Monday Night Football features the Los Angeles Rams on the road against the San Francisco 49ers to finish up what has been an exciting Week 10 in the NFL.
Our team of experts at VSiN has the game covered from all angles, with a market report from South Point oddsmaker Chris Andrews, along with a pick on the game from VSiN's Adam Burke and Ben Brown from Pro Football Focus.
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5, 50.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Market Report from Chris Andrews: A heavily bet game from the get-go. I opened Rams -4, and there’s been a lot of action both ways. Both teams have strong local betting constituencies. Great rivalry. Sharps are shaded toward the underdog. I took a $10,000 bet on San Francisco early Sunday morning at the South Point. That brought me down to LAR -3.5. I’m also getting good two-way play on the total. I opened 49.5 and moved straight to 50.5 Sunday morning after taking a $10,000 bet on the Over. I’m at Rams -3.5 and a total of 50.5 as of Sunday night. But I could easily move off both numbers given the high volume of action expected before kickoff.
Burke: Stepping up in class for the first time in several weeks did not go well for the Rams in last week’s 28-16 loss to the Titans. This is a team with a solid statistical profile, but it has beaten up on the likes of the Bears in Week 1, Seahawks, Giants, Lions and Texans in Weeks 5 through 8; the Rams have had some issues against the higher-caliber opponents.
The Cardinals beat them by 17 at home and while the Rams did beat the Bucs, but Tampa Bay gained 446 yards in the losing effort. The Titans were just more physical last week. Now the Rams take on another physical team in the 49ers and they’ll do so with an offense in a state of flux with the Robert Woods injury and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr.
The 49ers are better than their 3-5 record. San Francisco is well on the plus side in yards per play differential at + 0.8 and its 6.1 yards per play came into the week ranked in the top 10. A -9 turnover margin has hurt, especially with only five takeaways. This is an opponent much closer to the likes of the Bucs, Cardinals and Titans than the Giants, Lions and Texans.
Stafford was sacked five times last week and absorbed 11 QB hits. The 49ers haven’t had the results you’d expect from their pass rushers, but they have a formidable front and one that could spend ample time in the backfield again.
Pick: 49ers + 3.5
Brown: One of the softest prop markets that consistently shows value is quarterback rushing yardage prop overs -- especially when that player isn’t typically known for rushing success. Matthew Stafford is the perfect example on Monday Night Football.
Stafford is averaging over two rushing attempts a game, and has four scrambles on drop backs through his previous three matchups. Stafford has a boom-or-bust rushing success outlook, either easily eclipsing this prop number on one long run or going negative because of victory formation kneel downs at the end of the game.
San Francisco’s defensive philosophy is the main reason to buy into Stafford escaping the pocket for a long gain at least once on Monday night. The 49ers pass rush hasn’t lived up to lofty expectation and has the lowest unit grade among facets for their sixth-ranked defense. Their pressure rate on the season is the fifth lowest in the NFL. Because of this lack of success, San Francisco has sent an extra pass rusher on a blitz at the 12th highest rate in the NFL. An ineffective pass rush that is forced to send an extra player is the perfect setup to target a quarterback breaking contain and scampering for a long gain.
If the Rams are out to an early lead, Stafford will have even more incentive to keep the clock moving and take off on one or two runs instead of forcing the ball downfield and stopping the clock. The only question is if he gains enough yards early in the game to offset the eventual kneel downs coming on Monday night. Stafford to go over 2.5 rushing yards could be one of the easiest betting wins on Monday night
Pick: Matthew Stafford Over 2.5 Rushing Yards (-105)