This seemed like it would be a more interesting game at the beginning of the season. That was before Trey Lance got hurt. Now, the Rams and 49ers play their first of the two matchups that will play heavily into the division winner. (Rams vs. 49ers, 8:15 ET)
The Rams come into the game 2-1 after their opening night loss to the Bills. In their past two games, they've looked a little better. They beat the Falcons at home, a game that was probably closer than it should've been. Then they beat the Cardinals on the road, which isn't much of a surprise. Their offense has looked a little out of sorts though, and I think Matthew Stafford is probably in worse health than we originally assumed. He has just four touchdown passes - three, of course, to Cooper Kupp, and now has five interceptions. Their running game hasn't produced much either with just 72 yards per game on average. Their defense is still top-notch with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. There does appear to be a bit of a Super Bowl hangover though as they just don't seem to be as invested. It isn't anything statistically that stands out, but more of an eye test. Even with all of that, I still think they are better than the 49ers.
Here's the number one thing: Trent Williams will not be playing Monday Night unless there is some crazy development. Without the offensive line standout, the running game takes a hit and Jimmy Garoppolo does too. Garoppolo cannot afford to take any additional issues for his game. He is completing 62% of passes, but he only has two touchdowns and one interception in his two games. The offense doesn't look to be fully connected right now. Maybe another week will help, but they couldn't muster much against a solid but not great Denver defense. The 49ers still have a really strong defense, but I think this is a tough game right now for a 49ers team that is trying to figure things out.
If I had to play the total here, I'd take the under. Neither offense looks super impressive and connected right now. What I do like is the Rams to win the game, but at the price (just +105) I'm passing and going to take the points. 15 cents is worth it to me to play it at +2 -110. I'll take the Rams and hope that they can steal one on the road. I also don't see it listed at the time of writing this, but a Kupp first touchdown scorer would not surprise me at all and I'll likely play it at +550 or better.
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