NFL Picks: 49ers vs. Rams Betting the Total Thursday Night

Jason Lake

Thursday, September 26, 2013 11:37 AM GMT

Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 11:37 AM GMT

Remember the first half of 2012, when the San Francisco 49ers were sliding well below the NFL odds totals? People are expecting another low-scoring game on Thursday Night Football.

Jason’s record on his final NFL picks for 2013, up to September 25 inclusive:

9-6-1 ATS

1-1 ML (+0.71 units)

1-3 Totals

The San Francisco 49ers are the worst team in the NFC West.

There’s a loaded statement for you. We have plenty of evidence to support both sides of that argument, and if you want to get really meta about it, you can go all “E-Prime” on us and claim the entire statement has no logic to it, and therefore no truth or falsity. Especially if you’re a university student and you need to whip up a quick 1,500-word paper. A-minus~!

But if you just want to bet on football, there’s a total of 41.5 points up on the NFL odds board for Thursday night’s matchup (8:25 p.m. ET, NFLN) at the Edward Jones Dome between the 49ers and the St. Louis Rams. And with both the Niners and Rams struggling this year, our consensus reports reveal a huge groundswell of support for the UNDER, driving the total down from 43 at the open.

Also Check out our:

NFL Picks: Week 4 Value Picks

NFL Picks: Week 4 Fades & Games to Avoid

Argument Clinic

The 49ers (1-2 SU and ATS) are in a three-way tie for last place in what was supposed to be the NFL’s marquee division for 2013, trailing the undefeated Seattle Seahawks. The Niners are technically in third place ahead of the Arizona Cardinals, but according to the Simple Rating System used at Pro Football Reference, San Fran is dead last in the NFC West at minus-9.7. That’s worse than the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings (minus-9.6) and nearly as bad as the 0-3 Jacksonville Jaguars (minus-9.8).

Our friends at Football Outsiders have it only slightly differently. Their efficiency charts through Week 3 have San Francisco ranked No. 27 overall (No. 22 offense, No. 24 defense, No. 28 special teams), one spot ahead of Arizona and two behind St. Louis (No. 24 offense, No. 27 defense, No. 3 special teams). However, these efficiency stats haven’t been adjusted yet for strength of opposition, and the Niners started the season with games against the Seahawks, the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts. Tough gig.

Check out our NFL Picks: Week 4 Betting Odds Report for up-to-date info on line movements.

The San Francisco Tweet

Even if you don’t care for advanced stats or linguistic prescriptivism, this is not the same 49ers team that went to the Super Bowl last year. I’ve already touched on the injuries and suspensions that have decimated the Niners on both sides of the ball. But wait, there’s more: As we go to press, LB Patrick Willis is doubtful for Thursday with a groin injury, and CB Nnamdi Asomugha (knee) is expected to miss the game after having an MRI on Monday.

His supporting cast may have been downgraded from Broadway to off-off-Broadway, but Colin Kaepernick isn’t getting any sympathy. After back-to-back losses, last year’s hero has a QB rating of 72.5 and more interceptions (four) than touchdown passes (three). The public backlash is already bad enough that Kaepernick is busy putting negative Twitter comments in his “favorites” section. He says it motivates him.

Maybe what Kaepernick needs is to play against the struggling St. Louis defense. Sam Bradford (six TDs, two INTs, 88.7 passer rating) and the Rams must feel the same way about getting a chance to kick the 49ers while they’re down. I’m more than happy to “buy low” again on this total after the Niners and Rams each managed just a single touchdown in Week 3. Perhaps the NFL betting public would be kind enough to help out by driving the total even lower before kick-off.

NFL Pick: Take OVER 41.5 (–101) at Marathon

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Click here to read my NFL Picks: 49ers vs. Rams Pick on the Spread.

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