The 49ers have been putting together an interesting season, and it's safe to say it just got a little more interesting with last night's news that the 49ers will be giving Colin Kaepernick first team snaps this week. Jim Trotter believes it to be that Kaepernick is starting, Trent Dilfer believes it to be snaps with the chance for either still to start. I think it's mostly semantics, but we'll see.
What I do know is that the this news sent the 49ers from 2 1/2 point favorites to a pick 'em, or even off the board in a lot of situations. It is not particularly surprising to see the line make that kind of change given the QB change, particularly heading on the road to face a resurgent Saints squad. This was going to be a tough matchup no matter who was starting at QB. Kaepernick brings the big play threat, but this will also be another test for him. He faced one of the best defenses in the league last week, and this week he will likely be getting a chance to go into seriously hostile territory for the first time.
As a pick 'em, of course I can pick the 49ers to win this one. Kaepernick is going to be tested by the loud crowd, but he also benefits from facing a bad defense. I am curious to see what the Saints show Kaepernick on defense. The Bears were incredibly aggressive in stacking the box, and it burned them badly. I would imagine the Saints will play a little more conservative and force Kaepernick into more of his reads. It should make for an interesting test.
On to the picks, with odds courtesy of Odds Shark.
Houston (-4) @ Detroit: Texans cover
Redskins @ Cowboys (-3): Redskins win outright
Patriots (-7.5) @ Jets: Patriots cover
Bears @ Vikings (pick 'em): Bears win
Raiders @ Bengals (-8): Raiders cover, Bengals win
Steelers (-1) @ Browns: Browns win outright
Bills @ Colts (-3): Colts cover
Titans (-3) @ Jaguars: Jaguars win outright
Broncos (-10.5) @ Chiefs: Broncos cover
Seahawks (-3) @ Dolphins: Dolphins win outright
Falcons (-1.5) @ Buccaneers: Bucs win outright
Ravens (-1) @ Chargers: Ravens cover
Rams @ Cardinals (-3): Cardinals cover
49ers @ Saints (pick 'em): 49ers win
Packers @ Giants (-3): Giants cover
Panthers (-1) @ Eagles: Eagles win outright
Versus the spread: 73-66-3