When the 49ers play the Rams for a third time this season in Sunday’s NFC Championship game (6:30 p.m. ET, Fox), a return trip to Super Bowl 56 in Los Angeles will be on the line. The teams just played in SoFi Stadium in Week 18, with the 49ers beating the Rams to get into the playoffs.
The conference No. 6 seed 49ers knocked off the Cowboys and Packers in big upsets. The No. 4 seed Rams bounced the third NFC West team, the Cardinals, in the wild-card round, before upending the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay last week.
Before the Bucs got to Super Bowl 55, the Rams were runners-up in Super Bowl 53 and the 49ers were runners-up in Super Bowl 54. These division rivals know each other well and know what it takes to get to the biggest game.
Here’s everything to know about betting on 49ers vs. Rams in the 2022 NFC championship game, including updated odds, trends and our prediction to advance to Super Bowl 56.
49ers vs. Rams odds for NFC Championship
The Rams have been toggling between field-goal favorites and getting the hook all week. The point total is conservative given how well both defenses can play. This should be another tight game either way.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
49ers vs. Rams all-time series
The 49ers lead 75-67-3. They have padded their lead by reeling off six consecutive victories, sweeping the regular-season series in 2021, 2020 and 2019. The Rams won both games in 2018. Before then, the 49ers had won four of five. These teams met in the NFC championship game 31 years ago, when the Joe Montana’s 49ers routed the Rams.
Three trends to know
—Nearly 57 percent of spread bettors are siding with the red-hot 49ers to either beat the Rams a third time or stay within a field goal.
—Nearly 64 percent of over/under bettors believe the game will stay under the reasonable under-50 point total.
—The 49ers are 8-2 against the spread and 8-2 straight up in their past 10 games, including playoffs. The total has gone over only three times. The Rams are 6-4 ATS while going 7-3 in the past 10 games, including playoffs. The total has gone over in half.
Three things to watch
The Rams will be aggressive throwing the ball with Matthew Stafford, looking for more pop from Cooper Kupp and the rest of the wide receivers. The 49ers will continue to stay dedicated to the run to open up the passing game for Jimmy Garoppolo and his diverse weapons. Each time has a big-time disruptor up front, the Rams’ Aaron Donald and the 49ers’ Nick Bosa. The key for both is finding the right mix of balance, explosiveness and efficiency while avoiding the strengths of the defenses.
Donald and Bosa each have plenty of help. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey and edge rusher Von Miller will try to deliver for Los Angeles, too. For Bosa, San Francisco has fellow end Arik Armstead and linebacker Fred Warner. The teams are sound fundamentally and fearless physically. Every yard will be hard-earned. Protecting the ball is an absolute must.
The 49ers won because of this phase against the Packers. Robbie Gould hit the game-winning field goal. They also blocked a field-goal attempt and returned a blocked punt for a TD. The Rams have gotten great kicking from Matt Gay and more strong punting from Johnny Hekker. A big play here can make a difference, including a possible return chance for Kupp or either Deebo Samuel.
Stats that matter
63.8 percent vs. 59.4 percent. The first number is the 49ers’ red zone touchdown percentage. The second is the Rams’ rate of scoring TDs when inside the 20. In an evenly matched game, who can finish close drives vs. setting for field-goal attempts or turning over the ball
49ers vs. Rams prediction
The 49ers can neutralize what the Rams do offensively and defensively a third time. They will run well again and get Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk going in the short-to-intermediate passing game, getting the ball out of Garoppolo’s hands quickly. They can also put pressure on Stafford with only their front four and make it tough in coverage to contain Kupp and others. Kyle Shanahan gets the better of Sean McVay again to make it two Super Bowl appearances in three seasons.
49ers 27, Rams 24
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