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Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Rams (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. San Francisco 49ers (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, October 18, 2020 at 8:20PM EST
Where: Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, California
TV: NBC

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAR -3/SF +3
Over/Under Total: 49.5

The Los Angeles Rams come to Levi's Stadium for a week 6 NFC West showdown with the San Francisco 49ers. Both teams have flipped the script this season so far, with the Rams surprising some with their effectiveness with a nice 4-1 start. On Sunday, they scored a nice 30-10 road-win over Washington. San Francisco, meanwhile, appeared to hit a new low on Sunday, falling at home to the Miami Dolphins, 43-17. Can they get it together and salvage their season or are the Rams about to put the stamp on the fact that they're again a force in this division and conference?

On Sunday, it wasn't a good look for the 49ers. The defending NFC champions started the season with a loss to the Cardinals, before restoring confidence with two straight wins. In subsequent defeats to the inglorious duo of the Eagles and Dolphins, however, they have really started looking rough. Without question, this is largely a result of an ungodly string of catastrophic injuries. And now it's really starting to show. Hopes that things could get back on the right track with Jimmy Garoppolo returning were quickly dashed, as he looked awful and unsteady through one half and was pulled for CJ Beathard.

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We already know what Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard can and cannot do at this point and if Garoppolo is going to need more time to come around, it's a bad problem to have. And it's not just QB issues that plague this team. We do see some major contributors circulating back into this offense, with George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel, and others back at it. Rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk has started becoming a main target in recent weeks. But when the quality of your quarterback play plummets and your offensive line takes a big step backwards, it's not going to resonate well on an offense and we're seeing that with the Niners right now.

One shouldn't be so quick to condemn the San Francisco defense after what really amounts to one bad performance. Still, with how they melted late against the Eagles and how they looked against Miami, they are definitely trending downward. And when looking at the injury report, it's no wonder why. It's possible that they will come into this game with seven of their projected eleven starters not in action on defense. And while they held it together against teams like the Giants and Jets, we're starting to see what happens against offenses that have it more together.

The Rams looked a lot better last week, albeit against a Washington team that had a lot on their plate. But while most of the attention was rightfully on Alex Smith's miraculous return, the Rams were really dominant. And that followed a heartbreaking loss to the Bills a few weeks ago and a puzzling 17-point output against the Giants in their last game. I suppose one could say the jury is still out. After all, their quartet of wins all came against NFC East teams and that division is in a shambles. By the same token, we're seeing more similarities to the team that went really far a few years ago than the letdown team we saw in 2019.

Jared Goff was over 300 yards again on Sunday. And when he's on, he's really surgical, working behind a nice line with a deep toolbox. They rotate Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, and Darrell Henderson, Jr. at running back and so far, have seen it work pretty well, adding balance to a potent aerial game. With Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee, they have a lot of different guys who can inflict swift damage. They can surgically work their way down the field or explode for big plays. On Sunday, we saw them reclaim some of their pep.

The Rams' defense was immense on Sunday. And so far this season, only two teams have allowed fewer points than the Rams. They have excelled both against the run and the pass. Against Washington, Aaron Donald had four sacks, while Troy Reeder had three. And sure, Washington was a bit strapped with that dodgy line and a QB situation that is compromised, but other than the Buffalo game, the LA "D" been pretty solid. Their other four opponents haven't reached 20 points.

It's a tough game to break down. With San Fran, you can't write them off and with their backs against the wall, maybe you start to see the heart of a champion starting here at some point. And with the entirety of their success coming against the NFC East, it's possible that this Rams' upsurge is at least a small mirage. In other words, judging teams solely off the success they had against the NFC East could end up leading us astray.

Urgency has to be high for the 49ers. This is their third straight home-game, a time in the year where they were supposed to be compiling wins. If they emerge from this prolonged homestand winless with a bunch of road-spots coming up, it could be curtains sooner than later for the defending conference champions. But at some point, it comes down to what you have on the field. Decimated by injuries and unable to compete with Miami last week, I'm not sure what changes in seven days to make this equation all that appetizing for the 49ers. I'm taking the Rams.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Los Angeles Rams minus 3 points. Did you know... that you could be wagering on games at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!

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