Thursday Night NFL Betting — Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers
There have been no touchdowns for the San Francisco 49ers this season, and that has to be somewhat disturbing for the offensive “guru” they hired to be their head coach. Kyle Shanahan was calling the plays for the NFL’s most prolific offense last season, and came within a whisker (and yes, maybe some bad play-calling) of winning the Super Bowl. The Niners will try to continue their mastery (that’s right) over the Los Angeles Rams in the Thursday night game on NFL Network, scheduled to begin at 8:25 PM ET at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
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The Rams looked so impressive in their opener, blowing the Indianapolis Colts out of the L.A. Coliseum (46-9). And that was an explosive debut for Sean McVay as head coach. McVay, at 31, is the youngest in his position in modern NFL history, and he had a reputation as a “guru” himself, as he was the offensive coordinator in Washington before this. But this team sprung some leaks defensive against the Redskins in Week 2, and Jared Goff threw a critical interception that contributed to a 27-20 loss.
The Niners have been held to just four field goals in two games, although they have to given some credit for hanging tough against the Seattle Seahawks, a team that often dominates them, at CenturyLink Field last week, as they lost a 12-9 decision. In defense of Shanahan, most people knew that he didn’t necessarily have the personnel to be a particularly dangerous offensive team this season.
In the Thursday night NFL betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Rams are laying points on the road:
Los Angeles Rams -3 (-105)
San Francisco 49ers +3 (-115)
Over 40 points -110
Under 40 points -110
The Rams hired a true guru in Wade Phillips to take the defense to a new level. They weren’t bad at all last season, ranking ninth in total defense. Phillips switched over to his familiar 3-4 alignment, and the jury is still out as to whether All-Pro Aaron Donald can fit into that scheme with maximum effectiveness. He didn’t have any activity in training camp, and just ended his holdout in time to play in last weekend’s game against Washington. The Rams were blown off the ball, allowing 229 yards on the ground, with a trio of Redskin backs taking turns penetrating the line. So now the question arises as to whether San Francisco might be able to exploit any potential weaknesses there.
On the surface, it would seem they could. Carlos Hyde was able to ramble for 124 yards against Seattle, and BetAnySports patrons certainly know that the Seahawks are a gnarly defensive team, especially at home.
Last week, even in defeat, the Rams managed 23 first downs, and Todd Gurley made his presence known, with 88 yards on the ground and 48 in receptions. Goff was so-so, and it appears that it might take a while for him to develop some genuine chemistry with Sammy Watkins, the recent acquisition from Buffalo who had only two catches for insignificant yardage.
Brian Hoyer may or not last too long as San Francisco’s quarterback. It depends on how long before they are a non-factor in the NFC West. But he’s there because he knows Shanahan’s system, so maybe his mission is to “manage” the game while avoiding the kind of mistakes Goff might make. The Niners have won just three of their last 22 games, and all three of them have come over the Rams. We’ll grab the points here and look for San Francisco to exert enough control over the line of scrimmage.
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