NFL Playoff Preview: Making the Betting Case For the Rams vs. Seahawks Wild Card Game
L.A.’s stop unit is good enough to keep them in any game
For the Los Angeles Rams, it hasn’t been easy. But the important thing for them this season, as it stands now, is that they are back.
Back in the post-season after last year’s season of disappointment. And even though they weren’t necessarily explosive on offense, their defense may be better than the one that got them to the Super Bowl two years ago.
The Rams got into the playoffs as a wild card. And in the first round of the NFC playoffs, they will play the champions of their division. The Seattle Seahawks, who won the NFC West, will be waiting for them on Saturday.
The game starts at 4:40 PM ET at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. And if you are a BetAnySports customer, you can enjoy better odds with reduced juice. In addition to that, you can experience real-time wagering during the game with Sports Betting Prime.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams Wild Card Odds
|Rams||+3 (-105)||42 (-106)||+148|
|Seahawks||-3 (-115)||42 (-114)||-170|
Now it is time to make the case for the Rams to gain the cover in this playoff game:
Goff aims to return – and that would be a relief
Jared Goff broke his thumb in the team’s 15th game, a loss to the San Francisco 49ers. And he promptly had surgery on it. Consequently, the Rams had to go with someone in his place. And that someone was John Wolford, who had been very good at Wake Forest, and in the Alliance of American Football, but had never thrown a pass in the NFL.
This was a handicap in the season finale against Arizona, which the Rams had to win to get to the playoffs. Actually, Wolford didn’t do all that badly. He completed 22 of 38 passes for 231 yards and had 56 yards on the ground. But the Rams were still fortunate that they had knocked Cardinals’ QB Kyler Murray out of the game in the first quarter. That forced Arizona to go with former CFL signal-caller Chris Streveler, which has a bigger handicap.
And so here the Rams are, making it to the post-season for the third time under Sean McVay.
And Goff has been practicing. Last we saw, he had been listed as “questionable” for the game. And in a contest of this magnitude, we can’t imagine anyone with that designation would sit it out.
The Rams’ offense revolves around play-action. So the fact that Goff does that more than anyone in the league should be no surprise.
Goff has thrown the ball on play-action on 172 of his 552 attempts this season. So he not only allows the Rams’ offense to operate the way it was designed. But he is a well-versed practitioner in it.
Rams’ defense may be the best there is
It would not be unfair at all to characterize the Rams’ defense as the best in the NFL. They certainly seem to have all the credentials to make that claim.
In a day and age when quarterbacks are passing for record numbers, they have allowed just 5.6 yards per attempt. They snuff out opposition ground attacks, allowing just 3.8 yards per carry. With regard to both yards AND points allowed on a per-drive basis, they are #1 in the NFL.
They benefit from rest, as the stop unit is second best when it comes to their opponents’ time of possession. The Rams have forced their foes into three-and-out situations 28% of the time. They have made them punt on 46% of all possessions. They are second in the league in Sack Percentage. Only one opponent has scored more than 28 points against them. They have held nine different teams to 20 points or less.
These are stellar numbers.
There is little question that the Rams have two of the best defenders in the league in tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. With Ramsey, they can often take away half the field, while Donald often attracts two and sometimes three blockers on almost every play.
They’ve harassed Russell Wilson
Speaking of that defensive unit, they haven’t done too badly against Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in the two meetings this season.
Wilson has thrown for just 6.9 yards per attempt, with one TD and a pair of interceptions, and he’s been sacked ELEVEN times. So you can expect the Rams to put some pressure on him.
So, have we laid out a position that can be “defended” rather easily?
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