NFL Pick: Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles Rams (6-0 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-5 SU, 2-4 ATS)
When: October 21, 2018, 4:25 PM EST
Where: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
BY: Rick Wise
Point Spread: LAR-10/SF+10
Takeaways From Week 6
The Los Angeles Rams remained unbeaten after a thrilling 23-20 victory over the Denver Broncos Sunday in a game that saw the NFL season’s first snow as well as a Rams team that had to overcome one of the league’s fiercest pass defenses.
As expected, the Broncos pass rush harassed Jared Goff all day, easily providing him with his stiffest test to date. He finished 14-of-28 for 201 yards, no touchdowns and 1 interception and a miserable 58.8 passer rating in what was easily his worst game of the season. But we learned that this team can manufacture points in a variety of different ways. On Sunday, that way was Todd Gurley, who gouged Denver for a career-high 208 yards and 2 touchdowns on 28 carries. The effort put Gurley in the record books as the first Ram to record over 200 yards rushing since Marshall Faulk did it in 2001.
We also found out that Los Angeles can stop the run when they need to. After allowing the Seahawks to pile up 190 yards rushing last week, it was clear the Rams would need to make run defense a focal point. Coming in to the game, the Broncos were averaging a league-leading 5.6 yards per rush while the Rams came in ranked 29th in the league against the run, allowing 5.0 yards per carry. And they managed to turn things around, stifling the Denver ground game to the tune of 3.5 yards per carry and 60 total yards rushing.
Meanwhile, the 49ers lost a heartbreaker to the Packers Monday night at Lambeau Field after gifting Aaron Rodgers with 1:07 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. Rodgers drove Green Bay down the field with the precision of a mohel, setting up Mason Crosby’s 27-yard field goal for the 33-30 victory.
As heart-wrenching as the loss was, there were some good things to come out of it. For one, Marquise Goodwin finally lived up to his billing. Everyone knew the guy was a burner with Olympic-level track speed (he made the 2012 U.S. Olympic team in the long jump for Christ’s sake), but Monday night may have been the first true glimpse of how much faster he is than everyone else on the field. He nabbed four passes for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns, including highlight reel catches of 67 and 30 yards. When healthy, Goodwin is one of the top homerun threats in the game.
We also learned that turnovers continue to be a big problem for the 49ers. The three they committed against Green Bay were more responsible for the loss than Aaron Rodgers was. The 49ers have now given the ball up 10 times in the last three games, giving them a league-worst -11 turnover differential.
These two teams have an even longer history than you might expect. They’ve met 137 times dating all the way back to 1950, and the 49ers lead the series 69-65-3. The 49ers have also had the upper hand as of late, winning 7 of the last 10 matchups dating back to 2013.
For the Rams, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are DE Michael Brockers (shoulder), LB Matt Longacre (back), and WR Cooper Kupp (knee)
For the 49ers, listed as questionable for Sunday are S Jimmie Ward (knee), G Joshua Grant (toe), CB Adrian Colbert (head), WR Trent Taylor (back), and WR Dante Pettis (knee)
When the Rams Have the Ball
The Rams needed Todd Gurley to save their offense against Denver, but that’s not likely to be the case against the 49ers and their 25th-ranked pass defense. Jared Goff has routinely shredded better pass defenses this season and was only really affected by one of them in the Broncos last week. Look for Goff to get back on track against San Fran with over 300 yards passing and 30 attempts.
When the 49ers Have the Ball
C.J. Beathard has been a nice surprise stepping in for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. He’s thrown for 892 yards and 6 touchdowns since taking the reins in week 4 and if not for an untimely fourth quarter interception against Green Bay, he would have gotten the better of Aaron Rodgers. And fortunately for Beathard, he’s got the league’s third-ranked rushing game to lean on, which should help enormously against a stout Rams front four. LA happens to also be pretty good against the run, though, allowing just 99 rushing yards per contest for the league’s 14th-ranked rushing defense. So it’ll be interesting to see what Kyle Shanahan draws up, but a run-heavy gameplan seems like the smartest route against the Rams.
- LA Rams is 3-5-1 ATS in its last 9 games
- LA Rams is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of LA Rams’s last 12 games
- LA Rams is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 8 of LA Rams’s last 11 games on the road
- LA Rams is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing San Francisco
- LA Rams is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing San Francisco
- LA Rams is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against San Francisco
- LA Rams is 2-7-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against San Francisco
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of LA Rams’s last 5 games when playing on the road against San Francisco
- San Francisco is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- San Francisco is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Francisco’s last 5 games
- San Francisco is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- San Francisco is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
- San Francisco is 4-13 SU in its last 17 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Francisco’s last 6 games at home
- San Francisco is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games when playing LA Rams
- San Francisco is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing LA Rams
- San Francisco is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing at home against LA Rams
- San Francisco is 7-2-1 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against LA Rams
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Francisco’s last 5 games when playing at home against LA Rams
Sunny skies and temperatures of 73 degrees are expected for this one with humidity at 39 percent and NW winds of 11 mph.
Rick Wise’s Pick
The line in this one is currently giving the Rams 10 points and that might be a little too much, considering they needed unexpected heroics from Todd Gurley to get past a Denver team that has a good chance of finishing below .500. L.A. will win it outright but the points look like the safest play here with a point total that’s likely to go over 52.5.