St. Louis Rams at San Diego Chargers: 2014 Week 12 NFL Pick

St. Louis Rams (4-6) at San Diego Chargers (6-4)

I’m completely split on this. On one hand, the Rams could easily be overconfident and off of a fluky win over the Broncos last week. The Broncos had more first downs (21 and 16) and an equal amount of offensive touchdowns (1), as the Rams were overly reliant on a +2 turnover margin. The Broncos moved the chains at a 68.75% rate, as opposed to 60.71% for the Rams. Road underdogs of 3 or more are 21-35 ATS since 1989 off of a win as 7+ point home underdogs. Teams can be not just overconfident, but also overvalued off of what’s usually a fluky victory.

I think the Rams are definitely overvalued here. They still only rank 27th in rate of moving the chains differential, moving the chains at a 69.76% rate, as opposed to 74.43% for their opponents, a differential of -4.67%. Meanwhile, the Chargers rank 16th, moving the chains at a 73.74% rate, as opposed to 73.10% for their opponents, a differential of 0.63%. That suggests this line should be much more than 5. It should at least be where it was last week, when the early line was 7, if not higher. I love fading big line movements because they’re often unwarranted and I think it is unwarranted here too.

On the other hand, the Chargers are in a terrible spot. While the Rams only have to play the Raiders next week, the Chargers have to go across the country and play the Ravens in Baltimore. Non-divisional home favorites are as non-divisional home favorites before being non-divisional road underdogs since 2008, while teams conversely are 76-106 ATS as non-divisional home favorites before being non-divisional road underdogs since 2008. Combining the two, teams are 100-61 ATS since 2010 as underdogs before being favorites when their opponent will next be underdogs. I’m still taking the Chargers, but I’m not confident at all.

San Diego Chargers 30 St. Louis Rams 24

Pick against the spread: San Diego -5

Confidence: None

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