Los Angeles Rams (9-4 SU, 8-5 ATS) vs. Seattle Seahawks (5-8 SU, 5-7-1 ATS)
NFL Football Week 15
Date/Time: Sunday December 17th, 2017. 4:05PM (EST)
Where: CenturyLink Field Seattle, W.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LAR +1.5/SEA -1.5
Over/Under Total: 48
The battle for the NFC West Division heats up this Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams go into Seattle for a showdown with the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Currently the Rams hold the lead in the NFC West at 9-4 SU with the Seahawks trailing one game back. Despite being one game back, Seattle holds the tiebreaker advantage due to their 16-10 victory over the Rams back in week 5 meaning they could take the top spot with a repeat victory this weekend. However, the Rams could nearly lock up the Division by pushing their lead to two games if they can come out of Seattle with a victory.
Last week I warned everyone that the Seahawks were facing a bad matchup against Jacksonville in a road trip that seemingly appeared unfavorable in every angle. This week Seattle returns home in a more advantageous situation and matchup. In the prior meeting this year, the Seahawks shut down the Rams high powered offense yielding just 10 points. Shut down may not be the correct phrase because the Rams still racked up nearly 400 yards of offense. However, Seattles defense was able to force 5 turnovers to stymie the Rams scoring opportunities. This week Seattle will need a similar defensive performance to slow down a Rams offense that ranks 2nd in the NFL averaging a whopping 30.5 points per game.
Last week Rams running back Todd Gurley eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark on the season with a 13 carry, 96 yards, and 2 touchdown performance against the Eagles. Gurley has been the biggest benefactor of the Rams resurgent offense but quarterback Jared Goff should be given a lot of the credit. Goff has been very solid hitting 62% passing for 3,383 yards with 22 touchdowns and just 6 picks. Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Gurley have all surpassed at least 600 yards receiving and needless to say this offense is dangerous in multiple dimensions. We all know Seattle has dealt with several injuries on the defensive side of the football. Despite the injuries, they still have played relatively well but it will be interesting to see if the Seattle defense can withstand the balance of multitude of options that the Rams offense possesses.
On the other side of the ball, there will be an equally intriguing matchup between the Rams defense and Seattle offense. Defensively, the Rams have a rather mediocre unit allowing 20.4 points per game that ranks in the middle of most defensive categories. The Seahawks offense lacks a running game and has continued to struggle with offensive line issues. Still, the offense has Russell Wilson who is deadly on any given Sunday. Last week, Wilson had one of his worst performances of the season statistically completing just 17 of 31 passing for 271 yards with 3 scores and 3 picks. It was just the 3rd game of Wilsons 6 year career where he threw 3 interceptions or more in the 24-30 losing effort.
Obviously the turnovers were ugly last week but Wilson was still able to conquer Seattles limitations to move the football. The Seahawks running threat changes every week it seems like as running backs deal with injuries and new experiments begin. Despite all of the changes, Wilson remains consistently strong and will pose plenty of challenges for the Rams defense outside the pocket. We all know that Doug Baldwin, Paul Richardson, and Jimmy Graham provide tremendous targets in the passing game so this will be another intriguing battle against the Rams defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really do not have any clear favorite on the side. I feel like the Seahawks will play much better as they return home. However, I cannot deny the Rams weapons on offense and plus side matchups. The totals have gone over in 5 of the last 6 games the Rams have participated in and I believe that trend will continue. Take the over 48! - Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.