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When the 2019 NFL season started, not many folks were saying the San Francisco 49ers were the best team in the NFC. That may not be entirely true but in terms of wins and losses, they are; the 49ers are the only undefeated team in the conference and are coming off a blowout win over Cleveland on Monday Night Football.
San Francisco's offense has proved to be entirely legit with Jimmy Garoppolo leading the way. They've scored at least 24 points in all four of their games and they currently rank No. 2 in points per game.
As for the Los Angeles Rams, who will host San Francisco on Sunday, they haven't looked like the same team that made it all the way to the Super Bowl in 2018. Their defense, in particular, has been shaky, allowing 26.8 points per game in five games. Los Angeles, now 3-2, is coming off back-to-back losses.
Kickoff is set for 4:05 P.M ET on FOX,
49ers Shocking EveryoneThe San Francisco 49ers are the talk of the NFL right now after starting 4-0. Their most recent win, a 31-3 thumping of the Cleveland Browns on national television, really got the conversation going and if they can knock off the Rams, there may be Super Bowl talk.
Two things come to mind when thinking of San Francisco, their defense, which ranks No. 4 in points allowed, and their quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, who has a 99.4 passer rating.
On defense, they have been able to make impact plays regularly. They are tied for the second-most interceptions in the NFL (7) and they're getting to the quarterback. Both Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner have three sacks apiece this year in four games.
Garoppolo has improved across the board this year, most notably in completion percentage (69%), QBR, and passer rating.
One thing that's a negative for the 49ers is the loss of Kyle Juszcyk, who was hurt last week and will miss 4-6 weeks.
Rams Off to Shaky StartComing off a Super Bowl appearance, the Los Angeles Rams probably didn't think they'd be in third place in their division after five weeks. They're currently 3-2 on the season and coming off back-to-back losses, one of which was unexpected (home vs. Tampa Bay) and one that was acceptable (at Seattle).
The Rams aren't panicking, though. Speaking with ESPN after their Thursday Night Football loss to Seattle, safety Eric Weddle kept things in perspective.
"I haven't been around here the last couple of years, but I didn't know a season ended after five games. We know where we're at, we know what type of team we have," he said.
Last year, the Rams lost back-to-back games late in the season and they bounced back just fine, so Weddle does have a point. They're still No. 6 in scoring offense and their defense has shown flashes. For instance, they shut down two good QBs in back-to-back weeks earlier this year; (Saints, 9 points in Week 2; Browns, 13 points in Week 3).
Update (10/11): RB Todd Gurley (thigh) is listed as doubtful, while CB Aqib Talib (ribs) is listed as out.
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC.
- 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs. NFC.
- 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NFC West.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a tough game to handicap but it comes down to this: can you really picture the Rams losing three consecutive games? I can't, and I also think the 49ers are a bit overvalued after a win in primetime. Plus, Goff, after losing back-to-back games last year, bounced back with back-to-back 118-plus passer rating games (both wins).
In their last two meetings, the Rams have throttled San Fran, beating them by a combined 87-42 score.
Prediction: Los Angeles Rams -3
Full-Game Total Pick
If the Rams bounce back and win this game as I expect, it will go over. After all, the Rams have scored a ton of points even in losses and they rank right near the top of the NFL. On the flip side, the 49ers have been able to light up the scoreboard all season, averaging 31.8 points per game. The trends also align for the OVER; in their last five meetings, the OVER has hit four times.
Prediction: Over 50.5