NFL Picks: Clear Betting Value Found on 49ers +9.5 vs. Rams

Joe Gavazzi

Saturday, October 31, 2015 6:11 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015 6:11 PM UTC

The San Francisco 49ers visit the St. Louis Rams, who are favored by 9.5 on the NFL odds board. Find out why we like the 49ers as our Big Dog Play of the Week.

San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams (-9.5) 1:00 EST
The San Francisco 49ers visit the St. Louis Rams as they travel two time zones east for this 11 AM body time start. St. Louis has the advantage of playing consecutive home games. These teams split road victories last year, with the Niners winning 31-17 as -3 on this field (check the 12 point line swing), while St. Louis won as +10 at San Francisco, 13-10. Based on those lines, there is clear Big Dog value with San Francisco.

Yet the 49ers are only a shell of the team they used to be. Even an 8-8 SU season of last has disintegrated to 2-5 SU following the Thursday night home field loss to divisional rival Seattle. In that 20-3 defeat, San Francisco was outrushed 41/176 to 15/61, out passed 212-81, and outgained 388-142. Even a +2 in the turnover column, courtesy of a pair of Seattle interceptions, could not make the game any closer. Since the shocking opening night victory over Minnesota, the 49ers have been beaten by 14 or more points on four occasions. That pushes this line to San Francisco +9.5 and provides plenty of value based on where it was in years gone by.

The St. Louis victory last week was more the smoke and mirrors type. Four lost fumbles by the Cleveland Browns made the 24-6 final a lot worse than it actually was. When the dust cleared, Cleveland had outgained the Rams 364-308, though St. Louis had the better of it overland, 158-82. With RB Gurley toting the rock for 431 RY in the L3 games, the Rams are now averaging 121/5.0 overland. Despite the victory in this role last week, I still prefer to play HC Fisher in St. Louis as the underdog, where they have already won outright vs Seattle and Arizona. The Rams are just 12-19 ATS as home chalk on the run, and even with their cover vs Cleveland this week, have covered just one of their last five as chalk.

It is never easy for the public to line up on low scoring teams on any given NFL Sunday. That is especially true when their most recent recollection is a Thursday night prime time game when San Francisco looked so totally inept against the Seattle defense. It is also fresh in their minds that they have losses of 14 to Green Bay, 40 to Arizona, and 25 to Pittsburgh on their resume. But it was just two and three weeks ago when San Francisco almost won at the New York Giants in this price range, followed by a game in which they upset Baltimore as home dog, that the Niners were beginning to show promise. Now stepping down into that same class range once again, I expect them to be far more competitive in the role of big dog, and come in comfortably under the number in a low scoring game that has the lowest over/under price of the week attached to it. Put the NFL odds in your favor by joining me with the San Francisco 49ers as your NFL pick as the Big Dog Play of the Week.

NFL Picks: 49ers +9.5 at 5Dimes

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