Why? Well, oddsmakers can’t predict how long Kyle Shanahan will play his starters, which throws a wrinkle in everything. Nonetheless, we’ll give it a go.
Best bet - 49ers 1H -2.5
Everybody from Trent Williams to Brandon Aiyuk will start the game for a potent Niners offense. They’ll be without Brock Purdy and Christian McCaffrey, but Sam Darnold still has plenty of weapons.
When these two teams met in Week 2, the game was 17-17 at the half. Matthew Stafford threw the ball 55 times that game. Puka Nacua had 15 receptions for 147 yards. Kyren Williams ran and rushed for a touchdown.
Stafford, Williams, Cooper Kupp, and Tyler Higbee aren’t suiting up. Nacua needs 28 receiving yards and four receptions to break the rookie record. Once that’s achieved, one would assume he’ll take his pads off and watch the rest of the game from the sidelines.
Los Angeles also won’t have Aaron Donald. All of this points to the 49ers winning by more than a field goal at halftime.
Prop bet - Elijah Mitchell, anytime touchdown scorer
When Christian McCaffrey didn’t return in Week 17, Elijah Mitchell received 17 carries. Sam Darnold will probably throw the ball between 20 and 25 times, leaving a bulk of plays remaining for Mitchell.
Mitchell finding the end zone is the “safest” prop bet we can give out. The 49ers shouldn’t have any issues moving the ball against a Rams defense that won’t have their best player. This is a volume play, but Mitchell should help us get to the window.
Team prop - Rams team total under 17.5
17.5 points may seem like a lot for a playoff team on a three-game winning streak when they’ve scored more than 26 points in each of the last six games. But it’ll be Carson Wentz running the show, and this bet is under the assumption that Nacua doesn’t see the field in the second half.
Both coaches will have no problem running the ball and punting in an effort to get out of here healthy. We’re hoping that the 49ers’ first-team defense holds the Rams out of the end zone early while the backups can keep Los Angeles from scoring two touchdowns in the second half.
Easy enough, right?