Will the San Francisco 49ers Have Anything to Play For vs Washington Commanders in Week 17?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Will the San Francisco 49ers Have Anything to Play For vs Washington Commanders in Week 17?

Roughly six weeks ago, many were wondering whether the San Francisco 49ers were fool’s gold. Fast forward to now, and they are the odds on favorites to win Super Bowl 58. Is it a billing they’ve earned? Better yet: Do these Super Bowl betting odds mean they’ll phone it in against the Washington Commanders in Week 17

Here are all the details you need to know about this matchup:

  • What: Washington Commanders vs. San Francisco 49ers
  • Date: Sunday, December 31, 2023
  • Time: 1 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland 
  • Point Spread: 49ers (-10.5), Commanders (+10.5)

When you look at these rosters on paper, you would expect San Francisco to enter as heavy favorites. And, well, that’s just what the latest NFL online betting odds say:

San Francisco 49ers-170+142Washington Commanders

Make sure to double-check these online NFL betting odds right up until you actually submit your wager. Our Commanders vs. 49ers Week 17 betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, December 13. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on December 31.

You should definitely plan on there being movement across all Commanders vs. 49ers betting lines. The best football betting sites already have the moneyline, point spread and over/under available. Early lines are a staple of the final two weeks of any regular season. But linemakers will react to changes in team records and gambling markets over the next couple of weeks. Keep this in mind if you’re not placing your Week 17 NFL bets prior to Week 15 games.

And now, about how these two teams stack up on paper…It might not matter. The 49ers clinched their playoff berth after Week 14. The stakes for them over the rest of the season are quite low. Their NFC West Division title isn’t mathematically wrapped up, but it’s close. And they are currently among the favorites to secure a first-round playoff bye. That raises the question: Will the Niners sit their best players against the Commanders? And if so, what will that do to the outcome?

The San Francisco 49ers Don’t Have Much on the Line in Week 17

The NFC West race is all but dunzo. San Francisco is four games in the loss column ahead of the second-place Los Angeles Rams. They are not blowing that lead. All that’s left for them to secure is the NFC’s top seed. 

At this writing, the Niners own the coveted first-round bye outright. They are tied with the Dallas Cowboys in raw winning percentage, but having beat them earlier this year, San Francisco owns the tiebreaker. 

Still, just to be safe, the Niners will want to close their season with a better record outright. Until they are at least one game ahead of the Cowboys in the loss column, they’ll have something for which to play. 

Whether that remains the case in Week 17 against the Commanders is a separate matter. Dallas could have lost once or twice by then. But the same could be said of San Francisco. Even more importantly, though, there’s an unspoken tendency in the NFL not to empty the bench until the final week of the season. In this case, we’re one week shy of that happening. San Francisco should deploy quarterback Brock Purdy and company for most, if not all, of this game. And if we assume the Niners’ starters play at least two quarters, this is an easy pick to make.

OSB Prediction: San Francisco 49ers (-170)

San Francisco 49ers To beat the Washington Commanders

It Turns Out NFL Oddsmakers Do Not Think The Commanders will Take Advantage of San Francisco’s Clinched Playoff Berth

The Commanders should not be favored over the Niners simply because the latter already has a playoff spot and, most likely, a first-round bye all locked up. But you certainly wouldn’t expect them to be double-digit underdogs going up against a squad that may field a bunch of backups. And yet, the latest Week 17 NFL point spread betting odds are still giving Washington a ton of points:

  • San Francisco 49ers, -10.5 (-110)
  • Washington Commanders, +10.5 (-110)

This is a steep line. On the flip side, the Niners have been annihilating opponents. Their past five victories have come by an average of 21-plus points. And while the Commanders made a habit of keeping games close earlier in the year, their performance has fallen off a cliff over the past couple of months.

Nevertheless, we have to take into account the absence of stakes for San Francisco. Even if they haven’t bagged a first-round bye before Week 17, they’ll likely take a conservative approach to running their offense and playing their starters. After all, the Niners are more concerned with winning the Super Bowl than inflating their regular-season victory total.

OSB Prediction: Washington Commanders, +10.5 (-110)

Washington Commanders To cover the point spread against the San Francisco 49ers

How Much Scoring Should We Expect to See in 49ers vs. Commanders?

The Commanders offense has circled the drain for a large chunk of the season. For many, the “under” will make a lot of sense against what may be a league-best defense from San Francisco. However, the latest Week 17 over/under betting lines for Niners vs. Commanders is so low, it forces us to consider the alternative pretty heavily:

  • Over 42 (-110)
  • Under 42 (-110)

Our first impulse is to go with the “over.” San Francisco is averaging over 32 points per game since Week 10, and Washington enters ranking dead last in points allowed. The Niners could clear this “over” on their own under the right circumstances.

Again, though, we’re not sure these are the right circumstances. We would roll with the “over” if we could guarantee San Francisco’s starters would log a majority of the snaps. But we can’t. 

OSB Prediction: Under 42 (-110)

49ers and Commanders To score under 42 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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