NFL Best Bets for Week 1
September 8th 2017 - Old Man Winner

LA Rams -3.5 vs. Indy

It's a new season and everyone is undefeated!!! That's always been the cliche headed into week one of the NFL season, but that cliche hangs around because it actually has meaning. There are countless examples of teams that turned around their fortunes in one short offseason. With so many moving parts; coaching changes, personnel changes, player movement, the draft, trades, and even city relocations, its no surprise that big changes can and do get made every year. The question is always which teams are going to make them.

This year I think the Rams take a step. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying they are a Super Bowl candidate or even a playoff team, but I do think they take a small step forward and will sniff a .500 season by year end. The biggest reason is a coaching change. They finally fired Jeff Fisher . . . damn that took a long time. It seemed obvious to everyone but the Rams owners (insert Trump comparison joke here). I have always felt like they had more talent than their results, but just couldn't coach their way out of a wet paper bag. So it was very exciting to see them turn over their whole coaching staff starting with the hiring of Sean McVay as their head coach, the youngest head coach in NFL history, and a former Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator. However, to balance McVay's youth, they brought in experienced Wade Phillips to head the defense. I think these changes will immediately bring a winning attitude and juice up a franchise that has been mediocre for many years. To the game . . .

Andrew Luck is not playing in this game and will be replaced by Scott Tolzein. Who? Exactly! They also did not upgrade a porous offensive line that will hurt in this game given the Rams strong defensive front. Yes, Aaron Donald, clearly the Rams best player, will likely not resolve his hold out in time to play, but they have enough depth on the line to cause havoc for a second string quarterback.

On offense, I expect the Rams to look completely different than in recent years. They have a young, creative offensive mind in McVay, and I expect that to translate into a pulse on offense. Something they have not had in years. The other advantage they have in this game is that there is no real tape on this offense. It's a new scheme with some player upgrades in Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp and defenses have not seen enough of what they are going to do to have a solid game plan to defend it. I also expect Gurley to look more like he did two years ago than he did last year.

LAR 24 Ind 13

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