49ers vs. Rams: Final Odds, Spread Picks for NFC Championship Game 2022January 30, 2022
On Sunday, for the third time this season, the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers will face off. Only this time, the stakes will be much higher.
The Rams and 49ers are going head-to-head in the NFC Championship Game, with the winner advancing to Super Bowl LVI. They will go on to face the AFC champion—either the Kansas City Chiefs or the Cincinnati Bengals—with the Lombardi Trophy on the line Feb. 13.
It hasn't been long since the Rams and 49ers were in the Super Bowl. Los Angeles made it at the end of the 2018 season, and San Francisco reached it during the 2019 season. However, the Rams haven't won the title since the 1999 season, while the 49ers' most recent Super Bowl victory came at the end of the 1994 season.
Here's everything else you need to know heading into this year's NFC Championship Game.
NFC Championship Game Odds
Spread: Los Angeles -3.5
Over/Under: 45.5 total points
Moneyline: Los Angeles -180 (bet $180 to win $100); San Francisco +155 (bet $100 to win $155)
The Rams seem like the stronger of the teams contesting Sunday's NFC Championship Game. They went 12-5 during the regular season to win the NFC West title and dominated the Arizona Cardinals in the Wild Card Round. Perhaps most impressively, they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the divisional round.
However, Los Angeles has not fared well when it has previously faced San Francisco this season. And if the Rams can't figure out how to beat the 49ers, their season will be over.
In Week 10, San Francisco rolled to a 31-10 home win over Los Angeles. During that matchup, the 49ers dominated time of possession, holding on to the ball for 39 minutes and three seconds and capitalizing on a pair of interceptions thrown by Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
When the division rivals met again in Los Angeles in Week 18, it was a much closer game. The Rams led by seven points late, but the 49ers forced overtime with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Jauan Jennings with 26 seconds to go. San Francisco went on to win on Robbie Gould's 24-yard field goal in OT.
It wouldn't be surprising if Sunday's game is more like the second matchup between these teams. Even though the 49ers are the No. 6 seed in the NFC, they have been impressive this postseason, going on the road to score upset victories over the Dallas Cowboys and the top-seeded Green Bay Packers.
If the Rams beat the 49ers this time, it won't matter that they lost to them twice in the regular season.
"This is a different type of football here that's going on this week," Los Angeles defensive lineman Aaron Donald said, per Greg Beacham of the Associated Press. "This week, my mindset is there's no way we're going to lose this game. We have to play four quarters. We have to find a way to finish, and I know we're going to do that."
Donald is right: The Rams are going to finish the job this time against the 49ers.
Los Angeles has won seven of its past eight games, with its lone loss during that stretch coming against San Francisco. The Rams have picked up momentum in the postseason, and they withstood a huge comeback from the Buccaneers in the divisional round to pull out a victory.
Stafford didn't win a playoff game over his first 12 NFL seasons , and he's now won two. The veteran quarterback appears motivated to power a Los Angeles team filled with talent to Super Bowl LVI, and he is poised to have a big game against the 49ers.
Expect the Rams to go up by 10 points in the fourth quarter on a Stafford touchdown pass. Then their defense will shut down the 49ers the rest of the way to get them to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years.
Prediction: Rams 27, 49ers 17
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