The San Francisco 49ers (11-3) surrendered control of the NFC with a loss at home to the Atlanta Falcons last week. That loss put the 49ers behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, and a second loss to Seattle in Week 17 would send San Francisco on the road for the first round of the playoffs. The 49ers’ attention is on the Los Angeles Rams (8-6) this week though, and a win would put them in position to potentially secure the No. 1 seed in the postseason in their season finale.
As for the Rams, they still have a slim chance of making the playoffs, but they need to win out and Minnesota to lose its final two games to sneak into the postseason. The Rams will be favored by more than a touchdown next week against the Arizona Cardinals if they upset the 49ers, and the Vikings have losable games against Green Bay and Chicago to end the year.
Here’s everything to know about betting on 49ers vs. Rams in Week 16, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for the Saturday night football game.
MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends at Sports Insider
49ers vs. Rams odds for ‘Saturday Night Football’
- San Francisco 49ers -6.5 vs. Los Angeles Rams, O/U 44
The spread has not moved since the line opened on Sunday night, but the total has fallen by a significant margin. Originally, the total was set at 46.5, and that has steadily dropped to 44.
49ers vs. Rams all-time series
San Francisco has a slight historical edge over its NFC West rival. The 49ers lead the all-time series with the Rams 70-67-3, and they won a whopping 17 straight games during the 1990s. Earlier in the season, San Francisco’s defense came up huge to lead the Niners past the Rams 20-7, allowing Sean McVay’s offense to compile just 10 first downs and 157 total yards.
Four trends to know
— Almost two-thirds of bettors like San Francisco to cover on Saturday night.
— Sharp money is on the under as 66 percent of bets have come in on the over, but the line has continued to drop.
— The Rams are 7-2 ATS in their last nine road games, but they are 22-46 ATS in their last 68 road games against a team with a winning home record
— San Francisco is 7-18-1 ATS in its last 26 games as a favorite and 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 games against division opponents.
Three things to watch
San Francisco’s run defense
The 49ers have had one of the best defenses in the NFL for most of the season, but the run defense has struggled the last few weeks. The loss of linebacker Kwon Alexander and nose tackle D.J. Jones made this front seven easier to run on, and San Francisco is now allowing 4.6 YPC. Starters strong safety Jaquiski Tartt and defensive end Dee Ford will miss this game due to injury as well, so Todd Gurley and the Rams could find success running the ball.
The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year
Aaron Donald has won the last two Defensive Player of the Year awards, and he is having another stellar season. Donald has 11 sacks and 22 tackles for loss in 2019, and his play has opened things up for teammates like Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Matthews. Opponents constantly double team Donald since he is the most disruptive player in the NFL, but if he can make his impact felt, the Rams could pull off the upset.
The Rams boast one of the best receiving trios in the league. Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods will both be 1,000-yard receivers if they stay healthy, and Brandin Cooks remains a solid deep threat when he’s on the field. Kupp and Woods have been targeted a combined 236 times, and Jared Goff will constantly be looking their way.
Player to watch
George Kittle is the best all-around tight end in the NFL. Kittle is a devastating run blocker that is constantly finishing his blocks with authority, and he is an excellent pass catcher too. He is coming off his best game of the season last week against Atlanta, and he is the most important person on this offense outside Jimmy Garoppolo.
49ers vs. Rams prediction
Los Angeles is a live dog in this game due to San Francisco’s injuries. The Rams have a real shot at pulling off the upset, but they don’t have a linebacker that can match up against Kittle. Look for him to be the difference maker.
49ers 24, Rams 21