The San Francisco 49ers are heading to SoFi stadium to take on the Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon in this NFC West battle. Check out the Rams-49ers preview for the odds, predictions, and best bet, which is 49ers (-7).
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction & Best Bet
49ers Vs. Rams Prediction: 49ers -7
The Rams come back to Los Angeles for their home opener looking revived after their 30-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 1. After quarterback Matthew Stafford missed the back end of the 2022 season with elbow and back injuries, he didn’t miss a beat in his return. Stafford went 24-38 for 334 yards while connecting with young receivers Tutu Atwell and Puka Nacua for 119 yards each.
Their defense also came through with 3x Defensive Player of the Year defensive tackle Aaron Donald back. Not only did the defense limit the Seahawks to just 13 points, but Donald elicited such fear in quarterback Geno Smith, that he screamed “oh my god” as Donald came running toward him.
Still, the Rams won’t be a match for the 49ers. While on paper this is a road game for the 49ers, they are treating it as a home game by wearing their home jerseys and expecting to see their fans invade SoFi.
Beyond the home-field disadvantage potentially looming for the Rams, the 49ers are simply dominant. They schooled the supposedly up-and-coming Pittsburgh Steelers in a Week 1 30-7 thumping. On the offensive side of ball, Christian McCaffrey and Brandon Aiyuk thrived with McCaffrey rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown as Aiyuk eclipsed 129 receiving yards and two touchdowns on eight receptions. Aiyuk while also provided a key pancake block on McCaffrey’s 65-yard touchdown run. Brock Purdy followed up his strong rookie campaign with two touchdown passes in his return from a torn UCL.
Defensively, the 49ers took care of business limiting the Steelers to just seven points. The red and gold shut down any chatter from the preseason of Kenny Pickett becoming the next big quarterback in the NFL when they forced two interceptions and Drake Jackson sacked him three times.
Even more than this, the 49ers have owned the Rams in the regular season. The Rams haven’t beat the 49ers in the regular season since 2018. Stafford was healthy for both games between the two divisional foes in 2022, and SF still thumped LA 55-23 combined in the two games.
Though the Rams looked much improved in their first game from last year, I’m still taking the 49ers to win and cover thanks to the strength of their team as a whole and recent dominance over the Rams.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Los Angeles Rams Betting Odds
The 49ers are favored by (-7) over the Rams on the road. The point total has stayed pretty even throughout the week so far. The over/under for the game started at 42, but has since risen to 44.5 or 45.5.
San Francisco 49ers Vs. Los Angeles Rams Key Injuries
Neither the 49ers or Rams are dealing with many significant injuries. Dre Greenlaw, George Kittle, Ray-Ray McCloud, and Trent Williams were all full participants in practice Friday after either missing practice earlier in the week or working back from a minor injury. On the Rams side, Puka Nacua was limited in practice after his big game while Cooper Kupp is still on Injured Reserve. Aaron Donald didn’t practice Friday, but primarily so he could rest. Each team should have most of their key players set.
San Francisco 49ers vs Los Angeles Rams Key Matchups
Though a lot of the headlines for this game might focus on the quarterback battle — the first between a No. 1 overall pick (Stafford) and the last overall pick (Purdy) in NFL history — expect the running game to play one of the biggest roles in the outcome.
Christian McCaffrey Vs. Rams run defense
The 49ers offense is multi-faceted, but shutting down the run game and Christian McCaffrey will allow the Rams to take away a crucial part of their versatility. McCaffrey had his way versus the Rams last season. While on the Panthers, McCaffrey put up a 158 yards from scrimmage. After McCaffrey was traded to the 49ers, he faced the Rams again and put up 149 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.
Stopping McCaffrey will be huge for the Rams. Even if it doesn’t shut down the 49ers’ entire offensive gameplay, it puts more pressure on Brock Purdy and keeps the 49ers from getting easy yards and touchdowns. Against the Seahawks, the Rams limited Kenneth Walker III to just 64 yards on 12 carries, but the Seahawks also didn’t utilize him as much as they could’ve. Don’t expect the 49ers to make the mistake of not getting McCaffrey enough touches.