San Francisco 49ers (2-5) at St. Louis Rams (3-3)
The Rams are not as good as their 3-3 record, as they rank 29th in rate of moving the chains differential. Given that, it might seem a little silly that they’re favored by 9 here against the 49ers. However, I think this line is pretty legitimate, as San Francisco is the worst team in the NFL by a wide margin, at least in terms of rate of moving the chains differential. Following their 20-3 loss at home to the Seahawks last week, this line has moved from 6 in the early line to 9 now, but I still think it’s appropriate. Typically, I like to fade significant line movements because they tend to be overreactions a single week, but I’m not going to be doing that this week.
The 49ers are also in a bad spot, as they host the Falcons next week, a game in which they’re expected to be 4 point home underdogs. Teams are 72-118 ATS since 2012 before being home underdogs of 3+, 40-79 ATS over that same time period before being 4+ point home underdogs, and 21-51 ATS before being 6+ point home underdogs. If that line were to move to 6, it would open up another dooming trend, as 6+ point underdogs are 40-61 ATS before being 6+ point underdogs since 2012. Even if the line doesn’t end up going to 6, the logic still holds. Bad teams tend to struggle and lose big when they have an upcoming distraction. I’m not confident in the Rams at all, but they should be the right side.
St. Louis Rams 20 San Francisco 49ers 10
Pick against the spread: St. Louis -9