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I’m hoping for a Bengals-49ers Super Bowl and I think the 49ers can cover this spread. They beat the Rams, 31-10, as 3.5-point underdogs when the two first faced each other this season, and won again, 27-24, as 3.5-point 'dogs in the rematch. Plus, Kyle Shanahan is 14-5 ATS after having won four or five out of the last six games, and 7-0 ATS in January games while coaching San Francisco. I’m thinking the 49ers can cover the spread against the Rams again on Sunday.
This is what the Rams were built for – getting to a Super Bowl. We’re seeing the chemistry click for Matt Stafford and Odell Beckham Jr., and L.A. is just more talented than San Francisco. They also have the better quarterback, and given Stafford breaking through and finally realizing he can win big games, coupled with the ups-and-downs from Jimmy Garoppolo -- just a 63.0 QB rating in the playoffs, no TDs and two picks -- this is where the Niners' run ends, with the Rams heading on to Super Bowl LVI.
There are many reasons I love San Francisco here. Let's start with the fact that Kyle Shanahan has won outright in 12 of his last 19 games as an underdog. His teams control the clock and dominate with the most creative and dynamic rushing attack in the NFL. Plus, he knows know how to beat the Rams, going 6-0 against them over the last three years. I truly believe that the 49ers are an excellent matchup against the Rams, and I have backed them every step of the way since the beginning. Keep an eye on the injury report as the week progresses, but if everyone is in for San Francisco, it's green light go for me.
This is one of BetQL’s recommended player prop bets despite the fact that Los Angeles’ defense has held Kittle in check in their first two meetings this year. In the first regular-season matchup, Kittle caught five of seven targets for 50 yards and a touchdown; in the second, the tight end hauled in five of seven targets for just 10 yards. But, as seen last week, Kittle is one of San Francisco’s only downfield threats and the Rams aren’t completely dominant against athletic tight ends. (Rob Gronkowski caught four passes for 85 yards against them last week.) BetQL is projecting Kittle to catch five balls for 75 yards in this matchup, and if the 'Niners are forced to air it out, he will likely be a major part of the passing game. With player props, I’m looking for volume projections more than anything, and since he saw seven targets in both of his regular-season meetings against the Rams, I’m confident he will see at least that many this week.
The total opened at 47 and has been bouncing around 46-46.5, so you can see where the early money was going. Now let's see what number we get later in the week as the public bets the over. I'm leaning toward the under mostly because of San Francisco's much-improved defense, which has helped them hit the under six times in the last seven games and in four of the last five road games. Meanwhile, the Rams have gone under in five of their last six home games. The only over in those stretches for either team was the 49ers' 27-24 OT win at L.A. in Week 18 with the total at, yep, 46.5. See if we can get that number back to 47 by kickoff, but I'm leaning toward the under either way.