Date/Time: December 1st, 4:05 PM ET
Spread: 49ers -9
NFC West foes will be sharing a table together this holiday weekend, as the St. Louis Rams and the San Francisco 49ers come together for their second meeting of the year in NFL betting action.
The Rams are still holding on by a thread, but they know that losing this game is the end of their season. They would be able to get back to .500 and perhaps get within a game of the last Wild Card slot by the end of the weekend, but winning out seems to be the only way to even remotely challenge for a postseason bid. It’s tough without QB Sam Bradford, though in a strange plot twist from what was expected, it almost seems like this team is a lot more efficient offensively without Bradford than with him. Of course, Bradford had nothing to do with the fact that RB Zac Stacy busted onto the scene and turned this running game into a formidable unit, but the fact that QB Kellen Clemens has become the benefactor of that is bad news for Bradford, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Stacy suffered a concussion last week and is questionable, and if he misses this game, it’s a wonder how the ball is going to move against this formidable San Francisco front seven. Keep a close eye on this St. Louis special teams unit. WR Tavon Austin has been burning holes in opponents for the last few weeks, and he is turning into a real game changer right now.
The 49ers are one of these teams on the fringes of the playoff race in the NFC. Perception will greatly change with the results of this game. Win this one, and the team will be 8-4 and on a clip for perhaps an 11-5 season, which should be good enough to get into the second season. Lose it though, and this will be the third time which the Niners would have been beaten as rather large favorites this season in games which shouldn’t really have been lost on paper. QB Colin Kaepernick is leading the game’s worst passing attack, though he did have a strong game last week thanks to the two TDs for WR Anquan Boldin against the Washington Redskins. WR Michael Crabtree will be making his season debut in this game, and that could really give Kaepernick the weapon that he badly needs to once again become one of the elite passers in the league.
This one just feels tricky to us. The 49ers were only good enough to muster a tie when these two teams met last year, and we aren’t so sure that this is any easier of a game. The Rams aren’t as bad as their record suggests for the second straight season, and the 49ers aren’t the best team in the NFC West. This is a whole heck of a lot of points. We’d feel better if we knew that Stacy was playing, but regardless, we would rather have the points on our side. This isn’t going to be another 35-11 romp as it was a few months ago when these two clashed.
St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers Pick: St. Louis Rams +9
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.