The ten National Football League outdoor venues, from London to Los Angeles, are mostly calm with an exception of tonight, when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Rain is expected throughout the game, and conditions could get sloppy by the fourth quarter.
The San Francisco 49ers are forced to step up the learning process for rookie signal caller Trey Lance. A calf injury that sidelined Jimmy Garoppolo during last week’s game has not responded well enough to treatment to allow his return this week.
Ideally, Lance would have likely most benefited from an apprenticeship that had him watch and learn this season, get in some action and be a year closer to taking over as a prize franchise quarterback. Patrick Mahomes had that opportunity in Kansas City, playing behind Alex Smith for his entire rookie season, then getting his first professional start on the final day of the 2017 campaign.
Lance had less college experience than Mahomes, and now starts essentially a year earlier.
Good luck, rookie.
The shift from proven veteran to untested rookie would seem to warrant a dramatic shift in the point spread. The spread had opened with the 49ers 4 point underdogs, a line that grew to 5½ points before the announcement that Garoppolo was out. The game was taken off the board for a short time while the bookmakers decided how the switch at quarterback should be reflected in the line.
When the spread was reposted, it was about where it was before the 49ers announced a shift at quarterback. The home standing Cardinals were favored by 5½ points.
Why would the line not shift dramatically from a proven quarterback to an untested rookie?
Sometimes it is the right rookie that can make the difference for a win, while other times, like this one, the situation is so ripe for a victory that a shift at quarterback only adds to the already motivational advantages. In this case, those edges clearly belong to the visiting 49ers who may have a long and winding road before Lance is ready to guide San Francisco to a Super Bowl, but his career gets off to a 1-0 start today.
The public has checked in with their three favorite plays of the day. They are in order of dollar volume, the Dallas Cowboys (-7) over New York Giants; Las Vegas Raiders (-5½) over Chicago Bears; Tennessee Titans (-4½) over Jacksonville Jaguars.
As for the Qoxhi selections this week, they are now posted on this site and if a Bullet Play develops in the final hour before the day’s first kickoff, that game will be added to the list of recommendations by 9:45 a.m.