Your crack team of arrogant analysts are back for more football with some Monday Night action between the Rams at the 49ers. All three of us had a solid Sunday. The Godzilla finally redeemed himself with some worthwhile picks. #NoPickNate went on a scorcher after a terrible Saturday handicapping college and I put in some work with weird point totals and props for your viewing pleasure.
This game promises to be a good one with two teams careening towards a major divisional matchup. The 49ers look like they need this game at home, while the Rams want to go 3-0 since their Thursday Night stinker to open the NFL season. Let’s pick some winners.
Lost Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
When: Monday, 8:15 pm EST
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.
How to Watch: ESPN2
Odds: 49ers (-1.5); O/U (42.5)
John: The Rams are my best bet of the week. Did you watch SF on Monday night? OMG, that offense looked sicker than a one-legged goose in a backyard bird bath. SF D is great, but the Broncos have the worst offense this side of Chicago. I love the Rams to win outright. Pick: Rams +1.5
What’s the Deal with DVOA?
Jack: I talked a little about DVOA (Defense-value adjusted Over Average) in my Jaguars post, but it bears repeating here. DVOA is one of the most used metrics in NFL analysis these days, because it weighs how teams and players perform in the most important plays.
For instance, let’s say a team gives up 3 yards on a 1st and 10 and 3 yards on a 3rd and 4. DVOA adjusts for value. The 3rd and 4 is a much more important play than the 1st and 10, so teams get more points for getting a stop on a more valuable play. DVOA can measure offense, defense, special teams, player performance, etc. It’s a fairly easy way to understand a team’s performance on a given weekend and I’ve come to love it because it helped me hit a silly prop bet in the Jags/Eagles game yesterday.
Here’s what the DVOA suggests for the Rams/49ers: don’t play the spread. The trap bet here is what the Godzilla is doing. Take the points! The wrong team is favored! Niners stink. Yeah, yeah. Maybe. But the Niners are ranked 3rd in DVOA on defense, according to Football Outsiders. We know their defense is good, but DVOA shows us just how good. In every metric they are a top 5 defense. Only TB and BUF are even close to as good.
The Rams are ranked 16th in DVOA in Defense. Sad! But they are ranked 4th in DVOA in Rushing Defense. Not so sad! We know the Niners do not want Jimmy G out there tossing fifty passes. The Rams are going to struggle to move the ball on the Niners regardless of how good their offense is. This is a defensive game that comes down to a field goal.
The line has been moving like crazy. The Godzilla got it at Rams +2.5. Then it moved to +2. Now it’s at +1,5. That’s too much movement for my take. Play the under here. This game is going to settle right at 22 points. Root for some turnovers. Pick: Under Total Points +/- 42.5
Nate: 49ers have a serious defense, per Football Outsiders. San Francisco is still adjusting to life with Handsome Jimmy. If you’re looking for an angle here, take the under with a good defense in the Rams playing a quarterback still trying to adjust. Divisional game in the NFC West are what I watch constantly in Reno, they are always tricky. Take the under here as both defenses stymy their opponent. Pick: Under Total Points +/- 42.5