Rams-49ers betting trends and player props
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Five games into the season, one NFC West team is 4-1 with top-five ranks on offense and defense, and the other has stumbled behind lousy quarterback play and a slew of injuries.
Before the year, most would have expected the former to be the San Francisco 49ers, but it's the Los Angeles Rams (-3, 52) who've leapfrogged last season's NFC champions in the division hierarchy ahead of this week's prime-time clash.
Here are our favorite trends, props, and bets for Sunday night.
It's been a rough stretch for the injury-riddled 49ers, who've lost back-to-back games outright as favorites and are now underdogs for the first time since their Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Since the start of the 2018 season, San Francisco is 7-8 against the spread when catching points but has been outscored by 7.3 points on average in those 15 games. The Rams, meanwhile, have covered six of their last seven as road favorites by an average margin of 14.4 points.
Prime time has also been kind to the Rams, who've covered three straight under the lights and are 6-3 ATS in their last nine in that spot. The Niners are 3-5 ATS in their last eight prime-time games with two straight losses by a combined 16 points. They've gone 5-2-1 to the over in those eight games.
The under may be the smarter play in this one, though. The Rams are 8-1 to the under in their last nine as road chalk, while the 49ers have gone under in three of their last four as home 'dogs.
Deebo Samuel under 42.5 receiving yards (-110)
Samuel is one of the more creative offensive weapons in the league, and he's a force with the ball in his hands. However, don't expect too much in the passing game this week. He's logged more than 42 receiving yards in eight of 20 career games and just twice in his last seven contests, including zero times this season.
The Rams' elite secondary has allowed just 133 yards per game to opposing receivers this year - second-fewest in the NFL - and held Washington's Terry McLaurin to just 26 yards a week ago. Samuel won't see much daylight on Sunday.
Darrell Henderson under 41.5 rushing yards (-110)
The 49ers rank No. 7 in opponent yards per carry (3.8), though much of the damage done has actually been by opposing quarterbacks. Against only running backs, they rank third in yards allowed per game (62.2) and second in yards per carry (3.1) through five games.
Los Angeles' committee approach makes it hard to invest in any one back, and Cam Akers led the team last week in rushing while Henderson turned 15 carries into 38 yards for his second straight game under 40. This isn't the spot for him to regain his early-season form.
49ers under 25.5 points
The Rams have earned a reputation as a high-scoring juggernaut, though it's been their third-ranked scoring defense leading the charge this year. They've held four of five opponents to under 20 points, and the 49ers have scored 20 or fewer points in three of five games, including each of the last two.
The game under is a solid bet, too, but Los Angeles' offense could explode against San Francisco's battered defense. It's hard to imagine that happening the other way around.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.