San Francisco has won their last five games, and their 8-4 record has them thinking about a playoff run. However, there are some warning signs.
First, San Francisco is +7 in turnover differential the last three games, which has inflated their margin of victory. Randomness plays a large role in turnovers, and it is unlikely they continue to get two more turnovers per game than their opponents.
In addition, San Francisco didn’t face Kyler Murray in a win over Arizona. The Niners earned an easy 38-10 win over the Cardinals in Mexico City.
Second, Niners QB Jimmy Garappolo hurt his foot against Miami, and it’s unlikely he returns this season. Brock Purdy from Iowa State came in and did well for a rookie.
- 41.9% passing success rate on 18 of 43 plays (43.3% NFL average)
- 4.6 yards per pass attempt, which includes sacks (6.2 NFL average)
- 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
However, you might question whether he can sustain even this below average NFL performance. In addition, key weapons Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey have been limited in practice this week due to injuries.
Tampa Bay has their issues this season. I did a deep dive earlier this season for Patrons of The Football Analytics Show, and I concluded that the pass offense with an aging Tom Brady was better than average but not great. After week 13, Tampa Bay ranks 15th in my adjusted passing success rate.
Despite this drop off in pass offense, my numbers from only this season, which include passing success rate, yards per pass attempt, and points, still rate Tampa Bay ahead of San Francisco. A prediction based on these numbers makes San Francisco a favorite only because of home advantage.
Overall, my member numbers like San Francisco by 1.3 points at home over Tampa Bay. This does not make an adjustment for the transition from the veteran Garappolo to the rookie Purdy. A proper adjustment probably makes Tampa Bay a road favorite.
San Francisco had Super Bowl aspirations this season. When Garappolo went down last week, they could have picked up Baker Mayfield after his release from Carolina.
Instead, they watched Mayfield lead the Los Angeles Rams to a come from behind win over Las Vegas on Thursday night. It might be agony for the Niners if Purdy can’t beat Brady this weekend.
This all suggests value in Tampa Bay +3.5.
Football betting with a PhD edge
This article was sent to The Power Rank’s email newsletter at 1pm Eastern on Friday, December 9, 2022. This newsletter is a free service that strives to be:
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