St. Louis Rams (3-5 SU, 5-3 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS)
NFL Week 10
Date/Time: 4:25 PM ET, November 11, 2012
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: STL +11/SF -11
Over/Under Total: 38.5
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The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers are each come off a bye and boy could the Rams use the time off, as they were embarrassed in their last game losing by 38 points to the Patriots in jolly old London. The 49ers may not have needed the time off, as they have won their last 2 games and 3 of their last 4 and are all alone atop the NFC West. The 49ers’ defense has only given up 9 combined points in their last 2 games.
In their last games before the bye week the 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 24-3 while the Rams were embarrassed losing to the New England Patriots 45-7.
Can the Rams score on the San Francisco defense? That is the big question in this game and for the season the 49ers rank in the top 5 in the league in both pass and run defense. This game does not bode well for Sam Bradford, who only passed for 205 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT in the loss to the Pats. He will not have a good game for a couple of reasons. First, he has one of the weakest WR’s corps in the league and second the 49ers’ pass defense has only allowed 1 passing TD in their last 5 games.
I think the Rams are getting the picture that former star RB Steven Jackson is not what he once was and are giving some other guys a chance. The Rams did rush for over 100 yards in the loss to New England with Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead looking pretty good. However, in that game the Rams were down early and had to air it out. Still, whoever runs the ball in this game will not have much success facing a San Francisco run defense that ranks 5th in the league and held the Cardinals to 7, yes, 7 rushing yards in their last game.
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Alex Smith almost played a perfect game in the win over the Cardinals going 18/18 for 232 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT. Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss look like they are starting to learn to play together and that can’t be good for the rest of the league. He will have another great game and while he will not put up a ton of yards, since the 49ers will pound the ball on the ground, he will not make any big mistakes.
The one match up that has to concern the Rams the most in this game is their 13th ranked rushing defense facing the 49ers and their top-ranked rushing offense. St. Louis gave up 152 rushing yards to the Patriots in their last game and facing the Cardinals a couple of weeks back rushed for 113 yards. Frank Gore did not have a great game against Arizona, but he did not have to and look for him to crack the 100 yards barrier for the 4th time this season.
OK, so Smith did play stellar against the Cardinals, but he was sacked 4 times for a loss of 28 yards. The Rams have a legit pass rush with 21 sacks on the season and Robert Quinn (7 sacks) and Chris Long (4 sacks) to pressure Smith in the pocket and not let him make the big play down the field.
The Rams have lost 2 straight and 3 of their last 4 against the 49ers and on top of that they have an ATS record of 3-8 against them in their last 11 games in San Francisco.
In some betting trends for this NFC West match up the 49ers are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 home games and they have an Under record of 6-2-1 in their last 9 home games. The Rams are only 3-10 ATS in their last 13 road games and they have an Over record of 4-1 in their last 5 games after a loss.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Even giving 11 points I have to go with the 49ers in this game, as they will play dominant defense again and the St. Louis defense will not be able to stop the run.
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