Here's Why I'm Betting the Farm on the Rams

NFL Jan 29, 2022

My season is over so far as making picks and tracking results.


But that doesn’t stop me from having an opinion, sharing it, and betting on the games.

Last Sunday night, I saw the Los Angeles Rams opened up as -3.5 favorites versus the San Francisco 49ers.  So, I bet the Rams early.  I got them at -175 on the moneyline.  Then, I bought the spread from -3.5 down to -3.  Obviously, catching the 3 (which would be a push) is huge in any close game, which is why an additional 20 cents of vig gets tacked on in order to pick up the half point.  Also note, this is probably mathematically inadvisable.  I’m taking slightly the worst of it by buying the half point.

It appears that the Rams have generated more in betting action since the moneyline (same source) is now up to -185.  However, the spread remains at -3.5 and hasn’t moved much the entire week.  I’m a little surprised by this.  I’d expected the public to jump on the 49ers but sharper bettors to side with the Rams.  Nothing so far as I can tell has happened to confirm this.

The shortlist of reasons why I like the Rams to win, cover, and advance to the Super Bowl are as follows:

(1)  This will be the 49ers’ fourth straight road game.  This is tough on any NFL team, but to have played a gauntlet of opponents — at Los Angeles, at Dallas, at Green Bay, and now at Los Angeles (again) might be too much for any team. Key Stat: In the last 35 seasons, teams playing at least four straight games on the road are 2-7 straight up and 1-6-1 ATS, including 0-6 in the playoffs (0-5-1 ATS)  

Another Key Stat:  The last team to win four straight games, all on the road was Kansas City in 1966. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no team has won four straight games, all on the road, without a bye in between since 1961.

(2)  San Francisco’s offense is inconsistent at best, and a serious cause for concern. Let’s remember the 49ers didn’t score an offensive touchdown last week, and haven’t looked good in the last 6 quarters (they disappeared in the second half at Dallas).  I’m doubtful they can keep pace with the Rams.  QB Jimmy Garoppolo still has some lingering injury that could factor in, as well.  Garoppolo’s 37-15 career win-loss record is impressive, but it might be in spite of him, not because of him, since he’s averaged just 146 yards passing in all of his playoff starts.

(3)  Last time they played, the Rams led 17-0 early. One month ago, the Rams hosted the 49ers and looked like an early blowout.  LA was up 17-0 before SFO staged an impressive second-half comeback and ended up with the win.  To be sure, the Rams need to fix their second-half problems.  They nearly blew it last week at Tampa Bay.  Still, I like the way the Rams are coming into games — with halftime leads of 20-3 (Tampa Bay), 21-0 (Arizona), and 17-3 (San Francisco).  So, LA is well-prepared, but perhaps ill-prepared at making adjustments.  Nonetheless, Kyle Shannahan has his own history of 4th quarter meltdowns, so I’ll go with Sean McVay and the Rams.

The Rams are my pick of the week.