When the Rams (4-1) travel north to San Francisco to take on the 49ers (2-3) on “Sunday Night Football” in Week 6 (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC), it’s a tale of two recent NFC champions from the NFC West going in different directions. While the Rams try to gain ground on the idle first-place Seahawks (5-0), the 49ers are just looking to get back to .500 and sneak back into the wild-card race.
The Rams, with elite inside pass rusher Aaron Donald and shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey, are playing strong defense. They have also rediscovered their mighty rushing attack for Sean McVay to better support Jared Goff’s passing.
The 49ers’ defense has been riddled with major injuries, none bigger than pass rusher Nick Bosa. Offensively, they are just getting back to full health in the passing game with Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk to try to help red-hot running back Raheem Mostert, who also had to miss time with a knee injury.
Here’s everything to know about betting on 49ers vs. Rams in Week 6, including updated odds, trends and our prediction for “Sunday Night Football.”
WEEK 6 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up
Betting odds for “Sunday Night Football”
- Spread: Rams by 3.5
- Over/under: 51.5
- Point spread odds: Rams +105, 49ers -125
The Rams have been a little better than field-goal favorites down the road in California all week. They are the healthier team playing better overall football at the moment and the 49ers have lost two straight at home as favorites vs. the Eagles and the Dolphins.
49ers vs. Rams all-time series
The 49ers lead the long-time NFC West rivalry 71-67-3. They swept the season series on the way to Super Bowl 54 in 2019, 20-7 in Los Angeles and 34-31 in San Francisco. Overall the 49ers have won six of the past nine meetings. The Rams swept the 49ers in 2018, 39-10 in San Francisco and 48-32 in Los Angeles, on the way to Super Bowl 53.
Three trends to know
— 59 percent of bettors are following the trend of the Rams being the better team in 2020 and taking them to cover the spread.
— 94 percent of bettors like the game to go over the high point total, despite the level of defensive talent on the field.
— The Rams are 3-2 against the spread this season. The 49ers are 2-3. The total has gone over in only 2 Rams games this season. The total has gone over in three 49ers games this season.
Three things to watch
Donald vs. the 49ers’ offenslve line
The 49ers are pretty solid at left guard and center with Laken Tomlinson and Ben Garland, but Daniel Brunskill has struggled at right guard. Donald is coming off a four-sack game against Washington, which was playing with banged-up center Chase Rouiller and without top right guard Brandon Scherff. Donald has 11.5 sacks in 11 career games against the 49ers. They must contain him from wreaking havoc on Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s trying to shake off a bad game against the Dolphins and also coming off an ankle injury.
Ramsey vs. who?
Ramsey can take out the 49ers’ wide receiver he primarily covers and the Rams have the option of either having him stay on one side or work in a shadow. With Samuel and Aiyuk being rather interchangeable, he should see both from time to time in key situations to limit the downfield effectiveness of Garoppolo.
Kittle vs. the Rams’ tight ends
The Rams are really weak in linebacker coverage with Micah Kiser hurting and Cory Littleton now playing for the Raiders. The 49ers should want use Kittle as much as possible in this matchup advantage. At the same time, the 49ers are without linebacker Kwon Alexander, one of the elite cover players at the position. Gerald Everett has been used more of late and Tyler Higbee could go back to being involved more to help Goff.
Stats that matter
197.8 and 215.6. The Rams are No. 2 against the pass in the NFL, giving up that first total of yards on average per game. The 49ers are No. 3, despite all their injuries at end, linebacker and cornerback, allowing on average the second number of passing yards per game. But both teams’ offenses are reliant on the run to open things up in the air. The Rams have been better than the 49ers with that phase, giving them a slight edge.
49ers vs. Rams prediction
The Rams have their groove back with McVay while the 49ers are dealing with a Super Bowl hangover under Shanahan thanks to the injury bug. The Rams also have Donald and Ramsey dominating, while the 49ers really miss Bosa and Richard Sherman. The Rams are a very good road team going anywhere, and this is a short hop up the coast without facing a hostile environment.
Rams 27, 49ers 20