49ers vs. Rams Odds & Picks: Bet On A Low-Scoring NFC West Showdown
Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff
49ers vs. Rams Odds
Following an impressive Monday Night Football win over the Buccaneers, the Rams are looking to sustain their momentum and keep pace in the competitive NFC West on Sunday against the banged-up 49ers.
The 49ers’ hopes of making a second consecutive playoff appearance are all but over at this point, standing at 4-6. However, they’re hopefully getting some key pieces back against the Rams.
San Francisco has had Los Angeles’ number of late, winning the last three meetings. The 49ers are in a good spot to compete again this week despite being out-manned entering the contest.
San Francisco 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan has shifted players around all season, highlighted by injuries to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Deebo Samuel. The running-back position has been a merry-go-round, as no one has been able to stay healthy enough to man the position.
However, some good news seems to be on the way: Samuel, the team’s No. 1 receiver, is on track to play this week as is running back Tevin Coleman, who has been out since the second week of the season. Running back Raheem Mostert has also been activated off Injured Reserve.
That said, make sure to stay up to date on the 49ers’ injury report. They could have many more weapons surrounding quarterback Nick Mullens than it did last time we saw the club before its bye week.
Mullens threw two interceptions against the Saints in Week 10, one of which was in the end zone. Bottom line, he is going to have to be smarter with the ball for the 49ers to have a chance.
The Rams’ defense does a great job of getting pressure on the quarterback, led by defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Mullens is going to have to get the ball out quickly, with the hope of working the ball economically down the field.
Defensively, Los Angeles doesn’t give up anything deep, ranking first in the league in explosive passes allowed. Yet, it can get beat on early-down plays. Teams that throw on first down have had great success against the Rams, posting a success rate of 61.8%, per Sharp Football Stats.
The Rams’s defense attempts to set the tone early in the sticks and put teams behind it with pressure.
If Shanahan can scheme up early-down passes to make it second-and-3 instead of second-and-8, the Niners will be in good shape. Trying to get Mullens to play catch up against a Rams defense that is tops in the league at 4.7 yards per play is a tough ask.
Simply put: San Francisco has to play ahead of the sticks and jump out to an early lead to have a chance.
Los Angeles Rams
A win here would go a long way in the Rams securing the NFC West Division title, but the 49ers have given head coach Sean McVay and his team fits the past two seasons.
The last time these two matched up, the 49errs picked apart the Rams’ defense underneath and made life uncomfortable for quarterback Jared Goff. Those are the two key ingredients to beating Los Angeles, and San Francisco has seemed to find the secret sauce to doing so.
When under pressure, Goff’s completion percentage drops from 76% to 41%, per Pro Football Focus. He’s thrown five interceptions while under duress compared to three with a clean pocket. Of course, the numbers are going to drop considerably when under pressure, but these glaring metrics highlight Goff is still incapable of making plays with the pocket collapsing.
San Francisco is down significant pass rushers for the year due to injury, but still able to get near the quarterback, ranking third in hurry percentage and 10th in blitzing plays.
In a matchup that Goff has struggled in, he went 19-of-38 for 198 yards and an interception in the Week 6 loss to San Francisco. So, it may be wise for Los Angeles to try and set up the running game.
Neither Darrell Henderson Jr, Malcolm Brown or Cam Akers have ran away with as the lead running back, even though all have shown signs of promise. However, they might struggle against a 49ers defense that is fresh off a bye and above league-average in running back success rate.
Goff is likely going to be forced into many drop backs, similar to the script against Tampa Bay on Monday. He is going to have lead the way with his arm if the Rams are to come out with a victory.
I do think the Niners are a live underdog in this spot, particularly for the reasons I listed above. However, it also has to do with the fact the Rams are being generally inflated by the market.
Los Angeles is back to being a media darling after that big Monday win, despite the final score being more impressive than the way Goff and the Rams actually played. Goff was sloppy in the second half, throwing two interceptions. His numbers look stronger due to heavy volume (he threw 51 passes).
This sets up similarly to the Week 6 matchup, when the 49ers were home underdogs after getting shelled by the Dolphins in Week 5. San Francisco still won the game outright over an overrated Los Angeles team.
I was able to secure the Niners at +7 earlier in the week. While I would try to hold out hope for that key number once again, you can play San Francisco in a teaser through 12 points, capturing some key numbers along the way as I expect this game to be a bit of a slugfest.
That said, the bet I will recommend at current numbers is the under on the total. Shanahan seems to have his finger on the pulse of this matchup with McVay and knows that Mullens can’t get into a shootout with the Rams’ offense.
With both Coleman and Mostert potentially returning, the 49ers are going to look to move methodically down the field and shorten this game.
I would play this under down to 43.5 points. If 49ers reach +7 again, that is also a strong play.
PICK: Under 44.5 (down to 43.5)