cardinals with a 15/192/3 statline 🤯 pic.twitter.com/0x0cPwc7fH
— Def Pen Sports (@DefPenSports) October 8, 2023
49ers’ Offensive Line Vs. Bengals’ Defensive Line
If the 49ers want Sam Darnold to have a successful day in replacing Brock Purdy, it starts up front. I had concerns about this 49ers’ offensive line prior to the season as they’ve lost a few starters over the last couple of years, and they rank just 22nd in pass block win rate per ESPN. With All Pro left tackle Trent Williams sidelined, things get even worse.
The Bengals won’t challenge for the best defensive line in the league this season, but they do have some big time disruptors, including edge Trey Hendrickson. Lost in the shuffle of the league’s top notch pass rushers, Hendrickson is having an excellent season as he ranks third among qualified edges with a 23.2% pass rush win rate per PFF. That has translated to 27 pressures and 7 sacks, the fourth-most in the NFL.
If Williams can’t play, 2021 fifth-round pick Jaylon Moore would be the next man up at left tackle. He fared pretty well against the Vikings on Monday Night Football, but Minnesota doesn’t have an edge rusher like Hendrickson, and it could be a long day for Moore in this one. He might have the most crucial job on Sunday in helping the offense with Darnold stay on schedule.