The San Francisco 49ers will close out their season against the Los Angeles Rams with a playoff berth at stake.
NFL betting lines for Week 18 have opened up with the Niners as 4.5-point underdogs.
San Francisco beat the Rams earlier this season, 31-10. Let’s see if the 49ers can have another big game offensively and earn a spot in the postseason.
49ers vs. Rams Game Information
Before looking deeper into this game, here’s what you need to know:
- Date: Sunday, Jan. 9th
- Time: 4:25 P.M. EST on FOX
- Venue: SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA
- Participants: San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams
The San Francisco 49ers Offense
As of now, it is unclear whether Jimmy Garoppolo will return from his thumb injury or if Trey Lance will make another start.
Garoppolo started in San Fran’s first game against the Rams and was 15/19 for 182 yards and two touchdowns en route to the 31-10 victory.
Meanwhile, this past Sunday was Lance’s second career start, but he led the team to 23 points by throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns.
The offense can work with either under center because their focal point is running the ball. They have the fifth-most rushing attempts and seventh-most yards in the NFL entering Week 18.
Elijah Mitchell has racked up 878 yards and five touchdowns in the ten games he’s played this season. Mitchell is another player that’s questionable this week, as he sat out of Wednesday’s practice with a knee injury. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel has also taken carries out of the backfield and impacted the running game, along with being the team’s leading receiver.
They’re both the catalysts for the 49ers’ offense and a big reason they average 25 points per game this season.
The Los Angeles Rams Defense
The Rams have been holding opponents to 21.6 points per game, although the Niners were one of the three teams to score over 30 against them. Over their last five games, they’ve allowed just 16.4 per game.
They’ve allowed the sixth-fewest rushing yards and the fifth-fewest yards per rush on the season. Against the 49ers the first time, they held them to 3.5 yards per rush but gave up 156 yards on 44 carries. They struggled to force incompletions against San Francisco earlier in the year, with Garoppolo completing 78.9% of his passes. The Rams also struggled to get San Francisco off the field. The 49ers’ time of possession in the first matchup was 39:03, nearly two-thirds of the game.
What to Expect
I’m not confident that the San Francisco 49ers will dominate offensively and control the game like they did the first time. The Rams’ defense has improved since that game. In their past three games, they’ve only allowed 197 passing yards per game, which is 40 yards fewer than their season average. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers scored over 20 points regardless of who starts at quarterback if they can run the ball well.
Their offense is strong, just like the Rams, and I would consider them an intriguing option for BetMGM’s Week 18 King of the Weekend promo if you believe that Elijah Mitchell will play. Sign up for an account today, pick the six teams that you think will score the most points, and you could win $50,000.
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