The Los Angeles Rams already have clinched a playoff berth for the fourth time in five seasons thanks to a five-game winning streak that has followed a string of three straight losses. They still have something for which to play in their final regular-season contest, as a third NFC West crown in five years under coach Sean McVay is within their grasp. The Rams (12-4) can capture that crown with a victory when they host the division-rival San Francisco 49ers (9-7) on Sunday. Los Angeles also would win the NFC West if Arizona loses at home to Seattle, while San Francisco will secure a wild-card spot if it defeats the Rams or New Orleans loses at Atlanta.
Kickoff from SoFi Stadium is set for 4:25 p.m. ET. Los Angeles is a 4.5-point favorite in the latest Rams vs. 49ers odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over-under for total points scored is 44.5. Before locking in any 49ers vs. Rams picks, make sure you check out the latest NFL predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven projection model.
The model, which simulates every NFL game 10,000 times, is up over $7,200 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception six-plus years ago. The model enters Week 18 of the 2021 season on an incredible 135-96 run on top-rated NFL picks that dates back to the 2017 season.
The model also ranked in the Top 10 on NFLPickWatch four of the past five years on straight-up NFL picks and beat more than 94 percent of CBS Sports Football Pick'em players four times during that span. Anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now, the model has set its sights on Rams vs. Niners on Sunday and just revealed its NFL Week 18 picks and predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the NFL odds and betting lines for Niners vs. Rams:
- Rams vs. 49ers spread: Los Angeles -4.5
- Rams vs. 49ers over-under: 44.5 points
- Rams vs. 49ers money line: Los Angeles -220, San Francisco +180
- LAR: The Rams are 5-2 against the spread in their last seven divisional games
- SF: The 49ers are 6-2 ATS in their last eight overall contests
Why the Rams can cover
Since this game is meaningful, Los Angeles won't be resting the likes of Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp, who have formed one of the most dangerous combinations in the NFL. Stafford is second in the league in both passing yards (4,648) and touchdown tosses (38) as he is having his best season since 2011, when he set career highs of 5,038 yards and 41 TDs with Detroit. The 33-year-old was the quarterback when Calvin Johnson registered the most receiving yards in a season in NFL history (1,964 in 2012) and has a chance to help Kupp break that record on Sunday.
Kupp's league-leading 1,829 yards are the fifth-most ever recorded in a single season, and his 15 touchdown catches also rank first in the NFL this year. The 28-year-old wideout has a league-high 138 receptions and needs 11 to tie the single-season mark set in 2019 by New Orleans' Michael Thomas. Kupp has hauled in at least 11 passes three times already this year and has finished with fewer than 92 receiving yards just once in his 16 appearances. The Los Angeles offense could get a boost from running back Cam Akers as he is set to play for the first time all season after suffering an Achilles injury five months ago.
Why the 49ers can cover
San Francisco, which has won five straight meetings with Los Angeles, is seventh in the NFL in rushing (126.9 yards) thanks primarily to Elijah Mitchell, who ranks 10th in the league with 878 yards. The 23-year-old rookie returned from a three-game injury absence (knee/concussion) to run for 119 yards and make his first career touchdown catch in last week's 23-7 victory over Houston. Opponents also must be aware of Deebo Samuel's running abilities, as the double-threat wideout has gained 320 yards on 51 carries and leads the 49ers with seven rushing TDs.
The 25-year-old Samuel is fifth in the NFL with 1,310 receiving yards and tied for seventh in total touchdowns with 13 (six receiving). He was instrumental in San Francisco's 31-10 home triumph over the Rams in Week 10, making five catches for 97 yards and a TD while also running for a score - the only time this season he has scored in both fashions in the same game. The 49ers rank fourth in the NFL in total defense (312.8 yards) and are tied for seventh in sacks (43) while defensive end Nick Bosa shares third place on the individual list with a career-high 15. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (thumb) is questionable, but San Francisco has a capable replacement in rookie Trey Lance ready to step in.
How to make Rams vs. 49ers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting 48 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time. You can only get the model's 49ers vs. Rams pick at SportsLine.
So who wins 49ers vs. Rams on Sunday? And which side of the spread hits more than 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Rams vs. 49ers spread to be all over on Sunday, all from the advanced model that is up more than $7,200 on its top-rated NFL picks, and find out.