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Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers - 9/12/16 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Los Angeles Rams (7-9) at San Francisco 49ers (5-11)

NFL Football: Monday, September 12, 2016 at 10:20 pm (Levi's Stadium)

The Line: San Francisco 49ers +2.5 -- Over/Under: 42 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The second coming of the L.A. Rams begins on Monday night at Levi’s stadium against the San Francisco 49ers to wrap up week 1 of the 2016 NFL regular season.

The Rams exceeded some expectations last year, improving to 7-9 up from 6 wins the previous year, good enough for a 3rd place finish in the NFC West. Case Keenum appears to be the starter for week 1 for the Rams, as many wonder what is in store for rookie Jared Goff, who went from being first overall pick that the Rams traded a boatload to get, to week 1 starter at the beginning of the preseason and now apparently sitting 3rd on the Rams’ depth chart according to head coach Jeff Fisher. Todd Gurley remains the top back in the L.A. backfield, and is coming off of an impressive rookie campaign, that saw Gurley rack up 1,106 yards and 10 TDs on his way to becoming offensive rookie of the year. Keenum or whoever starts for the Rams week 1, will have plenty of targets to throw to, with names such as Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt and rookie Pharoh Cooper looking to make their mark in the early going of this season. The Rams defense looks to possibly crack the top-10 after finishing in the middle of the pack in most defensive stat catergories, allowing 20.6 points per game last season, good for 13th in the NFL.

Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers - 9/12/16 NFL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers had a disappointing 2015 season, ending with only 5 wins to go from 1st to worst in only 3 seasons. Blaine Gabbert will be under center for the Niners opening game, and media darling Colin Kaepernick will back him up. One still has to wonder though, if this whole issue about Kaepernick and the national anthem is going to be a distraction for the team for the next few weeks. Carlos Hyde looks to be the number 1 option heading into week 1 for the 49ers out of the backfield and is looking to have a stronger 2016 after finishing last season on injured reserve. Torrey Smith looks to have a bigger role in the San Fran receiving core, as he totaled 663 yards and 4 touchdowns on only 33 receptions last season. While not much went right for the Niners last season, their defense wasn’t bad, finishing middle of the pack allowing 24.2 points per game last season. To put that into perspective, 9 of the 14 teams below the 49ers in that category actually had better records in the standings than San Francisco.

Los Angeles is 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 road games and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Monday games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 against the NFC West. San Francisco is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 week 1 games and 24-6 ATS in their last 30 Monday games while the under is 8-2 in their last 10 vs. the NFC West. The total has gone under in 4 of the last 5 meetings between these two.

The trends may favor San Fran, but I don’t. Gabbert may be a competent quarterback, but other than that, the 49ers offense has barely anything to work with. The Rams are looking to start with a bang under their old namesake and they are just the better overall team.

I’ll take Los Angeles as more of a fade of San Francisco.

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Los Angeles Rams -2.5

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