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49ers vs. Rams NFC Championship Picks: Can San Francisco's Dominance Continue?

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49ers Rams Picks
Jimmy Garoppolo completed 68.3% of his pass attempts for the San Francisco 49ers in 2021-22. Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images/AFP.

Will Sean McVay finally prevail over Kyle Shanahan and advance to the Super Bowl? History tells us that’s unlikely. Read on to find out why and dig into our 49ers-Rams picks.

The Los Angeles Rams welcome the San Francisco 49ers for the second time in January, and the NFC West champs will be hoping for a better result than the week 18 meeting. That’s when the Rams lost while blowing a 17-0 lead.

Kyle Shanahan has been dominant against Sean McVay, and we’ll find out if the latter can make the proper adjustments to defeat his rival.

Here are my 49ers-Rams picks and predictions for their NFC title game matchup (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, and pick confidence is based on a one-to-five star scale).

SEE ALSO: 49ers vs. Rams Same-game Parlay Picks

49ers vs. Rams Game Info

Date/Time: Saturday, January 30, 2022, at 6:30pm ET
TV: Fox
Location: SOFI Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Weather: Dome

49ers vs. Rams Odds Analysis

The spread for this game opened at -3.5 in favor of Los Angeles. It's since dropped to -3 at DraftKings.

The total opened at 47.5, but it's fallen across the board to 46 at PointsBet, DraftKings, and FanDuel.

49ers Betting Preview

Record: 12-7 SU, 11-8 ATS, 8-11 O/U
Key Players: Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Fred Warner
Notable Trend: 49ers are 4-0 against the spread over their last four games as an underdog

San Francisco hopes to continue its current four-game winning streak and head to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers return to SoFi Stadium after spoiling the Rams’ hopes of clinching a first-round playoff bye in Week 18 with their 27-24 overtime win.

This team is riding a wave of momentum following its 13-10 divisional-round defeat of the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers needed to overcome a poor offensive performance. The defense stepped up, and all of San Francisco's points came through its kicking game and special teams.

Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans put together a masterpiece while shutting down the Packers' 10th-ranked offense.

Monitor the injury report heading into the NFC Championship Game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo continues to nurse upper-body injuries. Samuel is dealing with a knee issue, though he's expected to play.

Left tackle Trent Williams missed practice Wednesday. His absence would be a massive blow to the team's offensive line. Watch that injury closely for your 49ers-Rams picks.

Rams Betting Preview

Record: 14-5 SU, 10-9 ATS, 10-8-1 O/U
Key Players: Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey
Notable Trend: Rams are 5-1 ATS over their last six games against NFC opponents

Los Angeles continues to blow significant leads. The Rams were ahead 27-3 in the third quarter during the divisional round before allowing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to storm back and tie the game late in the fourth quarter. If not for the last-minute heroics from Stafford and Kupp, the Rams would have been watching the NFC Championship Game at home.

Stafford is often bashed for underachieving. But he's silenced those critics so far during the playoffs after shredding the Bucs’ secondary last week for 366 yards and two touchdowns while also running one in himself.

Kupp continued his historic campaign during the divisional round with nine receptions, 183 receiving yards, and a touchdown. He'll look to keep the 49ers’ secondary busy again after recording 240 receiving yards over the previous two matchups between the clubs this season.

49ers vs. Rams Picks

49ers +3.5 (-110) ★★★★
Under 46 (-110) ★★★★
Rams team total Under 24.5 (-120) ★★★★
49ers defense Anytime TD (+600) ★★
Same-game parlay: Kupp anytime TD (-150) + Mitchell anytime TD (+105) + Garoppolo Under 222.5 Passing Yards (-114) + 49ers alternate spread +7.5 (-200) = +1047 Odds ★

SEE ALSO: Bengals vs. Chiefs Picks

49ers vs. Rams Predictions

49ers +3.5 (-110)

Los Angeles may be happy to hold the home-field advantage, but the club can't be thrilled about its opponent. San Francisco has been owning the Rams while winning the last six matchups between the teams.

Kyle Shanahan has put a hex on Sean McVay. He's produced a 7-3 record straight up and against the spread over 10 meetings against McVay and his Rams. The 49ers crushed the Rams’ spirit in Week 18 while storming back to win outright, and breaking McVay’s 45-0 record when leading at halftime.

The key to this matchup will be how well the Rams’ offensive line can hold up against the 49ers’ pass rush. That's been a soft spot for the Rams, especially with tackle Andrew Whitworth out. There’s a decent chance he returns this week, but Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead should still be able to wreak havoc. Stafford registered a 112.4 passer rating in a clean pocket this season, but that drops to 81.6 when pressured, according to PFF.

San Francisco’s secondary is suspect, but the squad's run defense is legitimate. It ranked fourth in defensive DVOA during the second half of the season.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles received very little out of its run game throughout the campaign while registering a -0.19 EPA per attempt. Don’t expect much success from Cam Akers and Sony Michel on Sunday.

The Rams’ defense should be able to limit the 49ers. Aaron Donald and Von Miller lead PFF's top-ranked unit, and they'll keep Garoppolo off balance.

However, the 49ers will be able to run on the Rams, which will extend possessions and keep Stafford off the field. That's why I expect this game to be close.

I’ll gladly back the visiting team in this spot for our 49ers-Rams picks, with the 49ers getting the hook.

Under 46 (-110)

San Francisco ranks in the bottom half in terms of offensive pace, and the Under has hit in both of its playoff games. The 49ers' methodical play-calling and commitment to running keep opposing offenses sidelined. Kyle Shanahan understands the Rams boast the more explosive offense, so he'll want to run the ball more to control the clock.

McVay struggles to adapt to the nuances of Shanahan’s game script, and that likely won't change on Sunday. These games are won in the trenches, and both teams will muddy it up. Take the Under in our 49ers-Rams picks for a game that won't feature many fireworks.

The Under is 6-0 during the 49ers’ six playoff road contests.

Rams team total Under 24.5 (-120)

I often play this corollary prop when expecting the opposing team to cover and the game to go Under.

The 49ers will execute their run-heavy game plan to keep the Rams' offense sidelined. And there will be plenty of three-and-outs if Bosa and Armstead get to Stafford. Combine those two factors, and Los Angeles will struggle to score. Take the Under in your 49ers-Rams picks.

49ers defense anytime TD (+600)

The 49ers' pass rush will easily beat the Rams’ offensive line.

Stafford tied for the lead in interceptions this season with 17 while also leading the NFL in interceptions returned for a touchdown (four).

There were several fumbles during the divisional round that nearly cost the Rams the game, too.

Ryans has stymied the Rams’ offense in both matchups this campaign, and his group is fresh off holding the Packers to only 10 points after Green Bay averaged 26.5 per game during the season.

Don’t be surprised to see San Francisco's defense make a big play and score, cashing in huge for our 49ers-Rams picks.

Same-game parlay: Kupp anytime TD (-150) + Mitchell anytime TD (+105) + Garoppolo Under 222.5 Passing Yards (-114) + 49ers alternate spread +7.5 (-200) = +1047 Odds

Kupp is a beast who's racked up 18 touchdowns, and he's torched San Francisco’s secondary this season. 

Meanwhile, the 49ers will use a run-heavy approach, and Mitchell has scored during four of his last six games. That also translates to Garoppolo throwing the ball fewer times. He has yet to exceed 200 passing yards in the playoffs. 

I'm expecting the 49ers to cover, so let's sweeten the pot with the alternate spread, and get the hook in case the Rams score a late touchdown.

SEE ALSO: All picks and odds. Be sure to check out SportsbookReview.com's community forums and betting tools.

49ers-Rams picks made on 1/26/2022 at 9:00 p.m. ET