Each week Ill be making predictions, for fun, against the spread on the year. We’ll be using whatever the ESPN Pick ‘em spreads are. Starting next week Ill base my picks on my efficiency stats that I keep as a method of power ranking the NFL teams, but for now these are just my guesses on the teams’ prospects. Last weeks record was 8-8 ATS and 10-6 straight up. Records on the year are now 33-15 SU and 25-23 ATS. Ill post the rest of the games on Friday. If you click on the teams it will take you to their financial matchup chart for the game.
49ers (-3.5) over RAMS– Every season we all have preconceived notions about who is and is not good in the NFL and every year those thoughts are thrown out the window. In the NFC it was considered a gimme that the Seahawks, 49ers, Falcons, and Packers were the best teams in the NFL. Just 3 weeks into the season and only the Seahawks truly look dominant while the other three teams all look to be in trouble. With the Rams having been a pick of many for a wildcard spot, their 1-2 start has been disappointing as well. The poor starts of both teams makes for a compelling Thursday night game.
San Francisco has looked awful in their last two football games and their lone win has come against a Packers team that is not exactly living up to expectations. The team was dominated in Seattle and perhaps that loss lingered with them last weekend as they were dominated at home by the Indianapolis Colts. For the first time there are questions about Colin Kaepernick who burst onto the scene last season and entered 2013 with amazingly high expectations. The 49ers seem to have broken a bit from their identity as a touch break your will kind of team and has been manhandled in the last two games. Their depth is a bit depleted due to their tight salary cap situation, they have some injury and off field issues, and maybe there is also a hangover of sorts from last year. Either way they have to get this fixed soon.
The Rams need to find a way to compete early in games. They are getting the doors blown off early and then trying to find ways to come back and win. In week 1 it worked as they mounted a late comeback to steal a game. They could not get over the hump in week 2 and week 3 was a complete no-show in Dallas. This was supposed to be a big year for QB Sam Bradford who was now going to have offensive weapons at his disposal, but it really has not worked. The Rams are spending a lot of money and at some point someone will begin pointing fingers at the coaching staff.
Thursday night football is usually sloppy and more often than not simply favors the team has better talent. Its just not enough time to scheme into anything and have the players well versed in what the coaching staff wants. In my mind San Francisco is much more talented and should have a big advantage in this game. I think its important for them to jump out to a lead early. One its what the Rams allow each week and the other is to just erase the taste of the last two weeks. I kind of feel they will pull back on Kaepernick a little and feature more of the running game, which should set up the pass later on where they can take advantage of a weak Rams secondary. 49ers 30 Rams 17
Jason is the founder of OTC and has been studying NFL contracts and the salary cap for over 15 years. Jason has co-authored two books about the NFL, Crunching Numbers and the Drafting Stage, which are widely circulated in the industry and hosts the OTC Podcast. Jason’s work has been featured in various publications including the Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, NFL Network and more. OTC is widely considered the leading authority on contract matters in the NFL.