Rams vs 49ers: How We Live Bet Monday Night Football in Week 4

Rams vs 49ers: How We Live Bet Monday Night Football in Week 4 article feature image

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Bosa, Matthew Stafford.

The Rams and 49ers squared off in an NFC West showdown on Monday Night Football — and that meant it was time for some live betting in Week 4.

The NFL is perfect for live betting, with the pauses between plays providing time to get bets in. This season, I’ve built a model to project the pace of play under a variety of in-game scenarios. These include first vs. second half, as well as which team is leading or when the game is within a touchdown.

Take a long look around various books before placing bets, though. There tends to be more variation between shops in live markets than there is pregame.

So with that in mind, here are the NFL Live Betting angles and scenarios we were watching for in Rams-49ers on Monday Night Football.

The Live Bet We Made in Rams-49ers on Monday Night Football

The Scenario: 49ers Take the Lead

We generally want to begin our analysis on the most likely scenario. In this case — according to the markets, at least — that would be the 49ers in front, as they were 2.5-point favorites pregame.

This was also the most intriguing situation for live betting. Generally speaking, since the start of 2021, the Rams have played fairly quickly overall, with the 49ers on the slow side. That makes sense, given the Rams' offensive strength through the air, with the 49ers' success coming on the ground.

However, these teams line up nicely with their splits if the 49ers take the lead. Last season, the Rams ranked 11th in overall pace yet third when trailing by seven or more. This season, they're 20th in overall pace and 17th when trailing.

While that's not a big jump rankings-wise in either sample, it represents roughly a seven-second increase from their situation neutral pace (both in 2021 and 2022), with the NFL average being less than five.

On the Niners side, they ranked 29th in overall pace but 21st with a lead last season, and 29th/24th this year.

Essentially, the Rams speed things up more than the average team when trailing, while the Niners slow down less — mostly as a function of not having much room to slow down further.

That created a clear value on the over, particularly in situations where the Niners went up by two scores or the total dropped somewhat from the opening line of 42.5.

My rough threshold here was a total of 40 or less with the Niners up at least seven, but possession and time on the clock play a big role. While San Francisco took a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter, this situation didn't quite fit the bill. The total was still 43.5 across most books, with a 42.5 available at BetMGM.

At halftime, with that same 14-6 Niners lead, we were able to find a live total of 40 at Caesars. We'll take that over at this point in the game. The Rams have been moving the ball well themselves, and if it weren't for a bit of bad red-zone luck and variance, they might have come away with even more points than their two field goals.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles' inability to get into the end zone continued throughout the game, as we came up a touchdown shy of even a push in a 24-9 win for the 49ers.

Don't forget — we're not alone in live betting the NFL's biggest games here at Action Network. Every Monday and Thursday night at halftime, join my predictive analytics colleague Nick Giffen for "Bet What Happens Live With Dr. Nick!", where he'll give you insight into his models and the live bets he's making on Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football.

Dr. Nick had his eye on Cam Akers rushing props at halftime — specifically on the over, which was as low as 25.5 at FanDuel.

The Other Live Betting Scenario We Were Watching For in Monday Night Football

A Close Game

If the Rams control this one, the pace is likely to match pregame expectations almost exactly — leaving little edge on live bets.

However, a close game (within seven points) projects to be a much slower affair. The 49ers ranked dead last in pace when games were within six points last season and currently rank 30th. The Rams aren't as stark in their splits, but they still slow things down roughly a second in close games.

Both teams are comfortable leaning on the run and playing conservatively in closer situations, creating an opportunity to bet the under.

Ideally, this is one we can jump on relatively early, like with a 10-7 first quarter. If the total crosses the mid 40s, be ready to pull the trigger, particularly if some of the scoring was on the flukier side (defensive/special teams touchdowns, broken plays, etc.).

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