NFL picks and predictions, 49ers vs. Rams 2013: Mixed results for St. Louis, San Francisco

USA TODAY Sports

The experts are mostly split on predictions for Thursday night's game between the 49ers and Rams.

The Rams will host the 49ers on Thursday Night Football in Week 4. The NFC rivals are both 1-2 and are coming off losses. St. Louis has struggled to run the ball and spread the ball to its group of young wide receivers, with quarterback Sam Bradford continuing with the inconsistent play that has plagued him since he was a rookie. Bradford's best friend on Thursday should be tight end Jared Cook, and if the Rams' defense can play to its talent level, St. Louis will come out of this game with another tally in the win column.

The 49ers are looking to avenge last year's loss and tie in their two games against the Rams last season. More than anything, San Francisco has to avoid falling into a 1-3 hole if it wants to keep its playoff hopes in solid shape. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has struggled both with passing and running, while the 49ers' defense failed to stop opposing running attacks in the last two games. Running back Frank Gore is expected to see a lot of carries on Thursday night against the Rams, who gave up 175 yards on the ground to DeMarco Murray in a Week 3 loss to the Cowboys.

ESPN's crew of 13 NFL experts are divided on the contest, but favor the 49ers by a 8-5 vote. CBS Sports' panel of experts sees the game going a bit differently, as the eight analysts favor the Rams by a vote of 5-3. Also, when considering the 49ers as a 3.5-favorite on the road, the 5-3 vote remains the same for CBS Sports.

SB Nation's five NFL experts believe the game is easy to call, as they unanimously picked the 49ers.

The Rams will host the 49ers on Thursday Night Football at 8:25 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

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