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NFL Free Pick from Linebacker: 49ers vs Rams

NFL Free Pick Linebacker 49ers vs Rams

San Francisco 49ers @ Los Angeles Rams (LAR -3.5, O/U 51)

The unbeaten San Francisco 49ers will head south to LA on Sunday to square off with the Rams. Los Angeles has dropped two in a row after starting 3-0 and will have an extra few days to prepare for the 4-0 49ers after losing last Thursday night on a Greg Zuerlein missed field goal. Meanwhile, Kyle Shanahan will lead his team on a short week after running down the Browns’ throats on Monday Night Football.

The Rams are currently listed as 3.5-point favorites ahead of Sunday’s matchup, but our model sees things differently. We project the 49ers will win by a score of 25.8 - 25.2, so it should be an extremely tight matchup between these two West Coast foes. Our model suggests a wager of $61 on SF +3.5 for an average $100 bettor.

The Linebacker’s model is 46-20 ATS (69.7%) for +13.08 units and 38-34 (52.7%) on OVER/UNDERs for +10.48 units through five weeks of NFL, producing a profit of $2,356. Head over to thelinebacker.com to sign up for a free trial and get access to EVERY NFL Week 6 and NCAAF Week 7 prediction.

Why will San Francisco cover the spread?

  • The Niners lead the NFL with 200 yards rushing per game. With Tevin Coleman now back in the mix, Kyle Shanahan has multiple starting-level backs at his disposal. Matt Breida leads the team in rushing attempts (52) and yards per carry (6.5), while Raheem Mostert isn’t far behind with 41 carries and a 5.8 yards per carry mark. In just 22 attempts on the season, Coleman has piled up 120 yards (5.5 per attempt) and a touchdown.
  • While San Francisco’s offense has gotten a majority of the hype, its defense has been stellar to begin the season. The Niners are allowing just 5.4 yards per pass attempt (fourth-best) and a league-low 53.49 percent completion rate. Their 4.5 yards per play allowed is tied for second with notoriously tough defenses in Buffalo and Minnesota. San Fran’s run defense has also been stout, allowing 81.8 yards per game (fifth-best) on 3.8 yards per carry (eighth-best).
  • The Rams offense has been average in Sean McVay’s third season as head coach. Their 7.1 yards per pass attempt ranks 14th, while their 4.2 yards per rush attempt ranks 16th. Jared Goff has also struggled with turnovers, coughing up 10 on the season. He’s thrown seven interceptions and lost three fumbles.
  • San Francisco has an elite pass rush that should bother the turnover-prone Goff. The 49ers rank sixth with 3.2 sacks per game, and an even better fifth in sack percentage, getting to opposing quarterbacks on 9.15 percent of their drop-backs.
  • The 49ers enter Sunday’s matchup with the edge in third-down situations. Their 44.9 percent conversion rate on offense ranks 10th-best, while their 34.6 percent allowance rate on defense is eighth-best. The Rams have been solid on offense, converting 40.9 percent of their third-down chances (14th), but have struggled getting opponents off the field on defense, allowing them to convert 41.3 percent of third downs (21st).

How to bet the total in 49ers @ Rams:

The Linebacker projects a final score of 25.8 - 25.2 in favor of the 49ers. With 51 projected points and an OVER/UNDER of 51, we have no betting suggestion for the total in this game.

Need-to-know stats for 49ers @ Rams:

  • 5 receptions, 62.4 yards, 0.32 TDs - George Kittle is the premier option in the 49ers offense, and we expect he’ll lead the team in catches, yards and touchdowns against LA on Sunday. No other pass catcher is projected for more than three catches or 35-plus yards, so he’s far and away the best option for Jimmy Garoppolo.
  • 28 carries, 130.2 total rushing yards - While we expect San Francisco will fall short of its 200-yard rushing average this season, Niners running backs are projected to finish with 4.71 yards per carry. Jimmy G and Deebo Samuel also project to carry the ball at least once, but the majority of the yardage will be eaten up by Tevin Coleman (10 carries for 45.5 yards), Matt Breida (9 for 41.2) and Raheem Mostert (6 for 31.0).
  • 22/39, 227.1 passing yards, 1.55 TDs, 1.16 INTs - Jared Goff has been pretty awful this season considering he signed a four-year, $134-million extension this offseason. Goff has thrown seven interceptions and lost three fumbles in five games, and his 44.3 QBR ranks 23rd in the NFL. We project he’ll have a 56.4 percent completion rate against the sneaky-good Niners secondary, fall shy of 250 yards and throw nearly as many INTs as touchdowns. There could be major problems in LA if Goff continues his poor performance.