Los Angeles Rams (4-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-3)
The 49ers were embarrassed last week, losing at home in blowout fashion to a previously 1-win Dolphins team, by final score of 43-17. The good news is that teams tend to be a good value to bet on after a game like that, as teams are 41-24 ATS since 1989 after losing by double digits as favorites of a touchdown or more. It’s not hard to see how that loss could have created significant line value, as the 49ers have gone from being 3-point home favorites on the early line last week in this game against the Rams to now being 3.5-point home underdogs.
The big problem for the 49ers last week was quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo not looking remotely healthy in his first game back from a 2-game absence with an ankle injury, as Garoppolo completed just 7 of 17 before being pulled for backup CJ Beathard. If I knew Garoppolo would be significantly healthier this week, this would be an easier bet, but it’s hard to be confident in that, even if practice reports have been good. The 49ers also get one of their starting cornerbacks Emmanuel Mosley back, though their defensive injuries are still very significant and make this unit a far cry of what it was last season.
The 49ers’ offense is much closer to full strength if Garoppolo is healthy, with starting running back Raheem Mostert, top wide receiver Deebo Samuel, fellow starting wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, and stud tight end George Kittle all returning from absences in recent weeks, which theoretically should allow them to make this a competitive game, but if Garoppolo has to be pulled for Beathard, that will become a lot tougher. I’m taking the 49ers for pick ‘em purposes, but I wouldn’t bet on this unless I hear something I’m more confident in regarding Garoppolo’s ankle.
Los Angeles Rams 24 San Francisco 49ers 23
Pick against the spread: San Francisco +3.5