The San Francisco 49ers are trying to right the ship as they prepare to host the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC West battle on Sunday Night Football. Defending NFC champion San Francisco (2-3) has been crushed by injuries, and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled in his return from injury last week in a humbling 43-17 loss to the Dolphins. The Niners still have one of the league’s top defenses, but the Rams (4-1) have a strong unit of their own and quarterback Jared Goff and a talented offense are getting the job done.
Kickoff from Levi’s Stadium is scheduled for 8:20 p.m. ET. William Hill has Los Angeles listed as a 2.5-point favorite in the latest Rams vs. 49ers odds, and the over-under for total points is set at 51. Before you make your 49ers vs. Rams picks, be sure to see the latest Sunday Night Football predictions from SportsLine NFL expert Emory Hunt.
Known as The Czar of the Playbook, Hunt played running back at Louisiana-Lafayette before founding Football Gameplan, a high-level analysis site. He is SportsLine’s hottest NFL expert, and he enters Sunday Night Football on an impressive 16-5 roll on NFL against the spread picks that has returned $1,065 to $100 players. Hunt has also hit three straight picks for or against the 49ers, continuing his epic run picking NFL games.
- Rams vs. 49ers spread: Los Angeles -2.5
- Rams vs. 49ers over-under: 51
- Rams vs. 49ers money line: Los Angeles -140, San Francisco +120
- LAR: WR Cooper Kupp has five or more receptions in four straight games.
- SF: RB Raheem Mostert has 377 total yards in three starts (125.6 per game).
Why the Rams can cover
Los Angeles is 5-1 against the spread in its last six after accumulating more than 350 yards in its previous game, and Goff threw for 309 of the team’s 429 total yards against Washington. The fifth-year pro has completed nearly 72 percent of his passes for 1,372 yards and eight touchdowns and has a pair of top wideouts in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. The former has team highs with 28 catches for 363 yards, while Woods has 23 for 300.
The Rams are 4-1 against the spread in their last five after allowing fewer than 250 yards in their previous game, and the defense is fourth in the league in total yards at 304.2. It is particularly tough against the pass, allowing fewer than 198 yards per game, and that success starts up front. Two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald leads the league with 7.5 of the team’s 20 sacks, and four others have at least two.
Why the 49ers can cover
San Francisco is 5-1 against the spread in its last six as an underdog, and the defense remains among the best in the league. The loss of star pass rusher Nick Bosa to a torn ACL hurt, but the unit is ranked third in the NFL in passing defense (215.6) and fifth in yards allowed per game (323). Fred Warner is the heartbeat, and he has a team-high 44 tackles and an interception. Fellow linebacker Kwon Alexander is the emotional leader and has 30 stops and a sack.
Defensive ends Kerry Hyder (3.5 sacks) and Arik Armstead (1.5) have picked up some of the pass rushing slack for the 49ers, who are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games in Week 6. Offensively, San Francisco still has one of the best tight ends in the game in George Kittle, who has team highs with 23 receptions and 271 yards despite missing two games. Rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk has started to make an impact, posting 201 total yards over the past three games.
How to make Rams vs. 49ers picks
Hunt is leaning Under on the total, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He’s found a critical X-factor that makes one side of the spread hit hard on Sunday. He’s only sharing it here.