The San Francisco 49ers will be looking to open their season on a 4-0 straight-up run for the first time since 1990 when they host the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football as 3.5-point favorites on the NFL betting odds.
San Francisco enjoyed an early bye week in Week 4 after a sizzling start that featured decisive road victories over Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, but has struggled in recent years coming off a bye, going winless in seven straight contests ahead of Monday’s game at Levi’s Stadium.
The Niners have also struggled in recent appearances on Monday Night Football, dropping SU decisions in two outings during the 2018 NFL football season, and snapping a nine-game SU win streak. However, San Francisco has enjoyed a steady start to 2019. The San Francisco offense has been firing on all cylinders, ranking third in the NFL with 32.0 points scored per game.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has started to round into form after being limited by injury to just three September appearances last season. The 27-year-old has found the end zone in each of the team’s first three outings, and thrown five total touchdowns on the year. However, Garoppolo has also thrown four interceptions so far this season, including a pair of picks in the 49ers’ Week 3 date with Pittsburgh that the Steelers eventually converted into two field goals.
But while Garoppolo has looked sloppy at times in his return to action, the 49ers defense has stood tall, ranking third in the league while holding opponents to just 283.3 total yards per game, and surrendering just 18.0 points per game through their first three outings. An impressive defensive performance proved to be enough for the 49ers to escape with a 24-20 victory over the Steelers as 6-point home chalk on the NFL lines.
With the win, the 49ers have continued to produce steady results on home turf, going 4-2 SU over their past six while limiting opponents to 14 or fewer points on three occasions. Overall, San Francisco has posted wins in eight of 13 home dates since November 2017, which represents a dramatic improvement after the team fell to defeat in their 11 previous outings.
Browns Looking to Shake off Inconsistency Monday
Both their recent home record and steady defense will be tested by the Browns, who make the trip to the Bay Area riding high after posting a crushing 40-25 victory in Baltimore last weekend. Cleveland’s victory as 7-point road underdogs in NFL betting marked a major turnaround for the team after struggling with inconsistency in their first three outings.
The Browns were humiliated on home turf in Week 1, suffering a 43-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans as 5.5-point chalk. The team rebounded a week later in a Monday night date with the hapless New York Jets, getting a 23-3 win as 6.5-point favorites, but again struggled against a sturdy defense in Week 3, mustering just 270 total yards in a disappointing 20-13 loss to the visiting Los Angeles Rams as 4-point home underdogs on the NFL odds.
The Cleveland attack finally lived up to its preseason billing last week in Baltimore. Quarterback Baker Mayfield turned in his strongest performance so far this season, racking up 342 passing yards and one score, while Nick Chubb enjoyed the best day of his young career, scampering for 165 yards and three scores, while also contributing 18 receiving yards.
However, the Browns must contend with a rash of injuries ahead of Monday’s contest. Wide receiver Jarvis Landry remains in concussion protocol entering the weekend, leaving his status for Monday uncertain. Wide receiver Rashard Higgins has been sidelined for three weeks, and was limited at practice this week, and cornerbacks Denzell Ward and Greedy Williams remain questionable after also missing practice.
*odds as of October 4, 2019