The San Francisco 49ers let the top seed, division lead and Week 15 victory narrowly slip out of their grasp like sands through the hourglass, losing a game on a last second play for the third time this season by falling 22-29 to the Atlanta Falcons at Levi's Stadium last Sunday. The Niners can't let injuries or excuses derail them for the final two games of the season, starting with a Los Angeles Rams team seeking revenge and fighting for its playoff life in a Saturday evening prime time match up that will be San Francisco's final regular season home game. Here we discuss the odds and analysis from a betting perspective.

When: Saturday December 21st, 2019 at 5:15pm PST (NFL)
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
Line: 49ers -6.5, o/u 45

Los Angeles Rams
Just when Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams looked like they were rounding into their 2018 form following convincing division wins over the Cardinals and Seahawks, they traveled to Dallas and were absolutely annihilated by the Cowboys in a game that was not as close as the 21-44 final score.

After fifteen weeks, Los Angeles ranks 13th in Football Outsiders' weighted total DVOA rating at 3.2 percent (represents an attempt to figure out how a team is playing right now, as opposed to over the season as a whole, by making recent games more important than earlier games), 18th in weighted offensive DVOA at -3.6 percent and 10th in weighted defensive DVOA with -6.8 percent.

The Rams' offense ranks 12th with 369.9 yards per game, 13th with 23.7 points per game, 6th with 276.1 passing yards per game, 24th with 93.9 rushing yards per game, 13th with 5.7 offensive yards per play and 4th with 25.66 seconds per play (pace).

Los Angeles' defense is 12th in giving up 336.2 yards per game, 15th in yielding 21.9 points per game, 9th with 220.6 passing yards conceded per game, 23rd in allowing 115.6 rushing yards per game and 5th with 5.0 defensive yards per play.

The Rams' offensive line is ranked 15th in run blocking and 2nd in pass protection. Los Angeles' defensive line ranks 17th in adjusted line yards and 6th in adjusted sack rate. Jared Goff ranks 17th with a DYAR of 361 and 26th with a total QBR of 45.7. The Rams have an ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) score of 3.3 and are 9-5 ATS and 5-9 to the over/under so far this season.

San Francisco 49ers
Through fifteen weeks, San Francisco is ranked 3rd in weighted DVOA at 26.2 percent, 10th in weighted offensive DVOA at 4.8 percent and 3rd in weighted defensive DVOA at -20.6 percent.

The 49ers' offense is 6th with 383.2 yards per game, 2nd with 29.9 points per game, 13th with 236.2 passing yards per game, 2nd with 147.0 rushing yards per game, 7th with 5.9 offensive yards per play and 25th with 28.74 seconds per play.

San Francisco's defense is 2nd in allowing 269.0 yards per game, 5th by conceding 18.4 points per game, 1st in giving up 154.4 passing yards per game, 21st in yielding 114.6 rushing yards per game and 2nd with 4.6 defensive yards per play .

The Niners' offensive line is ranked 10th in run blocking and 9th in pass protection. San Francisco's defensive line is 13th in adjusted line yards and 1st in adjusted sack rate. Jimmy Garoppolo ranks 11th with a DYAR of 680 and 12th with a total QBR of 59.1. The Niners have an ESPN FPI score of 7.7 and are 8-5-1 ATS and 7-7 to the over/under this season.

Prediction
The Los Angeles Rams will be playing in their second consecutive road game but both teams are dealing with short weeks following embarrassing losses. San Francisco should have a slight advantage playing at home on a short week after playing its previous game at home, but valid concerns about the Niners' defense, including its pass rush, have emerged over the last few weeks.


Richard Sherman and K'Waun Williams were reported to be expected on the practice field today but San Francisco's interception rate had been declining recently even when they were on the field.


While it is possible that San Francisco's defense steps up after getting gashed in Week 14 and losing in the last moments of Week 15, the Niners are still contending with a number of injuries which could be factors on a shorter week.

We predicted that San Francisco would win this game in our preseason analysis, but feel that 6.5 points is too many to lay based on our expectation for this game to be a tightly contested, division battle. Though they are not completely eliminated from the playoffs, Los Angeles would need to win out and for the Vikings to lose out for the Rams to sneak in, and we expect Sean McVay to throw the kitchen sink at San Francisco in his team's final effort to stave off elimination.

Even though this total looks fishy by being so low and their last contest finished way under the posted total and with prime time games later in the season trending toward the under, we expect both defenses to still be somewhat vulnerable on a shorter week and both the Rams' and Niners' offenses to bounce back after both had dismal showings in Week 15. Pick: Over 45

Season:
SU: 6-8
ATS: 6-8

Poll

  • What is your best bet for Niners vs Rams on 12/21/19?
  • 49ers -6.5
  • Rams +6.5
  • Over 45
  • Under 45