Pick Chargers at +6 vs. 49ers in Week 3 of the NFL Preseason

Friday, August 22, 2014 5:53 AM UTC

Friday, Aug. 22, 2014 5:53 AM UTC

So far this preseason the Niners haven’t looked at all like a Super Bowl caliber team. In fact they haven’t even looked like the team that’s been to the NFC Title game three years running. However they are -6 favorites in the NFL Odds this week of the preseason, with a total of 42.

49ers a Playoff Team?
This went from almost a no-brainer, to now a legitimate question, are the 49ers a playoff team? Right now in that division, and with their injury issues, they may not be. The Seahawks don’t look like they’ve skipped a beat this offseason despite losing some players, and even though they look better than last season in paper, injuries have limited the Niners upside this preseason.

Even though coach Jim Harbaugh has not played his guys much this preseason, doesn’t mean he is suddenly going to unleash them for this week against the Chargers. Last season during Week 3 of the preseason, Harbaugh Colin Kaepernick only received a handful of snaps, and the year before that, Alex Smith received only 17 of the team’s 54 snaps on offense according to a Bleacher Report article.

With their defense so banged up, and with little to no look at what their offense is going to look like, I am quickly losing faith in the 49ers this season. Not only that, but they are extremely overvalued in the NFL Odds this week. At -6, they would have to play their starters for a long time in this game, and from history’s standpoint, they may choose not to do that.

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The Sharp Pick
While the Chargers are likely to play their starters for most of the game, if the Niners don’t they are not going to cover this spread. Right now the Niners are dealing with some offensive issues as well, but it’s not with their starters. So far they are trying to decide whom their new backup quarterback will be this season, and none of the three options have shown that well during the offseason.

Former Jaguars quarterback, Blaine Gabbert is apparently one of the favorites, as Harbaugh probably thinks he can fix whatever his issues were in Jacksonville. However through snaps in two preseason games, Gabbert has a combined quarterback rating of only 17.9.

Josh Johnson hasn’t been much better, and with both guys struggling this preseason, it’s hard to believe that after Kaepernick’s snaps, these guys will come in and secure a cover in the NFL Odds. While the Chargers defense isn’t anything special, they can stop the run pretty well. If the Niners’ running game isn’t going, it will be even harder for the Niners to cover this game.

On the Chargers’ side, once Phillip Rivers is done with his time, Kellen Clemens, who spent most of the season starting last year, will come in to spell him. Clemens is far above what any of the Niners’ backups can do, and for that and other reasons, taking points with the Chargers seems like the best way one could go. Add it to your NFL Picks this weekend.

NFL Pick: Chargers +6 at 5Dimes

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