Yeah, the 49ers have an 8-1 record. Big deal. At least one or two NFL teams get off to a start like that every year. The real feat Jim Harbaugh's team has accomplished is racing out to a 8-0-1 record against the spread (ATS). Now that's unheard of.
According to Covers.com, this is the longest unbeaten ATS streak to start a season since 1980. That's because the Niners don't play the style that inflates lines. They are a run-heavy, defensive-oriented team. That's not the style that people like to bet on. So the lines stay low and the Niners cover.
Now, however, the public bettors might be coming around. San Fran is favored by 10 points at home against the Cardinals on Sunday, the most chalk they've had to eat all year. Still, around 60 percent of public bettors are backing the Niners.
The question is if San Francisco can sustain this? The obvious answer is no. The Lions were the best ATS team last season at 12-4. In 2009, the Packers led the way at 11-4-1. 2008 saw the Titans, Giants and Ravens all go 12-4 ATS. The lines will eventually catch up to Harbaugh's plucky bunch.