NFL: Gurley geared up to lead the Rams Thursday night charge

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NFL nut Kyle Robbins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) shares his expert opinion on the best bets from Thursday night’s action involving the Rams and 49ers.

LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers | Friday 22nd September 2017, 01:15 | Sky Sports

The LA Rams have made a positive start – both offensively and defensively – under new head coach, Sean McVay. After blowing out a luck-less Indianapolis Colts in week one, they followed it up with a narrow home defeat to Washington Redskins, and will certainly be hopeful of getting back above .500 come Friday morning.

After struggling in his rookie year, Jared Goff is off to a much more encouraging start. But having thrown for 200+ yards in back-to-back games, he’ll be coming up against a 49ers team that has been surprisingly good against the pass this term. Limiting Cam Newton and Russell Wilson both under 200 passing yards, Goff will certainly under the spotlight.

Running back Todd Gurley is another player seemingly benefiting from a change in the coaching staff. After managing just six touchdowns in the whole of last year, Gurley already has two this season and lines up against a 49ers defence that has allowed an average of 123.5 rushing yards per-game.

Now whilst the 49ers have allowed those rushing numbers, their defence does get a lot tougher in the red zone, allowing just one rushing touchdown so far. But I’ll still fancy Gurley to break through and get in the end zone for a third successive week.

He’s best priced 11/8 with Bet365 to do so.

Hyde to run all over Rams

Given San Francisco have faced two tough opening games (against two of the better defensive teams in Carolina and Seattle), they’re still looking for their first offensive touchdown of the year. And quarterback Brian Hoyer is rumoured to be on a short leash.

Hoyer has gone 39 for 62, passing for just 292 yards and two interceptions so far, and will face-off against another solid passing defence. Whilst LA has allowed an average of only 153 passing yards thus far, they have struggled when it comes to defending the run – and given Carlos Hyde’s success last week – he’ll be looking for another standout performance.

LA have allowed an average of 152 rushing yards through the first two weeks – that’s the third most in the NFL – giving up 155 rushing yards to two Redskins backs last weekend as well as two touchdowns.

Now whilst Hyde is yet to get in the end zone, he did dominate the Seahawks to the tune of 124 yards off just 15 carries and with his line set at 76.5 on Thursday night, the 10/11 to go over that line with SkyBet seems a decent price.

Given Hoyer’s struggles, it appears the 49ers best hopes of breaking their touchdown duck will lie in the hands of Carlos Hyde and their running game. The 7/4 anytime touchdown offering from Bet365 appears a decent bet, especially considering how the Rams rushing defence performed just last Sunday.

Points at a premium

One final value area remains in the points market. Despite the Rams putting up an impressive 66 points through the opening two games, I can’t see them repeating that success on offense on the road against an improving 49ers defensive unit.

Couple that with the 49ers offensive struggles, this game could well be a repeat of last Thursday night’s defensive battle.

The 49ers gave up 23 points to Carolina and just 12 to Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, so Goff and the Rams might find themselves struggling to break down a stubborn San Francisco defence here.

Under 35.5 total points landed in the match-up last year when the 49ers ran out 28-0 winners and is best priced 13/8 with William Hill to land again.

Best Bets

LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – Todd Gurley to score a touchdown at anytime (11/8 Bet365)

LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – Carlos Hyde to score a touchdown at anytime (7/4 Bet365)

LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – Carlos Hyde over 76.5 rushing yards (10/11 SkyBet)

LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers – Under 35.5 total points (13/8 William Hill)

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