Sunday’s matchup between the 49ers and the Rams is more about the future than the present. This weekend, the Los Angeles Rams will rest many starters as they prepare for the playoffs. Unfortunately, that will lessen the quality of this game. For San Francisco, they will look to win their 5th straight game of the Garoppolo era. Kickoff inside the LA Memorial Coliseum is at 4:25 PM ET.
The 49ers and the Rams will meet for the 137th time on Sunday. The 49ers hold the advantage with an all-time record of 68-65-3. San Francisco also holds the advantage with a road record of 34-32-1 against the Rams. Over their last 10 home games against San Fran, the Rams have gone 3-7. These two teams met earlier this year and played an exciting game that saw the Rams win 41-39.
San Francisco (5-10) is 2-5 on the road and comes into this contest having won 4 straight overall games. They’ve also taken 3 of the last 4 games in Los Angeles. The 49ers are the most exciting 5-10 team in recent memory and it’s all because of Jimmy G. San Francisco has found their franchise QB and they look to punctuate their end of the season with another win.
The Rams (11-4) are 4-3 at home and have won 4 of their last 5 overall games. LA has played their last 2 games on the road and return home looking to rest their players for the playoffs. If the Rams win, they will be the #3 seed in the playoffs. If they lose and the Saints win, then the Rams will be the #4 seed. Odds are that they will lose due to resting their players against a surging 49ers team.
The Rams started out as a 6 point favorite when the spread opened, but it has changed dramatically and the 49ers are now favored by 3.5 points. The Over/Under opened at 43.5 total points and it remains unchanged.
These two teams had a historic rivalry from the 1970’s all the way into this millennium. Unfortunately, both teams went through dark periods and lost more than they won. Fast forward to this weekend, and both franchises look to be on the rebound. The Rams are heading to the playoffs and the 49ers have found a savior at quarterback. The state of California and the NFC West is buzzing over these revelations. However, we will have to wait until next year to see both teams at their full potential since the Rams will rest their starters this weekend.
With that being said, this game will be all about the 49ers offense led by Jimmy G. On the season (4 starts), Garoppolo has a 69 completion percentage, a QBR of 80.4, 1,268 passing yards, 5 touchdown throws and a 98.9 QB rating. He’s averaging over 300 yards per game and has defeated 2 playoff caliber teams over the last 2 weeks in the Titans and Jaguars.
Last weekend, Garoppolo finished the game with a 102.4 rating against the league’s top defense in the Jaguars. With the Rams resting starters, I expect Jimmy G. to come close to 400 yards on the day. 2 weeks ago, he threw for 381 against the Titans, so it’s a strong possibility.
With Jimmy G. the 49ers offense has taken off. What was a dismal offense now scores an average of 27.5 ppg, which is higher than their season average of 19.8 ppg. This weekend, I expect them to easily surpass 28 points and cruise to a big victory. Look for something in the range of 38-14.
As for the Rams, without their top players, they won’t put up much of a fight against the Jimmy G. led 49ers. The heart and soul of the Rams offense Todd Gurley will sit this weekend, which is sad considering the monster year he has had. Gurley leads the NFL with 19 touchdowns and 2,093 scrimmage yards. Another strong game would have definitely given TGIII a shot at the NFL MVP trophy against TB12. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. So, this explosive Rams offense will probably have their lowest output of the season without Goff and Gurley. Saints and 49ers fans will be watching this game with excitement. Rams fans will be cat-napping throughout as they wait for the playoffs.
The 49ers are 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games, 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games, and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against the Rams. L.A. is 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 home games and 8-15-2 ATS in their last 25 home games against San Francisco.