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San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams Odds, Betting Predictions and Picks

Previewing the Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers matchup in Week 18.
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San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams Odds, Betting Predictions and Picks

A high stakes NFC West showdown is set to take place in Week 18 when the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams go head-to-head on Sunday. Clinching a spot in the NFC playoffs, playoff seedings, and the NFC West title are all in play here in some way shape or form. Add to that key injuries and several absences due to covid-19 in both camps and this matchup is a right toss-up for NFL picks. Well, not for bookmakers. There’s no ambiguity in the market, as this game opened with the Rams favored significantly right from the start.

Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers

 Date: Sunday, January 9, 2022, 

 Time: 4:25 PM ET

 Location: SoFi Stadium

 TV Broadcast: FOX

 Click Here for Rams vs 49ers Odds

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San Francisco 49ers Betting Preview

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance lifted the Niners to a pivotal 23-7 win over the Houston Texans, keeping San Francisco’s playoff hopes alive. It marked Lance’s first regular-season win in his second stint replacing an injured Jimmy Garoppolo.

If Lance was hoping to make Kyle Shanahan’s selections for the final week of the season difficult, he didn’t quite do the job. The Niners got off to a slow start, and until the last few seconds of the first half, they trailed 7-0. Kicker Robbie Gould gave the Niners their first points when he booted a 37-yard field goal. The second half was better. Lance seemed to get into a rhythm and gave the Niners their first lead late in the third quarter. It was all Niners after that. Lance finished with 16 of 23 passing for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. 

Shanahan has a difficult decision before him. Does he go with the untried and untested Lance for arguably the biggest game of the season? Or does he go to Jimmy Garoppolo? Garoppolo is dealing with a serious hand injury -- a Grade 3 sprain of the UCL in his right thumb – but wants to play. He practiced this week, which is a positive sign. 

The playoff picture is straightforward. Beat the Rams and clinch a wildcard spot. If the Niners lose to the Rams, they can still go through with a New Orleans Saints loss to the Atlanta Falcons. 

Los Angeles Rams Betting Preview

Sean McVay’s side is sat pretty at the top of the NFC West standings after securing a fifth-straight win last Sunday at the expense of the Baltimore Ravens at the M&T Bank Stadium. It was a right doozy though. Only by the skin of their teeth, 20-19, did they escape Baltimore. 

Matthew Stafford had another uneven performance that very nearly upended the Rams’ efforts. Stafford went 26 of 35 for 309 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. He added a fumble for a loss to his day’s account. Sony Michel was the team’s only rushing attacker as he single-handedly put up 74 yards on 19 carries and a score.

Although Stafford has been in the league for over a decade, this is unchartered territory for the veteran. He’s never been in a position where the pressure and weight of expectation are as great as it is now. Moreover, he’s never won a playoff game in his career. In three trips to the postseason, Stafford is 0-3 SU. 

Stafford was supposed to be an upgrade on Jared Goff and to a certain extent, he has been. One need look no further than Cooper Kupp’s banner season to get a sense of what Stafford has brought to the table. Where the signal-caller might fall short, though, is in the mental aspect of the game. Clutch plays that quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes dial-up at will. For that reason alone, Stafford’s penchant for interceptions of late (11 since the beginning of November) is a serious cause for concern. 

The Rams are in a position to win both the NFC West title and clinch the No.2 seed with a win over the Niners. A loss to the Niners and a win by the Arizona Cardinals over the Seattle Seahawks could see the Rams plunge to the fifth seed. 

49ers vs Rams Odds

+18849ersO 44.5+4.5
-205RamsU 44.5-4.5

Bookmakers opened this game with the Rams favored as the 6 to 6.5-point home chalk, but the line trimmed down to 4.5 points with most shops. Some have gone down as low as Rams -4. The game total opened at 44 points. The line has held, oscillating only between 44 and 4.5 points over the week. 

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49ers vs. Rams Betting Predictions and Picks

The Niners have won five in a row against the Rams, including a shock upset at Levi’s Stadium earlier this season. That’s an impressive record under any circumstance, but it’s not enough to tip the market in San Francisco’s favor this time. The uncertainty surrounding Jimmy G. is the biggest factor in this market’s outlook, along with the secondary players on the covid-19 list that could miss this Sunday’s game. Otherwise, the Niners are too talented to be dismissed out of hand. Certainly, the line has moved in their favor.

On the other hand, while the star-studded cast Sean McVay will be fielding gives the Rams the perceived edge on paper. His quarterback is still a wildcard. If Stafford starts throwing picks, he might donate this game to the Niners despite his side’s best efforts. The pressure of the occasion could get to him.

Because the Rams are vulnerable to Stafford’s play, it’s hard to back Los Angeles to win and cover as the 4.5 point favorites with much confidence. The Rams might win, but it could very well be a close game that goes either way. The Niners will want to make it so by leaning heavily on the run game and defense no matter which quarterback starts. Garoppolo’s injury will prevent him from throwing the ball a lot while putting the ball solely in Lance’s hands is too risky. It’s not a strategy that the risk-averse Shanahan is likely to adopt. 

  • Pick: 49ers +4.5 (-110)

 Click Here for Rams vs 49ers Odds


Nikki Adams is a freelance sports writer that’s honed in on the world of sports betting. She joined OddsChecker in 2021 after having covered a number of major American sports, including NFL and NCAAF, for several other publications in the industry. When she’s not looking for the best betting angles and writing engaging and insightful articles, she’s likely on a tennis court or binging on reality TV.


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