After playing in the NFC Championship Game last season, the San Francisco 49ers (3-4) and Los Angeles Rams (3-3) are struggling through an NFC West race that has Seattle (4-3) currently on top.
But the 49ers have a big opportunity to head into the bye with a 4-4 record and sweep off the Rams if they can pull it off this week.
The 49ers are a 1.5-point road favorite in a game with a total of 42.5 points at many of the top-rated sportsbooks. That is the same spread and total from the Week 4 meeting, a 24-9 win by the 49ers.
This would be only the fourth time Rams’ coach Sean McVay is a home underdog in a game where he wasn’t expected to rest his starters. He is 1-2 SU and 1-2 ATS as a home underdog, but he is also 4-8 against Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers (1-7 since 2019).
San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, October 30, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at SoFi Stadium
Recap of Last Meeting
- Week 4: 49ers 24 - Rams 9
These teams met in San Francisco on a Monday night earlier this month. While the Rams got on the board first with a field goal, the 49ers took a lead late in the first quarter and never gave it up.
The San Francisco defense absolutely punished Matthew Stafford, who is 2-6 against the 49ers in his career, and the weak offensive line of the Rams. He was sacked seven times and threw a pick-six late in the fourth quarter while trailing 17-9.
Cooper Kupp had 14 catches for 122 yards, but the Rams lacked that other wide receiver option like they had in the title game in January with Odell Beckham Jr. helping Kupp out.
Bent but Not Broken
The 49ers may have lost some shine on defense since this matchup, but no one is going to confuse these 2022 Rams for the Chiefs and what Patrick Mahomes just did to the defense on Sunday.
Shanahan just has a good read on what McVay’s team does, and Deebo Samuel has been a stud with touchdowns in six of eight meetings since 2019.
He shined again in Week 4 with 115 receiving yards as the Rams are one of the defenses that don’t seem to rattle quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that much.
Bye Weeks and Trades
One angle to this game is the Rams having a bye week to prepare, but it feels like that advantage is lessened when it’s a division game and both teams already have plenty of knowledge of one another.
Besides, McVay’s Rams have already lost following the bye week in two of the last three seasons, including last year at Green Bay, his record is not perfect after the bye. Also, Shanahan is 9-6-1 ATS when his team has a rest disadvantage since 2017.
Since these teams last met, you could argue the 49ers have improved their roster after left tackle Trent Williams and edge rusher Nick Bosa returned from injury against the Chiefs.
The team also made a huge move by trading for Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey. He played on Sunday and looked explosive (62 yards on 10 touches) despite just receiving the playbook on the plane ride to San Francisco. He should be better prepared to play more this weekend.
Usually, the Rams are the team that makes the big, flashy trade, but this time it was San Francisco. A bye week and no trade will not cure the Rams of their deficiencies along the offensive line, the lack of viable receivers after Kupp, or that the defense is a little basic now that Von Miller went to Buffalo and corner Jalen Ramsey is not at the top of his game.
The 49ers usually avoid throwing Ramsey’s way, though he did allow 120 yards and a touchdown in the last regular-season meeting in SoFi Stadium between these teams.
Can the 49ers Ride Defense to Sweep?
This season has broken down rather neatly for these teams. When the 49ers play great defense, they win (outside of a bad Denver performance).
When the defense is bad, like in games with the Falcons and Chiefs, they don’t win. The defense has usually been good against these Rams.
For the Rams, they are 3-0 this season when they score at least 20 points and keep Stafford upright without allowing multiple sacks. But the Rams are 0-3 when they score no more than 10 points and Stafford is taking five-to-seven sacks.
Elite defensive fronts like the 49ers, Bills, and Cowboys have been killing this team this year, taking advantage of the inferior blocking and receiving options.
The 49ers have not looked the part on defense the last two weeks, but Bosa and company can terrorize Stafford, who leads the NFL odds boards by a wide margin in pick-sixes thrown (six times) since he joined the Rams last year.
49ers vs. Rams Best Bets and Prediction
The 49ers may be all in for a Super Bowl this season, but this is not the kind of team you can trust in that matchup if it was playing against Buffalo (Josh Allen) or Kansas City (Patrick Mahomes).
You just do not trust Garoppolo enough to hold his own in a shootout with those quarterbacks in the playoffs where his numbers are significantly worse than the adequate level they are at in the regular season.
But when it comes to playing the Rams, you can trust Garoppolo to hold his own against Stafford. Both are a pick-six waiting to happen, and both get you nervous when they drop back to throw at times.
Best Skills and Characteristics
The 49ers have just been better at shutting offenses down, and despite the Rams having Aaron Donald, they are mediocre at limiting points once again this year.
That has been the case for most of McVay’s tenure outside of 2020, when they were the top-ranked scoring defense.
With an extra week to get McCaffrey ready to shine in this talented offense, look for the 49ers to design a play that sees him score his first touchdown for them.
But there likely won’t be that many touchdowns in this matchup again, so go with the under to hit like it did in Week 4.
It is hard to bet against a team that has won seven out of eight against an opponent, and the only blemish was the biggest matchup of them all, but even that required the Rams to make a 10-point fourth-quarter comeback.
The Rams haven’t scored more than 10 points in half their games this season. For our NFL picks, we'll take the 49ers to cover and get to 4-4 going into the bye week.
Score Prediction: 49ers 23 - Rams 17
NFL Pick: Christian McCaffrey Anytime Touchdown Scorer (+110) at Bovada
NFL Pick: 49ers -1.5 (-110) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.