NFL Week 10 Best Bets: Rams vs. 49ers Monday Night Football Picks

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Matthew Stafford #9 of the Los Angeles Rams. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

The Los Angeles Rams (7-2) and San Francisco 49ers (3-5) both had some wake-up call losses in Week 9. San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan will try to improve on his 5-3 record against Sean McVay and the Rams. The 49ers have won the last four meetings, but this will be the first one with Matthew Stafford at quarterback for Los Angeles.  

The Rams (4-5 ATS) are a 4-point favorite at many of BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks. The 49ers (2-6 ATS) have been a bad bet, but this is only the second time this season they are underdogs. Which team is the right NFL pick against NFL odds? Let’s dig in.

Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers

Monday, November 15, 2021 – 08:15 PM EST at Levi’s Stadium 

Rams: The Tennessee Trap 

In 2021, there is still no better way to stop an elite NFL offense than to pressure the quarterback. The only thing that may be changing is how teams are getting pressure. Blitzing is taking a backseat to the four-man rush, which allows for that extra defender in coverage. Veteran quarterbacks are too good at diagnosing the blitz and taking advantage of the vacated spaces in the secondary.  

Matthew Stafford threw a season-high 48 passes against the Titans yet was blitzed a season-low six times. But the Titans sacked him five times, forced him into two terrible interceptions, and he had a season-high 12 pressures. It was shocking because Stafford came into the game very well protected with the lowest sack rate in the league. But the Titans bullied the Rams up front and won that game for the team. 

The game was arguably lost in a matter of seconds in the second quarter when Stafford threw two interceptions for essentially two touchdowns. The first was him not wanting to take a safety and making a throw that was intercepted to the 2-yard line. The second was just a bad read for a pick-six. It’s hard to overcome those mistakes against good teams like the Titans. Los Angeles never recovered on an off night that also saw Tyler Higbee step out of bounds before illegally catching a touchdown.  

It was the first time this season the Los Angeles offense really let the team down because the defense absolutely played well enough to win. The Titans are the first team since the 2015 Broncos in Super Bowl 50 to win a game by at least 12 points without averaging more than 3.5 yards per play. 

While the Rams added wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the roster on Thursday, pass protection is still going to be McVay’s top priority this week. The 49ers will try to get pressure with Nick Bosa and the front four. But the past problems the Rams have had with San Francisco were largely related to Jared Goff just being inaccurate. According to Pro Football Reference, Goff has seven games since 2018 where he made a bad throw on at least 26% of his passes. Four of those seven games were against the 49ers with the Rams going 1-3 in them. 

Stafford is still leading the NFL in passer rating and QBR this season. Getting him to play poorly two weeks in a row will be a tough task for a defense that has just two interceptions all season. 

49ers: Play Design Genius Ranks 18th in Scoring 

For all the praise Kyle Shanahan receives for his offensive play design, the 49ers currently rank 18th in points per drive. They do not turn the ball over as frequently as the Chiefs, but ball security has been a problem this season. The other problem is that not enough drives get to the red zone where San Francisco has been the best offense, scoring a touchdown 77.3% of the time. The problem is three-quarters of the league gets to the red zone more often than the 49ers.  

Why do so many drives stall out? As it turns out, “Third-and-Jimmy” is not a thing this year as the 49ers rank 30th in third-down conversion rate, only converting a third of the time. Part of the problem is the 49ers’ average third down is 7.9 yards, tied for the second-highest average in the league this year. The Rams face the shortest third downs at 6.1 yards thanks to being better on early downs.  

Jimmy Garoppolo is going to have to play very well in this game. He is 4-0 against the Rams as a starter, usually getting a lot of YAC in each matchup. The Rams have allowed the most YAC in the league this year, but they also have allowed the most pass completions as they usually play from ahead. But if there is a defense that Shanahan has had a good feel for playing, it would be the Rams in this division.

Von Miller should make his team debut for the Rams after that trade. They could use it as the Rams have the sixth-lowest pass pressure rate this season according to Pro Football Reference. 

Prediction 

The 49ers are 0-4 at home this season and have not won a game in Levi’s Stadium since they beat the Rams last October.  

Since 2002, home underdogs of exactly four points in division games are 8-26 SU and 14-18-2 ATS. In non-division games, the home underdog is 28-29 SU and 31-22-4 ATS. That makes it look like the familiarity of division games just helps the more talented team, and the Rams are certainly the better team between these two.

With the 49ers on their way to a non-playoff season, I like Stafford to get his MVP campaign back on track and get the cover in this one on Monday night to close your Week 10 NFL picks

NFL PickRams -4 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Rams -4 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.