Rams vs. 49ers Week 6 Odds & Picks

October 18, 8:20 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
LAR -3/SF +3

The Los Angeles Rams come into Levi's Stadium for a Sunday Night Football showdown with the San Francisco 49ers in week 6 NFC West action. These familiar division rivals are both at an important crossroads. At 4-1, the Rams look pretty good and are in good shape, but with the 5-0 Seahawks in control of the division, the Rams need to keep pace. For San Fran, their situation has become dire, with two straight losses and what appears to be widespread team-collapse. A 43-17 blowout loss at home to the Dolphins illustrates how far they've fallen. Losing this game would give them three straight losses, all at home, and with a slate of tough road games upcoming, falling to 2-4 would put the Niners on the brink. They need this.

Images as Stark as it Appears?

On the surface, you have a Rams team that appears to have rediscovered its prior form. Their only loss of the season on the road in Buffalo came as a result of a bad call in many people's minds. We see Jared Goff surgically operating with that good line and a stocked crew of talent around him. He is bolstered by a defense that is third in fewest points allowed, stout against both the run and pass, with a vast playmaking component and an enormous pass-rush. Then on the other sideline, we see a team that has lost an alarming amount of personnel. The 49ers now have QB problems, with neither Nick Mullens nor CJ Beathard being very reliable, as Jimmy Garoppolo looked anything but ready for action in his one half of action on Sunday before getting the hook. Garoppolo's line is not the unit we saw last season. There is no continuity, and missing so many pieces on defense has really begun to show. Losing to a previously-winless Eagles team and getting blown out by Miami in consecutive weeks, both at home, is just a bad look.

One could also look at it a different way. All four of the Rams' wins this season have come against NFC East teams, a division that is a combined 4-15-1. So perhaps we're dealing with at least a mini-mirage. Sure, the Rams have looked good, but a lot of teams this season will look good going against that division, and not all of them are going to be contenders. And what if Garoppolo can shake it off and get back in there and make it happen? Sure, the Niners are torn apart from injuries, but their offense has gotten most of their pieces back, and conceivably, they could get back on track. And when dealing with a defending conference champion that worked so hard to get back to prominence, you can't discount the element of urgency.

The Real Problems With San Francisco

Sometimes, a previously-successful formula just falls flat. For the 49ers, they're just not a team that fares well in the face of injuries typically. And over the last several years, we've seen an ungodly amount of injuries render them rubbish—all except for last season. What you end up with is one 13-3 season, sandwiched by a bunch of really crappy seasons. They have a great team with that roster, but it's a recipe that is easily-disrupted. And as we've seen over recent years, when bad things start to snowball, they haven't been able to come up with an answer. Last week's home game against Miami was also an urgent situation, and they couldn't even come remotely close. What changes in one week to appreciably alter that equation?

Smelling a Rat

Looking at the spread here, some might have expected the Rams to be favored by more. Granted, images of last season remain in the minds of bettors, where a conference championship-worthy team in the Niners twice beat a Rams team that went sideways. But based on this season and current form alone, it seems like an odd quote on some levels. It's times like those where the experienced bettor pauses, no matter how strongly he may feel about his pick. Potential Rams backers might be licking their chops, but in few other arenas does the expression “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is” apply more than it does in betting football.

Rams vs. 49ers Point Spread Pick 10/18/20

With the Rams' pass-rush humming along nicely after an 8-sack game last week, I see the San Francisco offensive line really being up against it, which doesn't offer a lot of promise for the wayward Garoppolo or whoever else ends behind center. And with how well the LA secondary is playing, albeit against some substandard offenses, it's hard to envision this being the week for a huge San Fran offensive about-face. I see the Rams offense taking it to the ravaged Frisco “D,” enough to get out of the Bay Area with a win and cover on Sunday night. I'm taking the Rams.
Free Pick: 
Take the Rams -3
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