CoachingJohn Fox has a long history in the league and his overall preseason record is 23-21 SU, 20-23-1 ATS, and 22-21-1 O/U. More recently, he's a similar 4-4 during his two years in Denver.
In Jim Harbaugh's two seasons he's 5-3 SU, 5-3 ATS, and 3-5 O/U.
QuarterbacksThe big advantage for the 49ers in this game is who will be under center while the 2nd and 3rd stringers are on the field. John Fox no longer has Caleb Hanie to throw out there to move the chains as he's going with Brock Osweiler and a couple of rookies in Ryan Katz and Zac Dysert.
Don't expect to see Peyton Manning long. He could be out of the game after one series.
Meanwhile, things are a lot more interesting for the Niners. After Kaepernick's one or two series, there is a QB battle going on between Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien. This is not a clash of the titans because neither are going to scare opposing defenses, but they should be able to move the chains against backups and young players.
MotivationNeither team has anything to play for than the other, but neither coach has a history of tanking these games either.
Keep an eye on ...A.J. Jenkins. Last year's first round pick is due for a lot of playing time with Crabtree's injury and he has a lot of motivation to separate himself from the guys behind him. The 49ers really need a legit second receiver opposite of Boldin, so this is a great opportunity for the kid.
The 49ers will also be looking to see where Nnamdi Asomugha and Tramaine Brock fill in at cornerback. It's a nice problem to have and both could cause some problems to the inexperienced Bronco quarterbacks.
For the Broncos, Montee Ball highlights the offense as he's in a position battle with Ronnie Hillman.
Bottom LineWith the starters playing so few snaps in this game, the bulk of the action goes to the backups. Usually in the preseason, much of what we see is based on a coach's objective along with the guys under center. Osweiler might be making strides in non-contact practices, but the Broncos backup QB rotation is fade material until we see otherwise. The 49ers have a nice QB competition going on, less injuries, and greater overall depth.
NFL Pick: SF -3 (-110)