We now know Nick Mullens, an undrafted free agent from Southern Miss, will start for the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET from Levi's Stadium and the line has been falling since news broke that Mullens would be under center, with CJ Beathard backing him up. The 49ers were 2.5-point favorites early on Thursday, but the latest Raiders vs. 49ers odds have Oakland favored by one, a 3.5-point swing in a matter of hours. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, has dipped by a field goal from 47 to 44. Before you lock in any Raiders vs. 49ers picks, check out what the unbiased SportsLine Projection Model has to say.
In a straight-up, pick'em format, the proprietary computer model went 176-80 last season and beat over 95 percent of CBS Office Pool players in 2016 and 2017, performing better than 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com during that span. Additionally, it went 48-34 on all A-rated picks last season, and $100 bettors who followed it the past two seasons are up nearly $4,000.
The model was a blistering 13-1 straight up last week. Additionally, it went a stunning 6-0 on all top-rated picks in Week 8, including nailing the Redskins (-1) over the Giants and the Seahawks (+3) over the Lions. That perfect mark in Week 8 improved its overall run to 68-43 on all top-rated picks. Anybody who has been following those picks is way, way up.
Now, the model has simulated Raiders vs. 49ers 10,000 times. We can tell you it's leaning over, but it has also produced an against-the-spread pick that hits over 50 percent of the time. That pick is available only at SportsLine.
The model knows Mullens will start for San Francisco on Thursday Night Football. The undrafted Southern Miss product threw for nearly 12,000 yards and 87 touchdowns for Brett Favre's alma mater. The Niners will be in good hands if he's under center.
The 49ers still have plenty of weapons, including tight end George Kittle, who's having a Pro Bowl-caliber season. He leads the Niners in both receptions (37) and receiving yards (584). He has the size and speed to gain huge chunk plays. Wideout Marquise Goodwin is tops in touchdowns with four and is a former track star with blinding speed. Pierre Garcon is active after his status was up in the air with shoulder and knee injuries.
Just because the 49ers are potent on offense doesn't mean they'll stay within the spread against the Derek Carr-led Raiders. Head coach Jon Gruden may have already sent away two of his biggest stars, linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper, to begin collecting first-round picks, but having a healthy starting quarterback in this one is definitely an advantage. Derek Carr is coming off one of his best games of the season against the Colts, accounting for all four of the Raiders' touchdowns in a 42-28 loss.
Even without Cooper and with running back Marshawn Lynch on injured reserve, Carr spread the ball around to seven different pass-catchers against the Colts. Against the 49ers, expect Carr to continue trying to get everyone involved and keep the 49ers guessing. It should also help that the 49ers have given up 18 passing touchdowns and have just two interceptions so far in 2018.
Who wins Raiders vs. 49ers? And which side covers more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the incredible computer model that has returned nearly $4,000 to $100 bettors over the past two seasons.