The San Francisco 49ers return to work on Monday, wrapping up their bye week and beginning preparations for their Week 9 matchup with the St. Louis Rams. The line opened at 49ers -9.5, and is already climbing to -10.5 on some sportsbooks.
The Rams are coming off a 34-7 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. They entered the game short-handed in the secondary, with cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson both inactive. They then suffered several more injuries during the game. Jake Long suffered a knee injury that is now being described in several reports as a torn ACL. They also lost center Scott Wells (elbow), guard Rodger Saffold (shoulder), wide receiver Brian Quick (elbow/arm), safety Cody Davis (concussion) & safety Rodney McLeod (knee). There is no word on the extent of those injuries, but Jeff Fisher said some of the injured players would miss some time. We'll keep an eye on the Rams injury report.
The 49ers, on the other hand, are waiting to hear whether or not Aldon Smith will be available for the game. With Jake Long out, that would seemingly bode well for the 49ers pass rush regardless of Smith's return. I suppose Long's replacement could be an improvement on him, but left tackle has been a problem for the Rams. The 49ers pass rush has been poor for the most part, so getting Aldon Smith back would be kind of a good thing.
From a pure gambling perspective, the 49ers are 10-2-1 straight up against the Rams in their last 13 games, but only 7-6 against the spread. Additionally, the 49ers are 2-7-1 straight up in their past 10 seasons coming off a bye week. The over/under is fairly low, with the total set at 44. The over is 12-2 in the 49ers last 14 seasons coming off the bye. Obviously the team changes year to year, but it is still interesting to see the trend.