Even with fate somewhat out of their hands, the Los Angeles Rams have no choice but to show up under the lights Saturday night if they want a place in the postseason. And it couldn’t come against a much tougher opponent.
The Rams (8-6) got some help from Green Bay eliminating Chicago last week and will hope for some more as the Packers take on another wild-card challenger this week, but L.A. will have its hands full on the road against one of the top teams in the NFC. After all, the San Francisco 49ers (11-3) are still looking to contest Seattle’s claim to both the division and the conference’s No. 1 seed.
Here’s a closer look at the Week 16 matchup along with background, stats and advice on the two teams heading into the penultimate week of the NFL regular season.
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Rams vs. 49ers Game Details
Date: Saturday, December 21
Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Levi’s Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
TV: NFL Network
Spread: Rams +6.5
*All odds are courtesy of OddsShark.
It was 2016 the last time the Rams were road underdogs of 6.5 points or more, but the line has held constant throughout the week across most popular books, according to VegasInsider.com. The overwhelming majority of bettors are confident the 49ers can live up to those expectations with 77 percent of public bets picking them to win, according to ActionNetwork.com.
Meanwhile, 60 percent of public bets are taking the over after the Rams got drubbed for more than 40 points in their last important matchup.
- Los Angeles is 13-6 ATS in its last 19 games
- Total has gone UNDER in 7 of Los Angeles’ last 9 games
- Total has gone OVER in 6 of San Francisco’s last 8 games
- San Francisco is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games
- Each team is averaging 22 points or more in last 10 series matchups
- Total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles’ last six games at San Francisco
*All trends are courtesy of OddsShark.
Analysis & Picks
The Niners have looked better than they did in last week’s 29-22 loss to the lowly Atlanta Falcons, but they averaged 36.5 points in their previous two home games with a dominant 37-8 victory over the Packers one of their most signature wins in 2019. It won’t be easy for Jimmy Garoppolo to rally the troops against one of the top pass defenses in the NFL, either.
The Rams added a crucial piece when they traded for Jalen Ramsey before the deadline, as they have been the sixth-best defense against the pass since Week 8. The trend has been nearly the opposite for the Niners defense, which has taken several steps backward in recent weeks against foes such as Dree Brees, Lamar Jackson, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray.
The Niners can wrap up the No. 1 seed in the NFC if they can win their final two games, including a regular-season finale against the Seahawks, but continuing to stumble against the Rams would likely seal their second-place fate in the division. It will take newly-named Pro Bowler Nick Bosa and the rest of San Francisco’s defensive front to keep Todd Gurley from making a late-season charge.
Pick: 49ers -6.5
Prediction: 49ers 38, Rams 17