We’re down to the final four teams in the NFL postseason, and one wager in particular sticks out for Sunday’s card. Let’s dive into my 49ers NFC Championship bets — for the right to play in Super Bowl 56.
Click on the odds below to place a bet now. You can continue the discussion in our betting community, as we break down all of the games throughout the week.
San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
You’ve read the trend all week. Kyle Shanahan is both 7-3 against the spread (ATS) and straight-up versus Sean McVay’s Rams, but there’s no need to follow that blindly. Bettors need to dig below the surface to determine why.
Whether Matthew Stafford or Jared Goff is under center, San Francisco dominates the line of scrimmage. In their two meetings this season — each of them outright wins for the 49ers as underdogs — they tallied a combined 17 quarterback hits.
Now, a pair of metrics could potentially negate that a third time around. For one, Los Angeles ranks No. 1 in pass block win rate, which tracks how often linemen retain their assignments for at least 2.5 seconds. Stafford produces the fourth-highest completion percentage (53.8%) when under pressure, too.
But San Francisco is stellar at manufacturing sacks with just its front-four (No. 29 in blitz percentage), generating the fifth-best pass rush win rate as a result. In turn, McVay’s offense averaged 4.6 yards per play (YPP) against the 49ers this season.
A similar principle translates to the other side of the ball. Thanks to Shanahan’s elaborate scheme, San Francisco accrued a combined 46.0% rushing success rate (SR) against McVay’s unit. That percentage would slot into the top 10 every week.
- SR showcases whether a play is successful if a team gains:
- 50 percent of the yards needed to move the chains on first down
- 70 percent of yards to gain on second down
- 100 percent of yards to gain on third or fourth down
Keep in mind, its efficiency in the Week 18 comeback was orchestrated despite going up against a negative game script for much of the contest.
Moreover, the narrative surrounding 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is a little unjust, as he tied Patrick Mahomes for the sixth-highest completion percentage over expected (CPOE) across the NFL. His interception in the Wild Card game nearly cost San Francisco a ticket to the next round, yet he’s a viable passer when Elijah Mitchell & Co. find room on the ground consistently.
Another matchup edge comes via Niners left tackle Trent Williams (ankle). The 11-year pro represents a major cog to Shanahan’s run game, and he appears to be in position to give it a go.
Expect San Fran to stay within a possession. With this line above a key number, take points with a live “road” underdog.
Eli’s Bet: 49ers +3.5 (-110)
49ers NFC Championship Bets: 49ers +3.5 or better
Best Available Line: 49ers