49ers vs. Rams: NFC Championship 2022 Odds and Over/Under Predictions

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2022

49ers vs. Rams: NFC Championship 2022 Odds and Over/Under Predictions

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    Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

    NFL fans likely wouldn't have drawn it up this way a few weeks ago.

    The top two seeds in the NFC—the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers—both lost during the Divisional Round Weekend. This leaves us with the sixth-seeded San Francisco 49ers and the fourth-seeded Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game.

    While it's an unlikely matchup, it's still going to be a great one. They are two strongly constructed teams, with fast, physical defenses, skill players galore, innovative head coaches and loads of Super Bowl experience—they've each represented the NFC within the last three years.

    The Rams and 49ers also happen to be bitter NFC West rivals, which adds an element of familiarity to the showdown. The game is in L.A., but the Rams haven't beaten San Francisco since 2018. It may sound cliche, but this is a game that could go either way.

    Here's everything you need to know for Sunday's NFC Championship Game.

Game Info and Odds

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    Aaron Gash/Associated Press

    Date: Sunday, January 30

    Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

    TV and Live Stream: Fox, Fox Sports app

    Money Line: Rams -180 (bet $180 to win $100), 49ers +155 (bet $100 to win $155)

    Line: Rams -3.5

    Over/Under: 46


    *Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Preview and Prediction

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    Alex Menendez/Associated Press

    The familiarity between these two teams will be a factor on Sunday, but home-field advantage might not be. The Rams limited ticket sales to residents of the greater Los Angeles area. However, there are no such restrictions on resale tickets now that the game has sold out.

    In the last meeting, the stands at SoFi Stadium were largely filled with 49ers fans, which actually led to communications issues for the Rams.

    "It was a tough environment for us to communicate in really the whole second half," L.A. quarterback Matthew Stafford said, per ESPN's Lindsey Thiry.

    In the second half of the regular-season finale, the 49ers mounted a comeback. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't been perfect this season, but he's been good against Los Angeles. He helped lead San Francisco from a 17-3 halftime deficit into overtime. A Robbie Gould field goal gave the 49ers the win.

    If the Rams are going to hold serve at home, they're going to have to avoid a similar collapse—the kind they nearly experienced against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They'll also have to contain a ferocious running game led by Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel.

    Los Angeles will need to step on the gas early and play with a sense of urgency for all four quarters. With an offense that features Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr., L.A. has the firepower to do exactly that.

    The challenge will be continuing to adjust against San Francisco's third-ranked defense. That simply didn't happen the last time around.

    As previously mentioned, the 49ers have gotten the better of the Rams over the last few years. It could easily happen again here. However, I'd expect Rams coach Sean McVay to finally figure it out against Kyle Shanahan and his team.

    Expect this one to go down to the wire once again, but for Garoppolo to make a critical mistake late that allows Los Angeles to advance to Super Bowl LVI.

    Prediction: Rams 30, 49ers 27


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