We continue on with our Wild Card Weekend betting picks. Next up is the second game on Saturday, let’s get to the Rams at Seahawks betting preview.
For a full breakdown of offensive matchup breakdowns, check out the math over here: NFL Wild Card Weekend Bets: Matchup Breakdowns.
Additional game previews, props and picks will be shared throughout the week on Twitter, so make sure you’re following, @griffybets. Let’s get to it!
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Saturday, 4:40 PM EST, FOX
Line: Seahawks -3
#6 Los Angeles (10-6 overall), (9-7 ATS)
#3 Seattle (12-4 overall), (8-8 ATS)
Los Angeles Passing Offense
Receiving grade (18) vs. Seahawks Pass Coverage grade (16)
Passing DVOA (20) vs. Seahawks Pass Defense DVOA (20)
Net difference: -2
Los Angeles Rushing Offense
Running grade (20) vs. Seahawks Rush Defense grade (1)
Rushing DVOA (4) vs. Seahawks Rush Defense DVOA (7)
Net difference: -16
Seattle Passing Offense
Receiving grade (9) vs. Rams Pass coverage grade (1)
Passing DVOA (6) vs. Rams Pass Defense DVOA (4)
Net difference: -10
Seattle Rushing Offense
Running grade (12) vs. Rams Rush defense grade (4)
Rushing DVOA (9) vs. Rams Rush Defense DVOA (3)
Net difference: -14
Rams at Seahawks Betting Preview: Thoughts on the Game
From a betting perspective, I don’t love much about this game.
For starters, there’s no advantages for either offense. On a normal NFL Sunday, I would avoid this game entirely.
But, this is no normal NFL weekend.
The uncertainty around the Rams quarterback makes it tough to plan for the one area of the offense I’d want to pursue if I had to. It seems likely we’ll be seeing backup John Wolford make his second start while Jared Goff tries to recover from a broken thumb.
The one advantage of this game is that these teams have played twice already, albeit with Goff as quarterback. That’s some solid data to study how these teams match up.
This weekend’s game will be the rubber match, with Seattle winning most recently, 20-9 in Week 16, and Los Angeles winning 23-16 back in Week 10.
This is the lowest projected point total of the weekend, and as such, I can’t recommend a lot of prop value.
If Goff was healthy, I would take the Rams +3 here, I trust Aaron Donald and co. significantly more than Seattle’s defense.
Alas, too many question marks has me staying away from the spread. With both offenses seemingly disadvantaged, this game will be included as one of the teased-up unders I put together.
The strategy for that is outlined in the thread here:
For those that have been following my ranking breakdowns and picks, I’ve had a teaser strategy that’s worked the last two weeks
Let me explain…
— GriffinCarroll (@griffybets) January 8, 2021
Let’s get to a few players I like in this one.
Player Props to Target: Rams
On paper, with Wolford or not, the best chance the Rams have of moving the ball is through the air. A natural progression there is to look for a receiver, and I’ve got my eyes on an unlikely one.
Prop pick: Josh Reynolds OVER 23.5 receiving yards
Reynolds has had a fine year as the third receiver on the Rams – playing around 75% of the snaps.
26% of his season’s production has come in two games, you guessed it, against the Seahawks.
That is astounding to me. Those two games saw averages of 7 receptions, 79.5 yards, 10 targets.
Compare that to this low line – and it feels like tremendous value.
It’s tough to glean insights or trends from one game with Wolford at quarterback, but Reynolds did see six targets last week.
The Seahawks secondary has steadied a bit after an awful start to the year, but it’s still the unit to target. Lock me in for this low Reynolds line.
Player Props to Target: Seahawks
The Rams defense is legit, so I don’t recommend loading up on Seahawks players this weekend. One that sticks out is Chris Carson’s receiving. I want no part of his rushing numbers – but there seems to be some value in the receiving game.
Prop pick: Chris Carson OVER 18.5 receiving yards
On the season, Carson averages nearly 24 receiving yards per game and is one target behind David Moore for third on the team this year. Carson has at least one catch in every game he’s played and is solidly the Seahawks best receiving option out of the backfield.
As mentioned, the Rams defense is strong, but when looking at position performance against the defense, it’s the running backs that see a bit of receiving value.
On the season: running backs average 37.2 receiving yards per game against the Rams, significantly higher than this line is set.
As much as I want to recommend a Seattle wide receiver with Russell Wilson slinging it, I just can’t. Lockett has been a target machine, so I’d prefer him over Metcalf – the latter cooling off of late.
That will do it for this Wild Card preview. Make sure you’re following on Twitter, @griffybets, for my latest. Thanks for reading, and good luck this weekend!
Breakdowns for every Wild Card game: NFL Playoffs Primer: Wild Card Weekend