Chiefs vs. 49ers NFL Week 7 Picks and Prediction: McCaffrey to Make Debut With San Francisco

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Editor’s Note: Running back Christian McCaffrey was traded by the Panthers to the 49ers on Thursday night. On Saturday it was announced that he will make his debut for San Francisco against the Chiefs.

The Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) and San Francisco 49ers (3-3) meet in the first rematch of Super Bowl LIV, which was won 31-20 by the Chiefs, but both teams are coming off disappointing losses on Sunday.

The 49ers fell 28-14 in Atlanta and the Chiefs lost their big showdown at home, 24-20 with Buffalo. It was the first time Patrick Mahomes lost against the spread as an underdog. The Chiefs are a 3-point road favorite with a total of 48.5 points at many of the top-rated sportsbooks.

Let’s look at this game’s betting odds, as we have a few NFL picks and predictions for this Week 7 matchup.

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Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, October 23, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at Levi’s Stadium

Chiefs Offense vs. 49ers Defense

This was the key matchup (strength vs. strength) in Super Bowl LIV, and it is hard to say that has changed three seasons later. The Chiefs will still go as Patrick Mahomes does, and Sunday against Buffalo was a rare two-interception performance from him.

It was also the second time this season the Chiefs lost a game in which they allowed fewer than 27 points. A month ago, Mahomes was 45-1 in his career when the Chiefs allowed fewer than 27 points, but they have now lost 20-17 to the Colts and 24-20 to the Bills.

The loss of Tyreek Hill hurts the Chiefs in the big games against the great defenses. It is hard to imagine the Chiefs winning Super Bowl LIV against the 49ers without Hill’s unique talent. He made the play of the game in that one on a third-and-15 in the fourth quarter when the Chiefs were down 20-10 as the 49ers were getting the best of Mahomes. But after one 44-yard gain, the comeback was on, and the Chiefs scored three quick touchdowns to run away with that one.

49ers Defense Might Be In Trouble

The 49ers will be glad not to face Hill this week, but this defense has some soul-searching to do after allowing Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota to complete his first 13 passes and lead three early touchdown drives in Sunday’s loss. The 49ers have been fantastic on defense this season, but Sunday was the first time they allowed more than 19 points. It was also the first time they allowed a touchdown pass since Week 1.

Injuries are piling up again for this defense, which played Sunday’s game without star Nick Bosa, as well as Jimmie Ward and Arik Armstead. By the end of the game, seven starters were down for the defense.

It is possible for Bosa to return this week, which would be a huge boost as he is the best pass rusher on a unit that has 23 sacks already. Mahomes was sacked twice on Sunday by Von Miller, which was key to the loss. You need a great pass rusher like that to get to Mahomes in the big moments, and the 49ers know that as well as anyone, as they were so close to putting Mahomes down on that famed third-and-15 play in the Super Bowl.

Mahomes is 12-3 SU following a loss the previous week. He also has better career statistics on the road than he does at home, so he should be dialed in for this one to avoid a losing streak.

49ers Offense: Can Deebo Samuel Power an Upset?

The 49ers scored just 14 points in Atlanta as Kyle Shanahan’s vaunted offensive system failed to produce a 15-yard play in the game’s first 53 minutes. Josh Allen had five completions of 20-plus yards to beat the Chiefs, which is what you have to do against that team.

Once again, the Chiefs struggled to defend a No. 1 receiver. Stefon Diggs was the latest to post a huge game against this defense as he finished with 10 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers absolutely have the type of weapon that can further cause damage to the Chiefs.

Samuel's Track Record

Fun fact: Deebo Samuel’s first NFL game with at least 50 rushing yards was in Super Bowl LIV against the Chiefs. He rushed for 53 yards, which is still tied for his fourth most in a game. Samuel also had five catches for 39 yards in the game.

But Samuel was only a rookie back then. He wasn’t yet known for being this all-purpose weapon that is extremely hard to tackle because of his strength. The 49ers need him to have a huge game, but they have struggled to find the right balance between using him as a runner and as a receiver.

In the last four games, Samuel has just 11 runs for 31 yards, but it is something the 49ers need to try in this game too. The 49ers are 10-4 when Samuel has at least 80 receiving yards, and 14-3 when he has at least 28 rushing yards in his career. But he has only hit both benchmarks in four games in his career.

The Teams' Rushing Game

Beyond Samuel, the 49ers will want to get the running game going after a disappointing game for Jeff Wilson, who lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Wilson had just 25 rushing yards in Atlanta as the 49ers were down from the start. He averaged 88.3 rushing yards per game over the previous four games.

The Chiefs have solid rushing numbers on defense this year, but a lot of that was built on Tampa Bay abandoning the run in the first quarter and finishing with 3 rushing yards. In the last two weeks, the Chiefs have looked vulnerable against Josh Jacobs (Raiders) and Devin Singletary (Bills). Singletary rushed for 85 yards in Kansas City despite not topping 50 yards in any of the first five games this season. Jacobs had a career-high 154 rushing yards in Week 5.

The 49ers would get another big boost if left tackle Trent Williams can return from a high ankle sprain after missing the last few games. It is not a lock that Williams (or Bosa on defense) will return, but the potential for getting two of the best players in the league back would be big for the 49ers.

Chiefs-49ers Best Bets and Prediction

Had these teams both won on Sunday, people would be calling this a Super Bowl preview and not just a rematch from three years ago. But some of the luster was definitely taken away following those losses.

My theme for this one is still that Mahomes will bounce back even if it’s not the easiest defense to look good against. The Super Bowl was a 20-10 game prior to that third-and-15 miracle to Hill. It still could have ended 24-20 if not for the Chiefs adding on a late touchdown they really didn’t need.

I like that score again for the Chiefs, hitting the under and the cover for your NFL picks. Also, look for Deebo Samuel to find the end zone as another No. 1 weapon gets the best of Kansas City’s defense.

But the 49ers won’t get the best of the Chiefs once again.

Score Prediction: Chiefs 24 - 49ers 20

NFL Pick: Deebo Samuel Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

NFL Pick: Under 48.5 Points (-110) at Bovada

NFL Pick: Chiefs -3 (-110) at Bovada

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Chiefs -3 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.