Experts Predict the Outcome of 49ers-Bengals

The San Francisco 49ers return home to Levi's® Stadium this week to face the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals.

San Francisco has been a different team in Santa Clara this season, owning a 3-3 record and limiting opponents to 15.8 points per game.

Can the 49ers continue that trend on Sunday? They'll face a backup quarterback in AJ McCarron with Andy Dalton injured. 

Here are the experts' picks from around the web for the Week 14 clash.

"The 49ers have been good at home. With the way their defense has been playing, it could be an interesting day for Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron. Bengals are more talented, though."

Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com: 49ers 14, Bengals 13

"The Bengals, who always seem to fade in December, are now without their quarterback, as Andy Dalton broke his passing thumb on Sunday. McCarron? Call me crazy, but the Niners' defense is a different beast at home."

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: Bengals 17, 49ers 16

The two teams have met on only 11 occasions since 1974, but San Francisco has defeated Cincinnati eight times, including twice in the Super Bowl.

"This will be AJ McCarron's first start at quarterback for the injured Andy Dalton. The Bengals will likely try to shorten the game. That means a lot of Jeremy Hill. That is good enough to win here."

Joe Manniello of Newsday: 49ers 13, Bengals 10

"Week 14 wasn't kind to No. 14. Andy Dalton broke his thumb, and all of a sudden, the Bengals went from the top seed in the AFC to the possibility of being a wild-card team. This is one of the toughest games to pick, and here's why: Even without Dalton, the Bengals are the better all-around team. But the 49ers, or as I like to call them this week, the 4-9ers, have held offenses led by Aaron Rodgers (17), Matt Ryan (17) and Carson Palmer (19) to under 20 points in San Francisco."

Don Banks of Sports Illlustrated: Bengals 23, 49ers 19

"Okay, AJ McCarron, let's see what've you got. The Bengals get to take a test run on the field they hope to play on again in early February, but if their backup-turned-starting-quarterback can't keep the chains moving this week against the 49ers, any shot of returning to Santa Clara is going to dwindle dramatically."

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