It’s the opening act of the great Hollywood spectacle. With Super Bowl LVII looming in Los Angeles, this game might not get the credit it deserves locally, especially if SoFi Stadium is packed with 49ers fans.
The highly anticipated halftime show in two weeks will feature SoCal locals Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. While the latter is known for “Straight Outta Compton”, we’ll look to fellow Compton native Kendrick Lamar as we look for a good beat to help find value in the gamer accessory market.
Cam Akers is electric with the ball at times – something we’ve seen since his days at Florida State – and it’s great to see him back so soon after recovering from Achilles surgery. However, you have to hang on to football.
The young running back fumbled twice last week in high-leverage situations – first on the 1-yard line and then with the Rams trying to run the time limit. It will “humiliate” a young running back. Maybe Sean McVay has more faith in Akers than I do, but veteran tailback Sony Michel stands right next to the head coach on the sidelines and did everything he was asked to deserve a bigger share. races than he received in the divisional round. .
If McVay returns to Michel for even a quarter of total runs, Akers is unlikely to get the same volume this week. Meanwhile, the 49ers are giving up just 3.1 yards per carry in their trio of must-play games. The Rams are going to have to throw to beat the Niners, so I’d rather bet on Akers’ overall usage than his yardage total, especially given his big-play ability.
Take: Akers under 17.5 rush attempts
A TD that will definitely happen
Of “All The Stars” who shone for the 49ers in these playoffs, George Kittle was less than expected of a dominant force with the ball. I expect that to change in the dome on Sunday, allowing us to see his big-game “DNA” shine through.
Kittle hasn’t scored in his last six games, but he’s had 10 catches in two meetings with the Rams this season. San Francisco’s offensive pattern seems to fit the Rams’ zone well, so there’s often an outside threat available in the open space. That said, there will be a time when Jimmy Garoppolo turns to Kittle in the end zone. Hopefully it goes better than when he threw his lone interception to the Packers in the divisional round.
Take: Kittle hit anytime (+175)
A TD that probably won’t happen…but maybe it does
I held back on playing the touchdown anytime for San Francisco’s “Overly Dedicated” guard, but now is the time. The 49ers have had success against the Rams because their misdirection on offense results in the loss of various weapons in coverage.
Kyle Juszczyk can come out of the backfield to fill open areas of the Rams defense and is a tough game for any linebacker in man-to-man coverage. It’s also possible Juszczyk will get a goal-line carry, as he’s even been known to take quarterback snaps under center.
For the Niners’ all-around player, it would be “Poetic Justice” if he contributed a score to help San Francisco earn a Super Bowl ticket.
Take: Juszczyk hit anytime (+700)
Matt Russell is betting editor for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.