Had to laugh when it was pointed out that San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is 15-4 against the spread when his team is the underdog.

“More like his defense is 15-4 ATS,” was a common response.

This season, the 49ers are 4-1 against the spread as underdogs, with — more impressively — four wins outright. They’ve beaten Dallas, Green Bay, and the Rams twice.

The Rams, who will host Sunday’s NFC championship, blew a 17-point lead to San Fran on Jan. 9 and nearly had one of the all-time playoff gags on Sunday before beating Tampa Bay at the buzzer. They were just 7-9 against the number as a favorite, but covered four of their last five at home. The exception being the game against the 49ers.

Three other things to know about the 49ers-Rams (Sunday, 6:30 p.m., Fox29):

  • The 49ers have won the last six meetings. The last two played in Los Angeles were on walk-off field goals by Robbie Gould, who drilled the winning kick at the buzzer Saturday night to beat Green Bay.

  • The Rams have been favored in the last four meetings by an average of about 3.5 points, which is where this Sunday’s line generally opened. The over/under is 46.5.

  • Garoppolo is 4-1 in his career as a playoff starter. He has two touchdown passes and five interceptions in those five games, and is on the verge of taking the 49ers to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. That’s hard to do.


The Chiefs opened at -6.5 in some places, -7.5 in others. That could be a crucial difference for both bettor and bookie. The line had settled into Chiefs -7 by Monday.

» READ MORE: Joe Banner: Eagles should move on from Jalen Reagor this offseason

The big move was in the over/under, which opened at 50.5, but quickly jumped to 54 shortly after Sunday night’s track meet when the Chiefs eliminated the Bills, 42-36, in overtime.

Three other things to know about Sunday’s game (3 p.m., CBS3):

  • Kansas City is 11-1 after starting the season 3-4. At one point, the Chiefs were +1600 to win the Super Bowl. They are the clear favorites today.

  • K.C.’s only loss in that span was at Cincinnati on Jan. 2. The Bengals were 3.5-point ‘dogs and won it with a 20-yard field goal by Evan McPherson in the final seconds. The Chiefs led, 28-17, at the half, and the over (51) hit early in the third quarter.

  • The Bengals have covered their last five as road underdogs with outright wins at Pittsburgh (+3), at Baltimore (+6), at Denver (+3), and at Tennessee (+4). They lost at Cleveland in the final week of the season while resting most of their regulars, but still covered the +5.5-point spread.

Super Bowl odds

BetMGM/via SportsOddsHistory.com

Feb. 8, 2021, vs. Jan. 24, 2022

Cincinnati: Was 80-1, is 8-1

Kansas City: Was 6-1, is approximately 1-1

L.A. Rams: Was 12-1, is 2-1

San Francisco: Was 16-1, is 9-2

» READ MORE: ‘That’s on us to continue to build’: Eagles GM Howie Roseman assesses Jalen Reagor, wide receiver corps

This and that

NFL: The Chiefs are +120 to win the Super Bowl, but Patrick Mahomes to win Super Bowl MVP is +180.

NFL: A money-line parlay on the four winning teams this weekend would have paid out somewhere around 30-1. Had the Bills (up three with 13 seconds left and kicking off) beaten the Chiefs, that payout would have been about 37-1.

College basketball: A FanDuel customer turned a $10 four-team parlay (in-game) into $64,170 with four college basketball underdogs on Saturday. Three needed to win in overtime on the road, including Army erasing a 27-point deficit in the first half to shock Navy.

NHL: Just how rough has it been for the Canadiens? On Jan. 1, they played at Florida and the Panthers were -650. It was the highest line for a hockey game many in the industry had ever seen. Over the weekend, Montreal played at Colorado and the line was even higher; the Avs were -700. Montreal forced overtime, but Colorado won it. It was the Avalanche’s 11th win in 12 games. Montreal had eight wins all season entering Monday.

NHL: File this away for later in the week: Overs are 18-6-1 in Florida Panthers home games. Their next is Thursday against Vegas, which has an 11-5-0 mark for the overs in road games. Florida entered the week second in the league in goals per game (4.00). Vegas is sixth (3.46).

And finally

There were two NFL games on Saturday, 11 in the NHL, three in the NBA, 130-plus in men’s college basketball, plus the Aussie Open, and a full UFC card.

“Days like today are the ones you just want to get through — no matter how — as a bookmaker,” tweeted Rex Beyers, risk manager of SuperBook in Las Vegas. “The informed players have a significant edge based solely on sheer volume of games where we have to put up a number and won’t have all the pertinent info.”