NFLX Week 4- Good Spot To Take The Niners When They Visit Chargers

Niners teammates gathered around

Jason Lake

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 3:34 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 3:34 PM UTC

While everyone else frets over Colin Kaepernick, bettors are working on their NFL picks for Thursday's preseason finale between San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers.

So you might have heard about this guy in San Francisco who won't stand for the National Anthem. If you'd like a hot take on this issue, you've come to the wrong place – we're here to help you figure out your NFL picks for Week 4 of the preseason. Colin Kaepernick will indeed play quarterback Thursday night (10:00 p.m. ET) when the San Francisco 49ers visit the San Diego Chargers. How many snaps he'll take has yet to be determined at press time.

It could be a lot of snaps. Blaine Gabbert appears to be the front-runner to win the starting gig in San Fran, and this being Week 4, we might not see much of the first units for either team in this matchup. That could make the Niners worth a wager as 1.5-point underdogs on our NFL odds board. Or we might be inclined to look at the OVER on the posted total of 39.5 points. Let's see what the crystal prolate spheroid has in store for us.


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Both Sides Now
You'd think the OVER would be the sharp play here, given the career preseason records for Friday's head coaches:

Chip Kelly, 49ers: 8-7 ATS, OVER 11-4
Mike McCoy, Chargers: 8-5-1 ATS, UNDER 9-6

Kelly is a noted offensive guru, although he did spend some time as a defensive coach in the early '90s before switching sides. He actually played both quarterbacks in high school and defensive back in college (at the University of New Hampshire), so he's no one-trick pony. Good thing, given how quickly the read option has come and gone from the NFL since Kelly signed up with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013.

Except Kelly doesn't really use that offense. It's more of a zone-read with some play-action passing, and ideally, a whole lot of running from Carlos Hyde. But it hasn't quite caught on yet; the Niners are 1-2 ATS this preseason with the UNDER at 2-1. However, Kaepernick has seen very little action thus far, and he'll be starting Thursday night while Gabbert sits. In theory, Kelly's offense should suit Kaepernick quite well, and this might be the incumbent's last chance to keep his starting job.

Cut and Run
With that in mind, let's jump to the quarterback depth charts for both teams, according to Rotoworld:

49ers: Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick, Jeff Driskel, Christian Ponder
Chargers: Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Mike Bercovici

The Chargers waived Zach Mettenberger on Tuesday, after he was out-played by Bercovici, so that's one fewer weapon McCoy will have at his disposal Thursday night. The Bolts also released WR James Jones, and they've suffered a number of injuries on offense. It might take a while for new offensive co-ordinator Ken Whisenhunt to get this sorted out. Seems like a good spot to take the Niners; two-thirds of early bettors agree, according to our consensus reports. Who are we to argue?

Free NFL Pick: 49ers +1.5 –105
Best Line Offered: at Bovada
Preseason Record: 4-4 ATS, 2-2 Totals

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