If integrating a winning culture during the exhibition is a momentum builder for the regular season then San Francisco and Houston have done a solid job. Both teams are 2-0 heading into the preseason 49ers at Texans matchup in what is the final tune up for the regular season.
Both Kyle Shanahan and Lovie Smith have told reporters that their respective starters will play significantly on Thursday night. This is a battle of two second-year QBs that could play up to the entire first half. Oddsmakers must think the 49ers and Trey Lance have the advantage in that regard, making them -3 point road favorites against David Mills and the Texans.
49ers Developing Depth
Shanahan didn’t play many starters last week and the team still came away with a 17-7 win in Minnesota as +4.5 underdogs. That followed the 28-21 victory at home against Green Bay in the preseason opener which also covered the -2.5 point spread.
Lance didn’t dress last weekend, but he did play in the opener against the Packers going 4/5 for 92 yards and a TD. In fact all three San Francisco QBs had a TD in that game as Nate Sudfeld was 8/11 for 103 yards while Brock Purdy was 3/6 for 36 yards. Both Sudfeld and Purdy played well last week also combining to go 27/40 for 230 yards and a TD.
A huge positive the 49ers have seen this preseason is from their defense, which has five INTs in the two games. Forcing turnovers could potentially be a difference maker up against a relatively inexperienced group of QBs for the Texans.
Smith Impressing Back as Head Coach
Lovie Smith served as the defensive coordinator for the Texans last season, where they ranked 31st in rush yards allowed as well as total yards given up, but some of that was due to Houston being so inefficient on offense and the Texans defense being on the field so long.
Smith hopes that his team’s offense is better in 2022 as they seem content to stick with Mills as their starting QB. Mills started 11 games a year ago throwing 16TDs to 11 INT and completed 66% of his passes which is impressive for a third round pick.
Despite some extensive playing time in his rookie season, Mills has still gotten some playing time during the exhibition. He was 3/3 in the 17-13 win over the Saints and was 10/17 for 96 yards and a TD last week in the 24-20 win over the Rams. Jeff Driskel threw 2 TDs vs. New Orleans – but also had three INTs. Kyle Allen had a nice performance over Los Angeles going 9/12 with a TD.
Free Preseason 49ers at Texans Betting Pick
These two teams met last season, with the 49ers winning 23-7 at home. That result doesn’t matter much, but the fact that Mills and Lance both started and played in that game might as they do have familiarity with the opponent’s defensive system. Each team should be efficient offensively, especially with the others resting some key defensive players which leads to a total play.
Free Pick: Over 40.5