Of course, their defense is still one of the best in the league, so it comes as no surprise that the 49ers are favorites to win the NFC this season in the NFL odds. In a division and on a team that is more known for their defense, let's take a look at the other side of the ball and see what kind of value they will present for us in our NFL picks.
Undoubtedly, the biggest story of the 2012 season was Alex Smith, and then Smith getting hurt and then the even more unlikely emergence of Colin Kaepernick. Smith was hurt in the tied game with St. Louis, as Kaepernick came in to finish the game. He started the week following their bye, and lit up a great Bears’ defense to the tune of 243 yards passing and 2 touchdowns, with just 10 yards rushing. However he then went on to dominate the rest of the regular season. In ten career starts, Kaepernick has thrown over 2600 yards, 14 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and he added over 500 yards rushing with five TDs. Will he again be able to duplicate that performance?
How can you cash in on the 49ers Season Win Total Odds?
In a very unfortunate series of events, Michael Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon this summer, and is likely out for the duration of the regular season. That is question mark #1. The loss of Crabtree means that newly acquired Anquan Boldin has to take over the X receiver duties. While he is still a dangerous threat, at this point in his career his skill set is more suited to play the slot.
I am very concerned about San Francisco's deep game, which is one of the reasons why their running game is so effective. Frank Gore has reached the ripe age of 30 this season, but is showing no signs of slowing down. Plus they have a slew of young running backs behind him, so really the only question remains with Kaepernick, and whether he has the ability and poise to repeat his first handful of NFL starts. I think he can, but he is still only 25 years old and has 10 career starts.
For more NFL betting info, read our full NFC South Offense Report here!
If it wasn't for the injury to Crabtree, this team would have easily gotten an ‘A’ this offseason. The additions of Boldin, along with the rumors of Austin Collie are really going to add to Vernon Davis, and Crabtree if and when he returns. They also drafted Marcus Lattimore, and even though he won’t play this season, this team just collects great running backs. They added Adam Snyder from Arizona to help with the depth on the right side of the offensive line, and if the receivers can hold down the fort until Crabtree makes his return, this offense won’t miss a beat. Remember, Mario Manningham is also still out and is unlikely to play by the season opener.
If the Niners can show even a small amount of that incredible upside during the preseason, their grade could easily be upgraded. For now, they don’t look quite as imposing on offense as they did this time last year. Besides Kaepernick, Crabtree is their most important offensive weapon. Keep a close eye on the NFL odds when backing the Niners.
My Grade: BHave a different opinion? Share it on our message boards!