The first rematch of the 2021 NFC Championship Game is an important one between the Los Angeles Rams (2-1) and San Francisco 49ers (1-2). That game, which featured a 10-point fourth-quarter comeback by the Rams, ended a six-game losing streak for Sean McVay’s Rams against Kyle Shanahan’s 49ers.
But the 49ers are still a 2-point home favorite with a total of 42 points at many of the best sportsbooks. Are we in store for another comeback and low-scoring game from these teams? Let’s look at the NFL odds for multiple betting markets in this matchup.
Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
Monday, October 3, 2022 – 08:15 PM EDT at Levi’s Stadium
Over/Under 42 Points: Will the Over Hit?
What We’ve Learned About Rams’ Offense
Scoring is down around the NFL this season, and these two teams are part of the reason why. For the Rams, they had that awful 31-10 rout on opening night against a very prepared Buffalo team. Since then, the protection has been much better for Matthew Stafford, who shredded two lousy defenses in the Falcons and Cardinals.
They should have blown out the Falcons before nearly letting a 28-3 lead slip away, then Sunday’s 20-12 win in Arizona is misleadingly close. Despite the 20 points, the Rams left points on the field with Cam Akers fumbling at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter for what was another very efficient day for the offense.
However, it was the first time Stafford did not throw a touchdown pass with the team. It was also the first time since 2020 that Cooper Kupp had under 60 receiving yards in a game, but his last three games under 90 yards have all been against the Cardinals. He had over 100 yards in all three games against San Francisco’s defense in 2021.
What We’ve Learned About 49ers’ Offense
As for the 49ers, they have been a chore to watch with 84 combined points in three games, the third-lowest total this season. We can blame the weather for Week 1’s ugly 19-10 loss in Chicago, but that 11-10 loss in Denver on Sunday night was embarrassing for Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start of the season. He ran out of bounds for a safety, threw a terrible pick with two minutes left, and then Jeff Wilson fumbled to end it.
The 49ers already lost starting running back Elijah Mitchell (MCL) for a while, starting quarterback Trey Lance (broken ankle) for the season, and now elite left tackle Trent Williams is out for at least a month with a high ankle sprain.
This may not be an offense to expect great things from this season, especially this weekend with Aaron Donald and company coming after a line missing its best player. Fortunately, the defense is still great and Garoppolo won’t need to score 28-plus to win.
In three matchups last year, the total points were 41, 51, and 37. Even the 51, a 27-24 overtime game, needed a game-tying touchdown drive by the 49ers in the final two minutes to prevent a 24-17 finish.
With the way these teams know each other so well and some of the deficiencies in the offenses, take the Under again.
NFL Pick: Under 42 (-107) at PointsBet
Highest Scoring Half?
Last Time They Met
We mentioned some of the comebacks between these teams last season. The 49ers were down 17-0 in Week 18 before rallying for that 27-24 win in overtime, the biggest comeback of Garoppolo’s career.
Then in the NFC Championship Game, Stafford had his most important fourth-quarter comeback from a 17-7 deficit to a 20-17 win. Yes, the 49ers dropped an interception at midfield that could have been crucial in that outcome. But the Rams got the job done.
Not That Solid After Halftime
This season, the 49ers have allowed 3 points in the first halves of three games, an incredible number. The next closest team is Dallas at 18 points. Unfortunately, the 49ers are the first team to blow two fourth-quarter leads this season, losing to the Bears and Broncos.
But they are giving up so little on defense that a safety by Garoppolo, a blocked field goal for a touchdown against Seattle, and a miraculous broken play by the Bears to Dante Pettis (51 yards) account for 16 of the 37 points the team has allowed.
As for the Rams, we already saw this team get popped 21-0 after halftime by the Bills on opening night. They allowed 24 second-half points to the Falcons in Week 2 as well.
We are predicting another game with a slow start and possible rally in the second half. For your NFL picks, go with the second half to be the higher scoring of the two halves in this one.
NFL Pick: Second Half as Highest Scoring Half (+100) at FanDuel
Final Prediction: Who Wins?
49ers Can’t Be Trusted
Watching the 49ers again in prime time is not that enticing after the slog we sat through Sunday night in Denver. You like to think the team will adjust and play with more desperation to avoid going 1-3 with their main rival going 3-1 in the division.
But then you remember the way Garoppolo was under siege on the final drive of the championship game, leading to the game-clinching interception that sent the Rams to the Super Bowl. You then see Williams out at left tackle and notice the team is not running the ball as consistently as they usually do.
They also still have not found the right balance of Deebo Samuel as a runner and receiver to take advantage of both talents in the same game. It’s usually feast and famine.
Rams Not That Great Either
The Rams are missing having that other receiving threat, whether it’s Odell Beckham Jr. or Robert Woods.
Tight end Tyler Higbee had a good game in Arizona, but the Cardinals might be the worst defense in the league right now.
Throwing to Ben Skowronek is likely not going to be a good outcome for the Rams in this matchup.
My expectations are for another close, low-scoring slugfest that comes down to the last drive.
Just for trusting Stafford and Kupp to get down the field for a field goal more than I trust Garoppolo to do it, I will take the Rams to cover, if not win outright on Monday night.
NFL Pick: Rams +1.5 (-110) at FanDuel