Oddsmakers may be professionals at what they do, but they’re not always as smart as fans.
Since being a longtime die-hard Los Angeles Rams fan often comes with more chaos than my heart can take, I usually don’t bet on Rams games. Still, sports betting is huge. And every now and then, when instinct meets information then meets something frustrating, I have to speak up.
Tuesday, I happened on an article at a major network’s site regarding an opinion on Thursday night’s game between my Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. Of course, as a lot of us self-appointed NFL know-it-alls do on occasion (and we’re all experts, right?), I muttered a disapproving something or other. After all, who knows the Rams better than us battled-tested die-hards from the Carroll Rosenbloom days of L.A. greatness?
The headline teased of an apparently successful football handicapper and his opinion of the Rams-49ers game. This is always interesting of course because a fan wants to hear how much his team will beat its opponent by. Unfortunately, for me and others I’m sure, there was a link at the bottom of the page to connect with the actual article.
SportsBookReview.com’s consensus currently has the Rams as -2 point favorites in San Francisco. Movement in the odds appears constant but this means that if they were playing in Los Angeles the 49ers might be favored by a point. From the gate I have a problem with this.
Last week’s opponent, the Washington Redskins, solidified victory by only a touchdown late in the game. All this despite a first half in which the Rams’ young squad looked as if they partied the night before. With a final score of 27-20 and having outplayed the Redskins for most of the second half, one would have to take away from that game the realization that these aren’t Jeff Fisher‘s Rams. In prior seasons, we night not have seen the same get up and fight. The attitude on offense when punched hard in the mouth, as they were last week. Mentally speaking, it was a dazing upper cut that let them know they weren’t in Indianapolis anymore, Dorothy.
Thursday’s outcome should be very different. The 49ers, in my humble opinion, are not the talent the Redskins are. I’ll go farther and say that the Seattle Seahawks I’ve seen in 2017 are not quite the team they’ve been in recent years.
What I saw last week also tells me that the players aren’t the only students. The young but intelligent head coach Sean McVay himself got a crash course in in-game adjustments and fared well in the second half, both with his play-calling as well as his personnel decisions. With tight end Gerald Everett banged up and out, receiver Josh Reynolds is the highly-logical match-up nightmare.
Look for quarterback Jared Goff to excel if the Niners’ brain trust chooses to clamp down on Todd Gurley. Their run prevention has gotten praise so far but consider something amazing. For the first time in a long time, the Rams just might have the NFC West’s best crop of receivers. San Francisco has yet to learn this. A pass or two over the top of their defense is not only likely, but likely to shake them up.
The pros might tell you I’m crazy but I have the Los Angeles Rams winning, 24-13, worst case scenario. 27-0 best case. Bet the over/under accordingly, if you must.