Week 1 of the NFL season can be a bit tricky to handicap. Some teams come out on fire, while some aren’t quite themselves yet and don’t hit their stride until a few games in. The first encounter between the RAMS and the San Francisco 49ers will seem like old times
After relocating to St. Louis in 1995, the Rams return to their geographical roots, and Los Angeles can once again have a NFL team it can call its own. These franchises split their two encounters a season ago, and the home team won on each occasion.
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The 49ers, for example, are a surprising 7-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 Week 1 games, which includes five straight SU and ATS wins. The perennial Super Bowl-contending Steelers, meanwhile, have just one SU win in their last five season openers and have failed to cover the spread in each of those games.
In most books Los Angeles has been lined as favorite with an average spread of -1 to -3 with a much tighter total of 42.5 to 43.0. Keep in mind that although the number opened at 46 it’s very rare to see this sizable of a move. However, at this particular juncture, the general public is betting on going under like they’re stealing candy from a baby. That’s quite obvious by 98.8% of totals wagers made on this game going on the under.
There are several apparent reasons why this overwhelming amount of wagers have gone this way. First, these were the bottom two teams last seasons in total offense. Furthermore, San Francisco finished dead last in scoring offense at 14.9 points per game. Additionally, the Rams have seen 9 of their last 10 road games stay under the total. On the other hand, San Francisco has gone under the total during 13 of its previous 15 home games. Lastly, the preceding three times these teams have met, those games all went under.
Since 1985, any home underdog of 4.0 or less (49ers), playing their season opener on a Monday night, and they won 5 or more games during the previous year (49ers/5-11), resulted in those home underdogs going a perfect 9-0 SU&ATS. Those nine underdogs won those contests by an average of 12.9 points per game.
The 49ers have been a bad team during the past two seasons. Nevertheless, they’ve gone a respectable 8-8 at home through that course of time. Conversely, since 2013, Tennessee has gone an abysmal 7-17 straight up and 8-16 ATS on the road.
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