The Spread and Total
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-3, 47.5 O/U), odds courtesy of Bodog.
Some books have the spread a little narrower at -2.5 for the Seahawks, so there could be value in shopping around if you’re a Seahawks fan/believer.
LA Rams: 9-4 SU (8-5 ATS), 1st NFC West
Seattle Seahawks: 8-5 SU (5-7-1 ATS), 2nd NFC West
Los Angeles Rams:
Dominique Easley (knee), out; Temarrick Hemingway (leg), out; Kayvon Webster (achilles), out; Cody Davis (thigh), out; Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring), questionable; Malcolm Brown (knee), questionable; Robert Woods (shoulder), probable
George Fant (knee), out; Cliff Avril (neck), out; Tre Madden (calf), out; Rees Odhiambo (hand), out; Richard Sherman (achilles), out; Kam Chancellor (neck), out; Malik McDowell (concussion), out; Oday Aboushi (shoulder), out; CJ Prosise (ankle), out; Deshawn Shead (knee), questionable; Neiko Thorpe (ankle), questionable; Chris Carson (ankle), questionable; Justin Britt (ankle) questionable; Jarran Reed (hamstring), questionable; Bobby Wagner (hamstring), questionable; Earl Thomas (heel), probable; Jimmy Graham (ankle), probable
Oct 8, 2017: Seattle Seahawks 16, LA Rams 10
Dec 15, 2016: Seattle Seahawks 24, LA Rams 3
Sep 18, 2016: LA Rams 9, Seattle Seahawks 3
Signifcant Betting Trends
The LA Rams are 6-2 ATS in their last eight games, Seattle is 2-4-1 ATS in its last seven games
Seattle is 2-4 in its last six games at home, LA is 4-1 ATS in its last five games on the road.
The total has gone over in five of LA’s last six games on the road, and in four of Seattle’s last six games overall.
If you just go by efficiency, as I tend to, the LA Rams are the best team in the NFL. Under Sean McVay’s guidance, and perhaps more critically in Jeff Fisher’s absence, they’ve blossomed from one of the most mediocre teams in the league to the very best. Jared Goff is making the throws portended by his first-overall status. Todd Gurley is beating your fantasy team right now. The defense just dragged the best running back duo in living memory to 118 yards and a single touchdown.
On the other hand, the Seahawks have been held together by shoestrings, good intentions, and Russell Wilson, who by any reasonable measure, deserves the title of Most Valuable Player, Freedom of the City, and mineral exploitation rights in downtown Seattle. At some point in the last 12 months, everybody watching the Seattle Seahawks play football has groaned, then gasped a little, then wondered aloud which Silicon Valley R&D department constructed Russell Wilson. The defense is injured. The running game is non-existent. The receiving corps appears to be some kind of value brand. Only Russell Wilson, who is still being criticized as too short and unpredictable in the year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen, is keeping the trains running on time.
Against the Rams, that magic show might come to an end. Even at home, even against a team that was a laughing stock of the NFL a year ago, Wilson will have to be at his best. If the Seahawks had any kind of a running game beyond Wilson, they’d have great shot here; the Rams are 19th in rush defense DVOA. The don’t, however; they’re 19th in rush offense efficiency, and Mike Davis’ 15-carry, 66-yard day in Week 14 counts as a season highlight.
On defense, the Seahawks hollowed out secondary will be facing off against the fourth-most efficient passing offense in the NFL. Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman are both injured, as are enough DB’s to put together a workable nickel package. Furthermore, Bobby Wagner, Malik McDowell, and Jarran Reed are all either out or uncertain, which makes stopping Todd Gurley that much harder. The absence of Wagner, a viable Defensive Player of the Year candidate, could be particularly noticeable — like Dallas-without-Sean-Lee noticeable.
The over/under of 47.5 seems a little high in this game. I don’t see the either team running up the score, despite the injuries on defense, and the best offense on the field is the road team’s passing attack in the much-touted loudest stadium in the world. I’d worry about Jared Goff being able to hear Sean McVay’s audibles through the headset, and worry about the Seahawks shoestring offense being able to do much of anything against this Aaron Donald-led defense.
I love me a road dog, and I particularly love the best team in the NFL as a road dog against sinew and bones. I also love the under: both teams have underrated defenses and offenses that, while not overrated, certainly aren’t hurting for attention.
Pick: Rams (+3) and UNDER (47.5)