Rams-49ers best bets: Can L.A. bounce back in San Fran?
There will be a real sense of urgency from NFC West rivals Monday night as the Los Angeles Rams aim to rebound from a dismal showing on prime time a week ago when they visit the San Francisco 49ers who are essentially playing to keep their season alive.
Here's how we're betting Rams-49ers:
C Jackson Cowart: Rams -3.5
Entering last week's loss, Los Angeles had won each of its previous four games by nine points or more and was clicking on both sides, averaging 32.5 points on offense and holding opponents to just 17.3 points per game. Conversely, the Niners have lost five of their last six contests and are a brutal 2-6 ATS amid an injury-plagued season.
The key on Monday will be whether San Francisco can prevent the big play. The 49ers surrendered two passes of 45-plus yards a week ago, while Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford ranks third in the NFL in yards per attempt (8.6) and yards per completion (12.7). If he can get behind the Niners' defense in this one, it won't be close.
Alex Moretto: Eli Mitchell anytime TD (+150)
The Rams have a reputation - likely due to the presence of Aaron Donald - that they can't be run on, but that's really not the case. Their overall numbers are strong because most of their opponents have had to surrender the run in negative game scripts, but L.A. is still giving up 4.1 yards per carry to opposing running backs.
It's important to note that I like the 49ers here to cover anything above a field goal, so I don't expect them to have to get away from the ground game at any point. In the Rams' two losses this season, they've allowed three rushing touchdowns and 244 total yards to opposing backs. With a good game script, in a contest with a high total, there will be plenty of opportunities for Eli Mitchell to find the end zone.
With the backfield all to himself, Mitchell continues to make the most of his opportunities. He's averaging a terrific 5.3 yards per carry and is growing more involved in the passing game. Kyle Shanahan's scheme seems to give the Rams trouble - San Francisco has won four straight against Los Angeles - and I like Mitchell to find pay dirt here as he continues to operate as the feature back. You almost never get feature backs at plus money in this market.
Matt Russell: 49ers moneyline (+155)
Yep, I'm skipping the points here.
Well, actually, I'm taking +3.5 too, but the point is I'm relatively confident that, at a +155 payout, the moneyline is the best bet for this game.
No matter the situation over the past two seasons, the 49ers have managed to beat the Rams. Whether home or away, with Nick Mullens or Jimmy Garoppolo, and with a laundry list of injuries, they've won four straight. This would be lined under a field goal if it weren't for everyone's disappointment in San Francisco after its shameful loss to the Cardinals' backups. That means the moneyline should be around +125, so anything over +150 is the definition of value.
Look for the 49ers' misdirection offense to create holes for the run game and room in the secondary for George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, which they've grown accustomed to when Kyle Shanahan call plays against the Rams.