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NFC West Round-Up; Harbaugh No Friend of Vegas

Jim Harbaugh

Harbaugh caught the ire of many a gambler last week.

Jim Harbaugh may not want to go to Las Vegas anytime in the near future after a decision to take a safety off of the board may have cost bettors upwards of half a million dollars. With the line favoring the Niners by anywhere from seven to eight points depending on the book, the 13-6 victory would have swung money from one hand to another had Harbaugh decided to keep the points. His reasoning was that he didn’t want the Seahawks to have another opportunity to possess the ball.

Such is life when you bet the National Football League and any sport for that matter. One play, one injury, one decision could completely alter the money you win or the money you lose.

Seattle 6 at San Francisco 13 – The defensive battle expected by many came to fruition last Thursday night as the 49ers rode the legs of Frank Gore and a stifling defense to victory. Gore finished with 131 yards on 16 carries and was nearly matched by the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch who had 103 yards on 19 carries. Rookie QB Russell Wilson struggled for Seattle going just 9 of 23 for 122 yards while Alex Smith was only slightly better as he threw for a touchdown but also threw a costly pick in the red zone that could have sealed the game much sooner.

Green Bay 30 at St. Louis 20 – Aaron Rodgers continued his torrid pace from last Monday night with another 300 yard plus passing performance to go with three touchdown passes in the win. Steven Jackson ran 12 times for 57 yards and a TD for the Rams who drop to 3-4 on the season and suffer their first loss at home in four tries.

Arizona 14 at Minnesota 21 – The Vikings overcame a horrendous performance from their offense and QB Christian Ponder in particular in defeating the Cardinals. Arizona’s defense limited the Vikings to just 209 yards of total offense but the difference in the game turned out to be a pick-six by the Vikings’ Harrison Smith in the third quarter. John Skelton, starting in place of injured Kevin Kolb, was 25 of 36 for 262 yards and a score but threw that costly interception to Smith. After starting 4-0, the Cards have now dropped three straight.

Looking ahead to Week Eight

 Seattle at Detroit – With the Lions playing tonight in Chicago, Seattle will have had a nice ten-day break since losing to the Niners on Thursday. Granted, the Seahawks must come across the country, but the schedule makers did Detroit no favors in preparing for the Seattle defense. The Lions enter the game tonight against Chicago coming off a huge win in Philadelphia, but the Seahawks will pose challenges for their offense the likes of which they haven’t seen yet.

Steven Jackson

Jackson rushed for over 50 yards and had a TD in yesterday's loss to Green Bay.

New England at St. Louis – The Patriots hit the road following a physical, overtime win over New York while the Rams came off a ten-point loss to Green Bay. The good news for St. Louis is that Steven Jackson looked a little healthier than at any point in the season and the Rams have played well at home. This is not a dominant New England team by any stretch of the imagination so I look for the Rams to keep this close.

San Francisco at Arizona – The Monday Nighter for week eight features the Niners and Cards who are seemingly going in opposite directions. Having lost three in a row, this game becomes monstrous for Arizona. A chance to shine in front of a national TV audience and potentially upset one of the league’s top teams at the same time would be welcomed in the desert. The 49ers will continue to ride the Gore train but will need Alex Smith to make more plays and take care of the football. I like the Niners in a tight one.

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