San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel
San Francisco 49ers Deebo Samuel (19) runs with the ball during an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)


Patrick Werkmeister

In this NFC playoff contest, Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers travel to SoFi Stadium to face off against Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams. Last week, the 49ers went into Lambeau Field and upset Aaron Rodgers and the one-seed Packers, and the Rams stole one on the road in Tampa Bay. With this being the third meeting between these two this year, it will be interesting to see the outcome given that one side is 2-0 in these matchups. While both teams have the momentum from their recent play, there is only one squad with the clear-cut advantages over the other. Here is what picks I love and why I love them for this Conference Championship match.

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Rams (-3.5)
The Rams opened this game as three and a half-point home favorites and that is where the line currently sits. Although the 49ers have had the Rams number where they’ve won six straight against them, LA seems destined to win this game after their thrilling win last week. Despite losing a staggering four fumbles, the Rams were still able to knock off the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the 49ers were able to find their way into the postseason and have been on a run, they have been inconsistent in the regular season and are unreliable on offense and defense. Among playoff teams, they rank at the bottom in categories such as rushing yards per attempt and passing yards allowed per attempt, at 4 yards & 6.2 yards allowed respectively. With Matt Stafford at home against one of the worst passing defenses in the playoffs, the Niners could find themselves in a hole early. Stafford and the Rams average over 28 points per game at home this season. Although this San Fran defense has been able to force turnovers and get to the quarterback with the likes of Fred Wagner and Nick Bosa, they rank in the bottom third in yards allowed in the regular season, so watch out for Stafford to come out on fire. With this also being a huge revenge game for the Rams, I like this spot that they’re in. Take the Rams minus the points to handle the 49ers.

Odell Beckham Over 52.5 Receiving Yards
Following a more than productive half season with his new team, Rams receiver Odell Beckham should again be a big part of the passing attack. With wide receiver Robert Woods out for the season, Beckham has played a big role in picking up the slack since his absence. This year, he had a modest 27 catches on five touchdown receptions in just seven games with the Rams. However, he does have nearly 50 targets since joining their pass-heavy system, so he has been a big part of their offense. Additionally, last week in their Divisional playoff match vs the Bucs he had 69 yards receiving to go along with 6 receptions. Odell is still an unreal receiver and route runner and with his receiving prop still this low, it must be taken advantage of. With so many weapons on the Rams, all focus will be on players like Cooper Kupp or Cam Akers, leaving Beckham wide open. Although the Niners have a formidable defense, it will be hard to completely shut down an offense of this caliber. He has had some monstrous outings this year where he has a touchdown in six of his nine starts with Stafford as his QB. With how sure handed he is, he’ll make teams pay that give him any space at all. Expect Odell to have an overall solid night and take the over for his receiving yards prop. 

Deebo Samuel Any Time TD (-105)
With a staggering 1,400 yards receiving for the 49ers receiver this year, Deebo Samuel has also become a serious threat at running back with nearly 400 yards and eight touchdowns at the position. Deebo has been an absolute stud for the Niners where he is arguably the most dynamic player in the game. He has rushed the ball at least eight times in each game this season, so he has been very involved in the ground game this year. While the Rams defense is one of the most stout units in the league, Deebo has shown that anytime he touches the ball he could pop off. With his touchdown prop this juicy, given he is both a runner and a receiver, it must be taken advantage of. This prop has been easy money where he has 15 total TDs, so I’m going to stick with the hot hand in this one. His efficient dual-threat ability should allow him a chance to run one in for a score. Take Deebo Samuel to score in what I think should be a high-scoring affair. 

Same Game Parlay:

Deebo Samuel Anytime TD Scorer, Jimmy Garoppolo Over 224.5 Pass Yds, Matthew Stafford Over 2.5 Rush Yds, Odell Beckham Over 54.5 Rec Yds, Tyler Higbee Over 39.5 Rec Yds,

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