The battle of the Bay gets underway on Saturday night in San Francisco as the 49ers host the Oakland Raiders.
These geographic rivals meet every preseason and there is bragging rights associated with this game. The 49ers are 3-point NFL betting favorites with a total of 35.
The 49ers are still trying to find a starting quarterback to lead them this season as Shaun Hill and Alex Smith are fighting for the starting job. Last week Hill got the start so this week it will be Smith. The 49ers were able to win last week 17-16 over Denver although they did not cover the NFL betting number. The 49ers are expected to get running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Isaac Bruce back into the starting lineup after both players missed last week’s game.
The Raiders don’t have a quarterback controversy yet. JaMarcus Russell is the starter for now but he has never done anything to show he is worthy of keeping the job. The Raiders brought in veteran Jeff Garcia this season and before all is said and done he could be leading the team. Garcia did not play last week due to an injury but he is expected to see time on Saturday. Oakland’s starters are expected to play the first half in Saturday’s football betting matchup and Garcia is expected to get time in the second quarter with them. "Returning back to San Francisco, there’s definitely a spot there for me because they gave me my start here in the NFL and I had some good years there," said Garcia, "It always feels pretty good to return there. I know I may not get a whole lot of time in this preseason game but I expect probably more playing time in the next game against New Orleans. It’s about how physically I feel." Charlie Frye and Bruce Gradkowski are battling for the third-string job behind Garcia. The Raiders will be without wide receiver Chaz Schilens on Saturday as he is injured. The 49ers will be missing linebacker Patrick Willis who has an ankle injury.
The Raiders and 49ers have met 36 times in preseason NFL betting history. The Raiders have a slight 19-17 lead in the series including an 18-6 NFL betting win last season in Oakland. Normally in the preseason the home team is favored and that is the case with this rivalry matchup on Saturday night.