The Rams know all about the post-Super Bowl struggles a team like the 49ers appear to be dealing with, as that was the Rams at the beginning of last year.
Starting out this year with a 4-1 SU record is great, but when all four of those wins have come against NFC East teams, you know there are going to be questions about resume quality.
Beating the defending conference champs regardless of what state they are currently in can't hurt the Rams resume going forward, but have they done enough to be a road favorite for this game?
Spread: Los Angeles -3.5
Money-Line: Los Angeles -165 San Francisco +145
Odds Subject to Change
2020 Betting Stats
(Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under - O/U)
Overall: 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS, 2-3 O/U
Road: 2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 2-1 O/U
Offense PPG: 27.2 (Rank 14)
Defense PPG: 18.0 (Rank 3)
Offense YPG: 403.6 (Rank 4)
Defense YPG: 304.2 (Rank 4)
Overall: 2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS, 3-2 O/U
Home: 0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS, 3-2 O/U
Offense PPG: 24.8 (Rank 18)
Defense PPG: 22.8 (Rank 11)
Offense YPG: 364.2 (Rank 21)
Defense YPG: 323 (Rank 5)
Over vs. Under
Handicapping the Total
Not knowing the starter under center for the Niners for certain makes it tough to be confident in either side of this total.
I would argue that the quarterback trio we've seen from San Francisco are all closer to being equal in overall skill set than they aren't, but that is more helpful in determining a side rather than a total. Chemistry between whomever is throwing the ball and the pass catchers are out there does change based on the name.
But this is still a Rams team that's run through weak NFC East competition so far, although they did hold Dallas to just 17 points. But their game against Buffalo saw the Bills finish with 35, and no matter who the 49ers go with at QB, it's still going to be better than most of what LA saw from the Giants or Washington.
This is also going to be one of the first halfway decent defenses the Rams will have seen this year, as again, their 2020 has consisted of beating up on the NFC East. It's been a division rivalry where the winner has put up at least 30 in five of the past six meetings, and I'm not sure the Rams can get there, but them getting to that number wouldn't be surprising either. Buffalo's shown to be one of the better defenses the Rams have played and they hung 30+ on the Bills.
Long way of saying that this total is probably right where it should be, and it's a series where I think flipping the total result in the rematch might be the better way to approach the two games these two play this year. Too much uncertainty here on both ends, and we'll have a much better profile of each squad when they meet again at the end of November.
Dec. 21, 2019 - San Francisco 34 vs. Los Angeles 31, 49ers -7, Over 45.5
Oct. 13, 2019 - San Francisco 20 vs. Los Angeles 7, 49ers +3, Under 50
Dec. 30, 2018 - Los Angeles 48 vs. San Francisco 32, Rams -10.5, Over 50
Oct. 21, 2018 - Los Angeles 39 at San Francisco 10, Rams -9, Under 52
Rams vs. 49ers
Handicapping the Side
I might not be able to call a one-point win for the home side like last week, but with me lumping all of the 49ers QB options into a group I can expect what to get from, siding with the underdog and the points as I did a week ago is the play once again.
I do think the Rams are an above average team this year, but their 4-1 SU record doesn't hold nearly the same weight that some other four-win teams have at this point in the year. It's inflating their stock just ever so slightly, and when paired with a 49ers stock that's about as low as it can get right now, it just doesn't seem like this line is completely correct.
Had Jimmy Garoppolo and the Niners just got beat at home last week against Miami – not utterly demolished from start to finish – I don't think the perception of this 49ers team is as low as it currently seems to be.
Last week's play isn't necessarily a good thing for the Niners long term this year, as they may be an average team that simply overachieved last year, but in a spot where it's got to feel like the direction of their season is on the line, I think we get the best versions of whomever is out there on the field in San Fran colors.
All three QB options for the 49ers have recent starting experience with this team so there are minimal worries there, and it was just a few weeks ago that the Rams were a two-point road dog vs Philly, while the 49ers were laying -8.5 at home against that same Eagles team a couple of weeks later. The drastically different results for those teams in those games isn't quite worth the adjustment here in my view, and the Rams record could get somewhat exposed here.
San Francisco is on a 5-1 ATS run as an underdog – a role they've yet to be in this season – and are 6-2 ATS in their last eight against a winning team. I believe the 49ers play up to the level of their competition in this spot, and facing a familiar foe who they swept last year might allow the Niners to play more on instinct and not have them try to overthink their way out of this funk.
I may not be sure about who ultimately takes the field for San Francisco in this game, but I'm also not sure about what this Rams team truly is in 2020. Until they show me a more definitive picture one way or the other, I just don't think I can agree with this picture being painted of the Rams being worthy road favorites in this spot. I don't even think they win the game.
LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo: Elbow - Out
S Jordan Fuller: Shoulder - Out
LB Micah Kiser: Groin - Questionable
OT Bobby Evans: Shoulder - Probable
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: Ankle - Probable
RB Jeff Wilson Jr.: Calf
S Marcell Harris: Ankle
CB Emmanuel Moseley: Concussion - Questionable
CB Dontae Johnson: Groin - Out
CB K'Waun Williams: Knee - Out
LB Kwon Alexander: Anle - Out
Rams-49ers - Predictions
Score Prediction: San Francisco 27 Los Angeles 24
Best Bet: 49ers +3.5
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