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Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers,
10-21-2018 - Prediction & Preview

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Game Snapshot with Current Line

#473 Los Angeles
Rams -9.5
#474 San Francisco
49ers 52

Sunday, October 21, 2018 at 4:25pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Featured Video from Scott Reichel

NFC West showdown here between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams improved to 6-0 with a win over the Broncos while the 49ers are coming off a heartbreaking last second loss on Monday Night Football to the Packers. This game will feature two of the best play-callers in the entire league, and should be a fun one.

Rams Stay Perfect

The Rams remained unbeaten, toppling the Broncos in Denver this past Sunday. While they only won by three points, the game was never really in doubt and the score was only made that close by a late garbage time touchdown. The Rams dominated yet again, and Todd Gurley rushed for 208 yards.

The one concerning thing for the Rams is that Jared Goff was under consistent pressure for the first time all season. He was sacked five times, and his play dropped significantly as a result. He only completed 50 percent of his passes, and threw an interception. The key to stopping the Rams offense is getting pressure on Goff and disrupting the timing of Sean McVay’s offense. If the Rams’ offensive line is shaky again against an underrated 49ers defensive line, it could pose trouble for the Rams’ dynamic offense.

The Rams will also likely be without receiver Cooper Kupp for the game, another blow to their offense. Kupp is so vital to what the Rams seek to do on offense, and his absence will be huge. The Rams are also banged up on defense, with several contributors nursing injuries.

The Rams’ defense has struggled against the run in recent weeks, and the 49ers’ new two-headed backfield of Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert could have some success. The Rams’ secondary has also been burnable over the top in recent weeks, so Marquise Goodwin could be in for another big day.

Beathard Better Than Expected

Most people wrote off the 2018 San Francisco 49ers as dead and buried when Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL a few weeks back. But backup C.J. Beathard has played surprisingly well, and actually isn’t too much of a downgrade from Jimmy G. Beathard was lights out on Monday Night against the Packers, dropping repeated dimes down the field.

Back at home against another team dealing with injuries to its defense, Beathard could have some success again. Shanahan will undoubtedly have a great gameplan cooked up for him, and even though the team lost to Green Bay, they have to be feeling positive that they were at least competitive.

If the 49ers are going to have any chance at an upset victory, they’ll need the defensive line to come through. DeForest Buckner has been an absolute monster this season, racking up 4.5 sacks so far. If he can generate interior pressure on Goff, it would be huge and give them a real chance to win.

The 49ers are not going down quietly. Although it was a brutal loss on Monday night, I don’t think the team will come out with any type of hangover back at home. They have to be viewing it as a positive knowing that Beathard can keep them in games, and I think they’ll be fired up and ready to take on the Rams.

The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

I love a home dog, and this seems like a great spot for the 49ers to be catching double digits. If you exclude Week 17 of last year because the Rams were resting their starters, the last time these two teams played was back in Week 3 of 2017. The 49ers kept it close with Brian Hoyer at quarterback, and only lost by two points. The Rams have several key injuries, and I don’t see anyway the 49ers don’t score enough points to keep this game from getting to double digits.

Prediction: 49ers +10

Full-Game Total Pick

I also like the over a lot here. Two of the best offensive minds in the game will be going head to head, and both have shown an ability to dissect the other’s defense. As mentioned above, in the last real game between these two teams, the final score ended up 41-39. I expect another shootout here, and I think this game will sail well past 52.

Prediction: Over 52.5

Half-Time Side Pick

I like the 49ers a lot in the first half here. They’ve been stewing all week about their close loss on Monday night, and I think they’ll come out fired up for this one. The crowd should help them get out to a hot start, and I think the Rams will get caught sleeping early.

Prediction: 49ers +6

Half-Time Total Bet

The first half is where offensive geniuses like McVay and Shanahan make their biggest impact. They have all week to design the first few series of plays, and I think both of them will have success. Both sides should score touchdowns in the first quarter, leading to a very high scoring first half.

Prediction: Over 27

Alex Porter

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