49ers game Sunday: 49ers vs. Rams odds and prediction for NFL Week 18 game

The San Francisco 49ers take the field before the game against the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
The San Francisco 49ers take the field before the game against the Los Angeles Rams (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Sunday, Jan. 9. Rams -5. 4:25 p.m. ET. 9-7. 42. Fox. 12-4. 51

The 49ers’ goal for Week 18 is simple: beat the Rams and get into the postseason. We’ve got your opening betting odds and early prediction right here.

In an ideal world, the San Francisco 49ers would have watched the Carolina Panthers follow up the Niners’ Week 17 victory over the Houston Texans with a victory over their own over the New Orleans Saints, the one team that could ultimately thwart head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad for a postseason berth.

Alas, that didn’t happen. The Saints won, so San Francisco is still playing seriously meaningful football for its Week 18 road contest against the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff picture, the Los Angeles Rams, as both teams square off at SoFI Stadium in Southern California on Sunday.

It’s not a throwaway game for Los Angeles, which can clinch the NFC West this weekend with a win over the 49ers or via an Arizona Cardinals loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Meanwhile, the Niners will be pulling for the Atlanta Falcons to knock off the Saints, which is the other way for San Francisco to get into the playoffs.

Winning would be better for the 49ers, of course, and they still might have to turn to rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who made his second-ever NFL start against the Texans and tossed two touchdowns against an interception in the 23-7 victory.

Lance could potentially be a Niners X-factor, but the opening odds aren’t exactly in San Francisco’s favor.

49ers vs. Rams odds Week 18

Maybe understanding Lance’s rawness, or the fact the Rams have pound-for-pound talent that’s superior to that of the 49ers entering this contest, the oddsmakers over at WynnBET list Los Angeles as a five-point favorite on the opening spread.

However, the last time head coach Sean McVay’s squad beat Shanahan and Co. was back in 2018, and the Niners hold a five-game win streak over their NFC West rivals, including a 31-10 stomping earlier this season back in Week 10.

That’s what San Francisco will be hoping for to close out the regular season and clinch a playoff berth.

The 49ers’ moneyline is +180, while the Rams are at -220.

The over/under is 44.5.

49ers vs. Rams prediction Week 18

We can hope we’re wrong here, but Week 18 is shaping up to be the end of the Niners’ win streak over LA.

Lance, should he start over the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, isn’t quite at the level where he can regularly test a Rams secondary led by All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, a defense that’s allowing a mere 5.9 yards per attempt entering Week 18.

And if Garoppolo ends up starting, one can fairly question his abilities with an injured thumb.

All the while knowing San Francisco’s suspect cornerback room isn’t something that could thwart a likely MVP candidate this season, Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

Again, perhaps we’re wrong. And that’d be a good thing overall. But let’s go ahead and predict a tough, hard-fought 49ers loss here with Los Angeles both winning and covering by a score of 27-20.

WynnBET Promo: Bet $1, Win $100 if any NFL or college football team scores. Claim offer now.

Next. 30 greatest 49ers players in franchise history. dark