NFL Bargain Bets for Week 4
October 2nd 2009 - Old Man Winner
St. Louis Rams (+9.5) at San Francisco 49ers
We've all heard the now famous rant, " . . .can't win with 'em, can't coach'em.
I want winners!." I'm a believer! I love Mike Singletary and what he is doing in
San Francisco. He has toughened the team, made them believers in themselves and
it has translated to the field. SF's record should be 3-0 if that hadn't gotten
"Favre'd" last week, and they are 3-0 against the spread.
So, why am I taking the Rams? This game smells! It has the stench of a letdown
by the 9'ers after that big game against the Vikings last week and at some point
the Rams have to win a game. And, most importantly, 9.5 points is simply too
many. Singletary's team is good, but very conservative. He just wants victories,
he doesn't care by how many points. He will tend to play the game in a way that
will tend to keep all their games close. Look how they played last week's game -
facing a 3rd and 6 with just under 2 minutes to play and a 4 pt. lead,
Singletary chose to run up the middle almost certainly having to punt. He did
this just to ensure the Vikes would have to take their final timeout. He gave up
an opportunity to sock the game away right there with one more first down. He is
a sound coach, albeit a very, very conservative one. I expect the 49'ers to keep
most of their games close. Closer to teams better than them than can be
expected, and closer to inferior teams than expected.
With respect to on the field issues, Frank Gore, the niners self-described "bell
cow", is out and will be replaced by rookie Glen Coffee. I expect him to have
nice game but he is not gore. The niners O-line is also pretty banged up. On the
other side, The Rams will be starting Kyle Boller, and although I'm not a big
fan, Bulger has been completely ineffective to date this year. Maybe just some
new energy and mobility will help.
I expect this to be a low scoring slugfest, similar to the 9-7 game the Rams
played against Washington a couple weeks ago. I think the Rams will have a shot
to win the game outright if they can hang around long enough. However, even if
they can't, I don't see this as a runaway. The Rams should easily cover.
Other games I love: NO, Buff, Wash. I also expect a big upset this week - one
huge dog (more than 7 pts.) will win outright . . . and it could just be the