Minty Bets previews the NFC Championship game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams, and tells you what she thinks are the best bets, including a couple of player props.
MINTY BETS: Welcome to "Yahoo Sportsbook Daily." It's Thursday January 27, 2022. And I'm your betting guide, Minty Bets, here to break down the NFC title game.
We've got just an unfair match-up as two NFC West teams face off to represent the conference. The LA Rams host the San Francisco 49ers. The Rams are 3 and 1/2 point favorites, and the total is 46 and 1/2.
My first instinct was to lay the 3 points with the home team when this line was first released. But of course, we can't impulse bet like that, my friends. So let's dive into it.
San Francisco has had LA's number in recent years. The 49ers have won six straight meetings against the Rams and have covered in the four most recent match-ups. Through this last half of the season, I really talked down about the Rams. I repeated myself saying they possess a very talented roster, but they don't have the explosiveness of what you'd expect from such talent. I still kind of stand by that.
Although I have always respected Matthew Stafford's ability to perform under pressure and his cannon of an arm, also Cooper Kupp is just jaw-dropping. You have to cover that guy at all times. The Rams shouldn't have allowed the Bucs to come up from behind as close as they did.
I'm not going to bore you guys with a ton of numbers in this pod because that's not really what I do. Plain and simple, Rams offense, great but could be perfect. Their defense could certainly improve in terms of consistency. And that O-line is a little weak now without Andrew Whitworth. Hopefully he returns.
Moving on to the 49ers, their offense can be a little hit-or-miss. But they've really shown dominance this last half of the season. They certainly have the defensive edge here. And in the regular season, they allowed the third-fewest total yards from their opponents and the tenth-fewest points per game. Their special teams also vital, as they crushed it against Green Bay in the divisional round.
Jimmy G. a bit banged-up, but this team is able to eat the clock and keep LA's offense off the field as much as possible. They're also going to do well in applying pressure to Stafford. I think by now you can kind of tell I'm going to take the points with the 49ers.
Plus 3 and 1/2 is such a great number. I think this line is set just right. Kyle Shanahan is 27 and 18 against the spread as an underdog. And he's also 7 and 3 straight up against Sean McVay. Now, the only thing that really worries me about this bet is not only injuries and seeing who ends up not playing on game day but the fact that San Francisco has already defeated LA twice this regular season.
It's almost unheard-of to beat the same team three times in a season. So you could say I'm a little superstitious in thinking that maybe the Rams are due for a win here. But I have to trust the numbers. I have to trust my gut. And I'm betting the 49ers, plus 3 and 1/2, are better. And of course, on the moneyline, plus 155.
I truly, so badly want to see the Super Bowl match-up be the 49ers versus the Bengals. If that actually happens I'm going to be a very happy. But I don't think anyone else wants to see that match-up.
Onto the total. 46 and 1/2 is a really neutral number. And this number is telling me that defenses will play somewhat of a big role in this game. I won't be betting on the total. However, I recommend one of two things, teasing it down 6 points and taking the over at 40 and 1/2 or betting the first half under.
I can see this being a slow start before each defense gets gassed and offense picks up. The Niners have hit the under in six of their last nine regular season games. But a lot of those unders were against inferior offenses like the Texans, Titans, Falcons, and Jaguars.
And the Rams do most of their scoring in the second half. Currently, the first half total is set at 23 and 1/2. Over is even money. And under is minus 125. So it's looking like the books also know it'll be a slow beginning before the true action begins. I would take the first half under.
OK, I've talked a lot more than usual. So let's wrap things up with two player props I'm looking at, starting off with Jimmy Garoppolo. We've got 228 and 1/2 passing yards set for good old Jimmy G. And I'm going to go under. His thumb hurts. His shoulder's tweaked. You'd better believe he's going to do everything to take care of that ball by handing it off to the more reliable players who can carry it downfield, like Elijah Mitchell and hopefully Deebo, if he's good to go.
In the postseason, Garoppolo has recorded less than 200 passing yards in both of those games. We're going under this total here.
And we're ending with Odell Beckham Jr. His receiving yards is set at 50 and 1/2, which I think is pretty high, seeing as how, against the Niners this season, he's only recorded 18 yards both times. What are the odds of that?
OBJ it was a loud addition to LA. And what I mean by that is that the expectations were high. And I do believe he can still add a lot of flair to his catches. But he's been somewhat underwhelming this season. I'm going under 50 and 1/2 receiving yards.
[CASH REGISTER RINGS]
Now to recap my picks, I've got the Niners plus 3 and 1/2 and on the moneyline, first half under 23 and 1/2, Jimmy G. under 228 and 1/2 passing yards, and OBJ under 50 and 1/2 receiving yards. You can follow me on Twitter over @MintyBets and follow all of our content over @YahooSportsbook.
Create a BetMGM account, and place your first bet risk-free bet up to $1,000. If your bet loses, you get your bet amount up to $1,000 added back to your account in free bets. You must be 21 and older in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming only. Terms apply. Go to BetMGM.com/Yahoo to get started or use promo code Yahoo when making your first deposit.
Pam Maldonado will be back tomorrow on "Yahoo Sportsbook Daily." Until then, goodbye and good luck.