If there were any team in the league right now that could be considered worse than the Raiders, it would be the 49ers. They have just one win this season, none since starting quarterback Jimmy Garappolo went down with an injury and they are coming off losing to a dreadful Cardinals team last week for the SECOND TIME this season.
But no. Even Vegas oddsmakers think the 49ers will beat the Raiders. The line favors the 49ers by three points at Levi’s Stadium Thursday night.
This isn’t to say the Raiders have somehow earned the right to be favored or even seen on equal footing as their cross-bay rivals. They certainly haven’t done that. They’ve lost three straight, mostly ugly losses too and their only win of the season was in overtime to the Browns who are so bad, they just fired head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
It just kinda seems like if the Raiders have a shot to win another game this season, it would be this one.
The 49ers may not even be starting CJ Beathard this week as he is a game time decision with a wrist injury. Should he not be able to go, it would be 2017 undrafted free agent Nick Mullens getting the start. A guy who has been cut twice since last year and spent most of his time in San Francisco on the practice squad, never appearing in an NFL game.
Somehow, that doesn’t offer a lot of comfort though. Mainly because that means the Raiders have no tape on him outside of college and the preseason. And it just gives the Raiders two quarterbacks to prepare for instead of one.
All that said, the Raiders do have a very good chance to beat the odds this week. Especially if Derek Carr and the offense can put up a fight as they did last week against the Colts. That too is far from a guarantee.
Update: Two hours after Nick Mullens was announced as the 49ers starting QB, the betting line moved from 49ers being favored by threee to Raiders favored by one.