The San Francisco 49ers are 2.5-point favorites heading into Sunday's matchup against the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams. It is the first time the 49ers are road favorites since a matchup against the Oakland Raiders in December of 2014. San Francisco lost that game 24-13.

The reason for the spread has more to do with the fact that the Rams will be resting several of their starters and less to do with the impressive play of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Although, the latter helps.

No matter what, the Rams will host a home playoff game as the third or fourth seed in the NFC. On Tuesday, head coach Sean McVay told reporters that it was more important to get players healthy than winning an almost meaningless Week 17 game. Because the Rams lost to the Minnesota Vikings earlier this season, they cannot earn a first-round bye and are guaranteed to play a game during the Wildcard round of the postseason.

On Wednesday, Omar Ruiz of NFL Network reported that, according to McVay, the Rams would not play quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, center John Sullivan, among others.


The 49ers and Rams last met on September 21 during a Thursday night nail-biter. Los Angeles ended up winning the matchup at Levi's Stadium by a score of 41-39. On Wednesday, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was asked if he saw Super Bowl traits in the McVay-led squad during that game.

"Definitely recognized Super Bowl traits," Shanahan said. "I know there was a lot of good teams in the division. I know Arizona and Seattle had just as good a chance as anyone at the beginning of the year too. But going against that defense over the years, knowing some of the players that they have on their D, knowing some of the players that they have on their offense with improvement in what they did to the O-line, getting the system in that they did, knowing how top-notch their specials teams are, I think very easily you could see quickly that if they were able to stay healthy, they were going to have as good a chance as anyone."

A matchup between Garoppolo and Goff will have to wait until next season. The 49ers remain focused on finishing out the season strong, winning their fifth consecutive game, and sixth game of the season.

"You try to, every week, say that you're facing a faceless opponent," Garoppolo told reporters on Wednesday. "No matter who it is, you want to have the same mindset. No matter what type of game it is, first game of the season, last game of the season. I think we've done that pretty well the last couple of weeks, coming in, preparing every day, practicing hard, going through the little critiques of certain plays. I think if we keep doing that, we'll be good on Sunday."