Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers Pick 12/21/19
Los Angeles Rams (8-6 SU, 9-5 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (11-3 SU, 8-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date/Time: Saturday Night Football, December 21, 2019 at 8:15PM EST
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Point Spread: LAR +6.5/SF -6.5 (GTBets - Deposit $250 and get $250 FREE! - Real Cash Bonus!)
Over/Under Total: 45.5
The Los Angeles Rams take on the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday Night Football. It’s a high-stakes NFC West pairing between two squads looking to atone for last week’s failings. San Francisco took a puzzling and deflating 29-22 loss to the Falcons, a loss they couldn’t really afford as Seattle keeps winning. To still have a chance to win the NFC West, they have to win. The Rams did even worse on Sunday, going on the road to play Dallas and getting mopped up 44-21, in a game that wasn’t even as close as that score suggests. What can they come up with taking on an irritated Niners squad on the road? For whatever it’s worth, the Niners beat the Rams handily when they played in LA in week six, but a lot has changed since then.
Assessing the Rams Going into Week 16
After watching them on Sunday, perhaps some calm needs to be restored. Granted, getting your hats handed to you by a Cowboys team that has not been playing well with what the Rams had on the line is alarming. A path to the postseason is now exceedingly hard to envision. And anyone holding out that the magic from last season would resurface this year can forget about it. That’s gone, at least for 2019. But the Rams had won three out of four and five out of seven before that. And this is a team that is going to lose here and there, so maybe Sunday needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
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Has San Fran Lost Their Edge
There might be no other way to put it when a team goes 3-3 after an 8-0 start. And to go from leading Atlanta 22-17 with a few seconds left and end up losing 29-22 is a hard pill to swallow and perhaps a cause for alarm. But losing to Baltimore by three and Seattle in OT is not enough to condemn a team, particularly when they also deliver wins over Green Bay and New Orleans in that same stretch. This week will tell the story, and they know it. This isn’t so that they can merely stay in the mix to win the NFC West, but it’s also a gut-check, of sorts. One would have to figure the 49ers would be putting a lot into this game on Saturday, as being at home for two straight weeks this late in the season without getting a win over the Falcons and the Rams would qualify as a horrible development for a team that worked so hard to get here.
How the San Fran Defense Matches Up
In the first game of the season, they held the Rams to 7 points. There have been some hiccups lately on this side of the ball, and the fierceness we saw in the first half of the season has dissipated. The Saints and the Ravens are one thing, but to collapse late to an Atlanta team playing with far-lower stakes was hard to watch. After allowing 75 points in their last two games, however, maybe this will be more to the 49ers’ liking.
Other than the occasional spark, the Rams’ offense just hasn’t been able to follow up on what was almost a championship season last year. With his 78-yard output in the first game and coming off a rough outing in Dallas, Jared Goff will have his hands full against a team that will be angling hard to get back on-point. But whether it’s the O-line, others team becoming wise, or the regression of Goff and Gurley, this Rams offense has not seen a lot of success this season against good defenses.
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Can the Rams’ Defense Bail Them Out?
After giving up 44 points to Dallas and allowing a feeding frenzy from the Cowboys’ run-game, it’s hard to attach much hope to a Rams’ defense that melted on Sunday. But the combination of the San Francisco offense being more-inconsistent lately and how the Rams “D” had been performing before last week offers some hope. Other than last week and against a Baltimore team that is lighting everyone up, they’ve been holding opponents to very little in the second half of the season.
You have to figure the San Francisco run-game will once again be trouble for the Rams. Three rushers in Raheem Mostert, Matt Breida, and Tevin Coleman are all over 500 yards on the ground, having all chipped in aerially, as well. We’ll see if Garoppolo and targets like George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders, and Deebo Samuel will thrive against a Rams’ secondary that has been stiff this season, despite all their other issues. But the variety of offense could trouble a Rams’ defense that seemed to hit rock-bottom last week, doing so at the worst possible time. After all, they did to salvage the season, it all seemed like a waste of time on Sunday when they folded like a house of cards.
Lay the Points on the Home Favorite
Last week’s loss to Atlanta notwithstanding, a lot of what we’re seeing from the Niners the last six games has a lot to do with who they’re playing. This game is a definite fork in the road for the Niners, from a morale standpoint, and in the standings too. Either they thrive here and start putting together their case for what might be a deep postseason run, or they might have to deal with the reality of being a team that peaked too soon. I see the Niners putting together a clean 60 minutes and handling the Rams on Saturday night for the win and the cover.
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