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Los Angeles Rams vs San Francisco 49ers opening odds: Can LA upset another division rival?

Rams haven’t beaten the 49ers in a regular season matchup since 2018

San Francisco 49ers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams play their first home game of the 2023 season against the San Francisco 49ers, with the Rams opening as 6.5-point underdogs according to DraftKings Sportsbook. LA is looking for a second-straight upset against a bitter NFC West foe.

Los Angeles hasn’t beaten the 49ers in a regular season matchup since 2018. Including the postseason, LA has lost eight of the past nine games to the Niners. In the opener, the Rams silenced any doubts analysts had about a team coming off a dismal injury-riddled 5-12 campaign.

On Sunday, LA went into Seattle and stunned the crowd at Lumen Field while winning 30-13. Quarterback Matthew Stafford performed well on the road without trusted target Cooper Kupp. Stafford was held without a score through the air but managed to put together an efficient outing.

The opener was a coming out party for Tutu Atwell and rookie Puka Nacua as they combined for 238 yards on 16 receptions, tied as the team’s leading receivers with 119 yards apiece. Atwell and Nacua became the first pair of receivers aged 23 or younger with dual 100-yard games since 1958. Heading into the game, the defense under Raheem Morris was a major question mark given all the unproven starters. Seattle was able to muster only three total yards in the second half, finishing with 180 total yards on the day.

The 49ers also had themselves a dominant performance on the road by blowing out the Steelers 30-7. Brock Purdy returned to action following his injury in the NFC Championship to throw a pair of touchdowns to Brandon Aiyuk. Christian McCaffrey punished Pittsburgh on the ground as he went for 152 yards on 22 carries, kicking off the second half with a backbreaking 65-yard house call.

The defense didn’t miss a beat in the first game under new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. San Francisco sacked second-year QB Kenny Pickett five times and forced him into throwing a bad pair of interceptions. The Steelers were held without a first down until late in the first half and were unable to ever get into a rhythm offensively.

Who do you trust more this week? Will the 49ers defense continue their streak of dominance against a foe they’ve gotten the best of in recent years? Will Matthew Stafford and his young pass catches step up once again versus a hated archrival? While I expect the Rams’ offense to continue surprising, I just don’t see their unproven defense being able to keep up with a team that has played in the last two NFC title games.

My pick is for the Rams to go over the spread and lose a closer than expected home opener at SoFi Stadium. Who are you betting on in Week 2? Let’s discuss in the comments!