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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 Rams

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