NFC Championship Game Best Bets – 49ers vs. Rams

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We’ve already detailed the AFC Championship and now we have the NFC Championship between divisional foes and two teams that I personally didn’t expect to be here. Maybe the Rams, but certainly not the 49ers. Let’s see what we have available to bet on in these games.

The 49ers beat the Rams on the last weekend of the regular season to secure their path into the playoffs and now they have a shot to win again and bring themselves to the Super Bowl. The Rams lost both games to the 49ers this year. The second one, at home, was in overtime. That was also the first time that Sean McVay lost a game after leading at half-time.

Much has been made of Jimmy Garoppolo not throwing the ball particularly well. He really isn’t winning these games for the 49ers, but, perhaps more importantly, he isn’t losing them games (even with an interception in both games). Quite honestly, though, if he doesn’t perform better in this game the Rams will coast to victory. In the two games against the Rams he didn’t perform great either. He threw two interceptions and just one touchdown in the most recent game. In the first matchup, he threw for two touchdowns, no interceptions and under 200 yards. They really didn’t need him to do much as they won by 21 points.

Matthew Stafford hasn’t been exactly great against the 49ers this season either. In both games, he’s thrown two interceptions. In the playoffs though, he has been exactly what you’d expect and ask of him as a Rams fan. He hasn’t turned the ball over, he’s thrown over 70% completions, and he’s thrown for four touchdowns in the two games.

So, how do we break this one down? I look at this like what happened with the Buccaneers and Saints last year. The Saints beat the Bucs in both games in the regular season, but then when it mattered most, they couldn’t close the door against the Bucs in the playoffs. I’ve been wrong about the 49ers before, maybe I’ll be wrong about them in this game, but give me the Rams -3.5. Obviously, the -3 is preferred if you can get it, but I’ll take the line as posted. Here’s my main reason: if you just look at the games these teams have played to get here, the Rams look like the better team, the 49ers look like the lucky team.

The Rams were dominating the Buccaneers until Brady did his Brady stuff. Stafford had a gift given to him and Cooper Kupp was open and caught a long pass to get the game-winning field goal set up. For all of you conspiracy theorists out there, the NFL would probably prefer Rams vs. Chiefs over the rematch of 49ers and Chiefs.

I’m also going to play the first score of the game to be the Rams scoring a field goal. I like the odds on it +340 for LA to put the first points on the board (via field goal). San Francisco’s defense has been good, but I think the Rams offense can get them into range and then stall out. So I’ll play that as well on this game.

Written by David Troy

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