San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith will not play against the Chicago Bears Monday night, failing to get medical clearance after suffering a concussion last Sunday.
Oddsmakers opened the spread at San Francisco -5 but moved it as high as -7.5 when Smith took the practice field last week. However, since news broke about Smith’s status for Monday’s game, the spread has dropped back down to -5.
Smith was expected to play after practicing this past week but could not get the OK from an independent neurologist. Backup Colin Kaepernick will start in his place. Kaepernick passed for 117 yards and rushed for 66 more and a TD in relief of Smith in a 24-24 tie with the St. Louis Rams in Week 10.
"There isn’t a huge difference (in worth to the spread). There's definitely a difference in
styles," Peter Korner, founder of the Nevada-based odds service, The
Sports Club, said of the move between Smith and Kaepernick. "But the in the eyes of the
bettor, there could be a bigger difference. And that's what we as oddsmakers have to take into consideration."
Chicago is without its starting QB, Jay Cutler, who is also recovering from a concussion. Veteran Jason Campbell will start for the Bears Monday. He’s made 70 career NFL starts with 74 TDs and 50 interceptions in those contests.
The total for Monday’s game has dropped from as high as 38.5 points to 35 with news of Smith’s absence.