Los Angeles Rams (0-0) at San Francisco 49ers (0-0)
The 49ers were the worst team in the league last season, finishing dead last in rate of moving the chains differential. They managed to win 5 games, but just 1 of those 5 wins came by more than 6 points, while their average margin of defeat was 16.45 points per loss. All those 5 wins really did for them was take them out of position to draft a quarterback early, leaving them to start Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. With 46 million in unused cap space following an off-season in which they had a very tough time convincing anyone to sign with them, this might be the least talented team in the league once again. This time they might not be fortunate enough to win 5 games (or unfortunate enough depending on how you look at it).
However, the Rams might be equally bad. At the very least, they’re close. They won 7 games last season, but they also needed good luck in close games to even go 7-9. Of those 7 wins, 5 came by 8 points or fewer, while only 3 of their 9 losses did, as they finished 30th in rate of moving the chains differential overall. They were better than the 49ers last season, but their off-season was even worse than the San Francisco’s. The 49ers didn’t get any better, but the Rams actually got worse. They lost a pair of talented defensive starters in Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod in free agency and traded away their entire draft to move up to #1 to reach for California quarterback Jared Goff, who won’t even be the starter to begin the season.
Outside of running back and defensive line, the Rams have major problems all over the field, especially in the receiving corps, in the secondary, and on the offensive line. I’m confused why they’re favored here on the road in San Francisco, even by 2.5 points. These two teams are much more even than that suggests and the Rams aren’t good enough to be road favorites against anyone. I wish we were getting a full field goal with the 49ers because about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal, but I like the 49ers to win here at home. That’s probably the only time I’ll say that this season.
San Francisco 49ers 13 Los Angeles Rams 10 Upset Pick +110
Pick against the spread: San Francisco +2.5