A nice 3 out of 4 wins for us on Monday with just the HT/FT long shot letting down the clean sweep, mainly because the Giants were far worse than I had given them credit for. Beckham was nowhere near his yards mainly due to the offensive line that Eli was working behind giving him no time at all to get the ball away, and partly, I still believe due to his fitness. Evan Engram got the first score of the game at 3/1 for us and quite easily beat his yards as well at 10/11, taking the slightly better odds paid off well. It also meant that we actually finished with a little profit over the weekend as a whole which was looking unlikely after the early games! It actually means that we won on 8 of the last 11 bets placed. Which is nice!
So on to the amazing looking Thursday night clash between the LA Rams and San Francisco 49ers, a clash of the NFC Wests basement sides on a short week after playing in 2 draining close games at the weekend… What more could you want?! – Oh. It’s a colour rush game, and tonight both uniforms look lovely!
The game itself, I’m not so sure on, The 49ers are yet to score a touchdown this season (I know that feeling) after notching up just the 3pts in week one against the Panthers, and 9 points against the Seahawks at the weekend, both of those teams have very good defences and the Rams are no slouch in that area either.
I don’t think Brian Hoyer is rubbish, but his numbers so far this season are farcical. For a QB to throw for under 100 yards in a game in this day and age is just ridiculous, I will give him a little lee-way as that was against the legion of boom, but that’s just awful. Obviously I would expect it to be a little higher tonight, at home against a weaker team, but frankly he can’t really be trusted. In week one he was closing in on 200 yards, at home, and his favourite targets were Pierre Garcon and Carlos Hyde with 6 receptions each. When he has a favourite guy he feeds that guy.
Pierre Garcon was always shaping to be the main man in this passing attack as frankly they don’t have much else, and Shanahan knew him from their Washington days so had a relationship with him. As mentioned above, 6 receptions in week 1 (from 24 completions), 3 in week 2 (from 15 receptions) So he’s taking around 20% of the target share from Hoyer in the attack. As is Carlos Hyde with 6 and 3 receptions as well. But Garcon put up 81 yards in the opener and just the 26 last week, his lines are set at 5 receptions in the game, (o4.5 at 4/5 on 365) I expect him to go over 4 receptions. – Other than Garcon in the passing game they have a burner downfield in the shape of Marquise Goodwin, I won’t be taking any market on him as 1 catch could easily get him over his yards, he was an Olympic 200m runner so it’s safe to say he’s pretty quick. Other than that there’s really not a whole lot available to Hoyer which would probably explain his low numbers! Carlos Hyde will be catching out of the backfield so usually won’t help a huge amount with the numbers (he’s set at 20.5 rec. yards on 365) At Tight end he has rookie George Kittle who has had a lot of hype over the off-season and even more since they traded away Vance McDonald, he’s been taking a lot of snaps so it would be no surprise to see him having a decent game for them, he’s at 22.5 yards on skybet, that’s tempting (27 yards week 1, 13 week 2), he’s too short at 7/2 for me to be taking a stab at him in the anytime TD markets though.
If they do score tonight it’s most likely to be through their running game. Carlos Hyde was a bright spot in their game this weekend running for 124 yards over the Seahawks, admittedly half of that came from one run, but even without that he was 63 from 14 attempts, just under 5 YPC, that’s a pretty good game for a runner and the Rams were gashed for 220+ yards on the ground this weekend against the Redskins. His yards are set accordingly though, at 77 and above. I feel he will go above that mark, but it’s too high a line for me to be taking on, for reference, he was o49.5 in that first match against the Panthers and let me down then. The other back they have there is Matt Breida, he has done well in the spells he’s had running the rock as well, without excelling, it will be interesting to see what role he plays tonight. They have the highest paid Full back in the league in Kyle Juszczyk, he’s a big lad and does a good job forging lanes for the other 2 to run through, but I’m interested in his goal line work (should the niners get that close…) Although after a quick check of his stats, he didn’t really do much of that last season! So maybe even at 8/1 it’s a miss.
They do however have a solid front 7 on defence which will help them stay in the game and could affect the Rams run game which hasn’t exactly been great this season so far.
The Rams have been looking to get their run game going again this season after Jeff Fisher murdered it along with all the rest of their offense last season. They signed Andrew Whitworth to bolster the offensive line in the off season and he allowed no pressures on Goff in the first game of the season, and was ranked 17th amongst offensive linemen last week. He’s bloody good. It has given Goff more time in the pocket and helped Todd Gurley in the run game as well. Gurley was relatively ineffective in the first game with less than 2 yards per carry, but he did add 56 yards through the air, the second game he looked almost back to his rookie year with 88 yards from 16 carries and 48 from 3 receptions, scoring a TD in the rush and receiving game. It was something that we’ve been waiting to see for 2 years now and with an actual offensive coach it looks like they may be able to manufacture opportunities for him. His receiving TD this week was particularly spectacular hurdling over a defender on his way to the corner of the endzone.
His yards, like Hyde’s are set a little too high for my liking so again I’ll be passing up on them. He’s at 70 for just rushing yards and 93.5 combined yards on PP. It wouldn’t shock me to see him reach that number, but the 49ers front 7 worries me a bit and makes me lean towards the short passing game tonight. Tavon Austin is also a person. If you can find unders on Tavon Austin yards, take it.
That short passing game looks like it will be going through Cooper Kupp most weeks as long as Goff doesn’t keep telegraphing the passes to him by staring at him like a fat guy stares at a hamburger. He got 76 yards from 4 catches in the opener announcing himself to the league, last week he was kept in check a little and the game sealing INT came from a pass intended for him, he finished with 33 yards. He is available for o/u 44.5 on PP at 5/6 or over 3.5 receptions at the same odds in the same outlet. If you think he’ll have a great game then you can get 8/1 (was 12s) on him going o100 yards on skybet. Outside of him, literally is Sammy Watkins, he’s got all the talent in the world but was constantly injured in Buffalo and was traded to LA in the summer. He’s not set the world alight so far in LA, but he definitely has the ability to do that, he’s set at around 50 yards for this game, and he will be there or thereabouts. Robert Woods is there too. Meh.
They have a trio of tight ends to try and get your head around, Gerald Everett looks to be the favourite of the three for Goff, catching for 95 yards last week although one was a 69 yard reception which skews those stats slightly. Interestingly Tyler Higbee has played more snaps in 1 week than Everett has in his entire career (it is just 2 games mind you…) He is more of a blocker though. TE no.3 is Derek Carrier, he’s seen a target in each game so far, catching 1 in each for 21 yards on the season. Everett is interesting at 6/1 on skybet.
So onto Jared Goff at QB. He’s improved, which wasn’t hard, he was useless after being thrown in when not ready last year in a horrible offense. He threw for over 300 yards in that opener and 224 in the game this week where they were emphasising Gurley more. He has worryingly though, only thrown for 2 TDs in the first 2 games though, and one of them was to Gurley this last week. It’s a little worrying when trying to consider anytime scorers at a bigger price and means I will probably be staying away from recommending Everett and the likes for the Rams.
So all in all, I think this will be a low scoring affair, and so do the bookies, they’ve reacted quite quickly to the low scoring affairs in the games so far this season and have set the o/u totals on all the games a fair bit lower than they usually would have done. This one in particular is set at 40. I think it will go under that with the Rams winning. But I’m not confident enough in either of those things to be betting on them.
Bets for the night –
- Todd Gurley anytime – 10/11 (365) – 2pts
- Carlos Hyde and Todd Gurley both to score – 5/1 (Skybet) – 1pt
- George Kittle o22.5 rec. yards – 10/11 (Skybet) – 2pt
- Pierre Garcon o4.5 receptions (365) – 4/5 – 2pts
- Cooper Kupp o3.5 receptions (PP) – 5/6 – 2pts
9 point outlay – viewable Here
Good Luck if you follow any.