The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are expected to battle for the NFC West title this season, but Jeff Fisher’s St. Louis Rams hope to, at a minimum, make their presence felt in the division race. The Rams will get an early opportunity to do just that as they square off against the 49ers at the Edward Jones Dome on Thursday, September 26th (8:25pm ET, NFL Network). The meeting between the two rivals has been classified as one of Carbon Sports NFL Games of the Year, which means the offshore bookmaker has already issued a line for the 2013 NFL Week 4 divisional contest. Presently, the Niners are a -3.5 against the spread road favorite.
The Rams were not in the NFC West chase last season, finishing with a 7-8-1 record; however, they were dominant in division play. St. Louis posted a 4-1-1 record against its NFC West counterparts, which was better than what both the Niners and Seahawks were able to do.
Amazingly, the Rams played to a 24-24 tie opposite the 49ers when the two squads hooked up at Candlestick Park on November 11th, and, despite being lined as a 7.5 point home underdog, they topped San Francisco 16-13 three weeks later at the Edward Jones Dome.
St. Louis’ offense, which averaged a paltry 18.7 points and 329 yards per game last season, found success against the Niners vaunted defense in the first meeting, posting 27 first downs and 458 total yards while earning a 40:45 to 34:15 time of possession advantage. Those numbers helped Sam Bradford and company overcome a -1 turnover margin and a staggering 13 penalties. The second game looked decidedly different, though, as the Rams tallied just 293 yards of offense. A Janoris Jenkins fumble return for a touchdown proved to be the difference in that contest.
Despite the Rams impressive play against San Francisco last year, no one seems to believe it will carry over to this season. Nonetheless, St. Louis should be considered a solid against the spread play against divisional competition, especially at home. The Rams are 4-1 straight up and 5-0 against the spread in their last five games as a home dog against an NFC West team.
49ers vs Rams Line 2013 NFL Week 4: Provided by CarbonSports.ag
San Francisco 49ers -3.5 (-110)
St. Louis Rams +3.5 (-110)