Entering Week 2, the San Francisco 49ers Already Look Like Super Bowl Contenders

Entering Week 2, the San Francisco 49ers Already Look Like Super Bowl Contenders

When considering your early-season bets to win the NFL Super Bowl, did the San Francisco 49ers finish at or near the top of your potential options? If not, well, then you may want to re-evaluate how you feel about this year’s championship pecking order.

Indeed, we are only one week into the 2023 NFL season. But the 49ers already sent a message to the rest of the league with their 30-7 shellacking of the Pittsburgh Steelers. And as they prepare for their Week 2 matchup with their division rival Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, September 17, at 4:05 p.m. eastern standard time, it’s time to ask an important, possibly uncomfortable question: Should San Francisco actually be favorites to win the Super Bowl?

To be sure, we won’t necessarily get our answer this Sunday at SoFi Stadium, home of the Rams, in Inglewood, California. But this game will be a great measuring stick for both teams. The Niners need to beat a potential playoff team to assert their status as theoretical favorites. The Rams, meanwhile, need to prove their window hasn’t passed them by. We begin, as always, by taking a look at the latest NFL online betting odds for this showdown:

San Francisco 49ers-350+280Los Angeles Rams

Always remember to double-check these online NFL betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our San Francisco 49ers vs. Los Angeles Rams betting odds are accurate as of Tuesday, September 12. That gives the best online sportsbooks in the United States plenty of time to make changes between now and opening kickoff.

In this case, specifically, you’ll want to brace yourself for movement that favors the Niners. Public sentiment surrounding the Rams is at an all-time low since their 2021 Super Bowl victory. Many experts thought they were over the hill and vulnerable entering the season. A Week 1 victory over the Seattle Seahawks did little to abate that belief. But are the Rams, in fact, on the wrong side of their title window? Or is there still some magic left in the tank? Let’s get to our Rams vs. 49ers predictions!

The Los Angeles Rams Deserve to be Taken More Seriously Entering Their Matchup Against the San Francisco 49ers

Beating the Steelers isn’t necessarily worth writing home about. At the same time, the Rams offense absolutely carved them up. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 334 yards while completing over 63 percent of his passes. He didn’t toss a touchdown pass, but Los Angeles’ rushing game took care of business in the red zone. They got a TD from Cam Akers and two from fellow running back Kyren Williams.

Of course, the Niners boast one of the most lethal defenses in the NFL. That’s bad news for a Rams passing attack that already seems to lack a little pop. San Francisco has shown some vulnerabilities when it comes to preventing the run, but it normally comes at the expense of shutting down long-range opportunities. If Stafford continues to work the middle of the field on small-to-medium gains, it will make the Niners’ game plan that much simpler.

The real difference might just be San Francisco’s own offense. Specifically, how much do they trust quarterback Brock Purdy? The Rams have a front seven that should be able to limit Christian McCaffrey on the ground. That puts extra pressure on Purdy to make plays through the air. He did just that in Week 1, completing 65.5 percent of his passes and posting a QB rating of 111.3. However, the Niners’ offense continues to treat him with kid gloves. He attempted just 29 passes in Week 1, the 23rd most in the league so far. 

We expect Purdy to up that volume in Week 2. And we also expect him to make a handful of gnarly downfield throws. He gained about 11 yards per completion in Week 1, the sixth-best mark in the NFL. Though he still has a lot to learn as a youngster running an offense with Super Bowl aspirations, it’s clear that he’s trending upward.

OSB Prediction: San Francisco 49ers (-350)

San Francisco 49ers To beat the Los Angeles Rams

Are Linemakers Being Too Ambitious with San Francisco’s Heavy-Favorite Status?

We were pretty surprised when we saw how much the Niners were favored by. Here are the latest NFL point spread betting odds for this Week 2 matchup:

  • San Francisco 49ers, -8 (-110)
  • Los Angeles Rams, +8 (-110)

Eight points is a lot. It probably says more about the Niners’ defense than anything. And in some ways, we struggle to disagree. Can we trust the Rams’ up-and-down passing attack to sustain against the league’s best team at stopping aerial assaults?

Still, Los Angeles is at home. And while San Francisco hails from the same state, we think the Rams deserve a little more credit for the beatdown they just placed upon the Seahawks. This game should be decided by less than a touchdown.

OSB Prediction: Los Angeles Rams, +8 (-110)

San Francisco 49ers To cover the point spread against the Los Angeles Rams

Will the Niners and Rams Keep Racking Up Touchdowns?

Both the Rams and Niners eclipsed the 30-point plateau last week. As the latest NFL over/under betting odds show, the market doesn’t expect that to happen in Week 2:

  • Over 44.5 (-110)
  • Under 44.5 (-110)

This is an extremely well-placed line. And we’re tempted to go with the “over.” 

On the one hand, the Rams offense has clearly become underrated. On the other hand, the 49ers’ defense is involved. And in the two meetings these teams had last year, Los Angeles mustered just 23 total points. Without any material changes in personnel since then, we have no choice other than to invest in the “under.”

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2023 NFL betting needs:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

Online Sports Betting may receive compensation if you sign up through our links. Rest assured, we avoid biases and provide honest opinions on sportsbooks. Read more here.