Los Angeles Rams (10-4 SU, 9-5 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (8-6 SU, 6-7-1 ATS)
NFL Week 16
Date/Time: Sunday December 24th, 2017 1:00PM (EST)
Where: Nissan Stadium Nashville, T.N.
by Jay, NFL Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LAR -6.5/TEN +6.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The Los Angeles Rams delivered one of the biggest statement wins around the league last week when they obliterated the Seattle Seahawks 42-7 in Seattle. The victory gave the Rams full control of the NFC West with a chance to clinch the division this week when they meet the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. While the playoff picture is self-explanatory, last weeks blowout over Seattle sent a clear message that the Rams are among the biggest threats in the NFC and you could legitimately make an argument that they are playing the best football in the conference.
Meanwhile, the Titans have been trending in the opposite direction following back to back losses to the Cardinals and 49ers in recent weeks. At 8-6 SU, Tennessee is still in the midst of an AFC Wildcard playoff spot but they need to win out. There are scenarios were the Titans could get into the playoffs at 9-7 but they would need a lot of help. The better possibility would be to win these final two games. Of course that task will be difficult starting this week with the 10-4 Rams and then the division leading Jacksonville Jaguars next week who share the same record.
From a public perception standpoint, I believe the Rams will be getting the heavy money this week following last weeks blowout against Seattle. Most bettors have short term memories and I can assure you that will lead to heavy action on the Rams. Personally, I am a believer in the Rams and I think they could potentially make a playoff run to surprise people. The pieces are all there. Good quarterback, good running game, and good defense. Thats basically a winning formula for any football team. Quarterback Jared Goff has exceeded all expectations with 3,500 passing yards resulting in 24 touchdowns and 7 picks.
As a result, we have witnessed the re-emergence of running back Todd Gurley. Gurley exploded last week in a fantasy football dream day scoring 3 touchdowns and gaining over 150 yards on the ground. As a team, the Rams racked up 244 yards against Seattles defense and basically just made things look easy. Gurley has posted a great season with nearly 1,200 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. The balance between the run and the pass is what makes this offense so dangerous which is the reason I believe this team could cause problems in the playoffs.
With that being said, let me go ahead and make the bold prediction that this Sundays matchup does not exactly favor the Rams is the biggest way. We all know Seattle has struggled tremendously to stop the run and last weeks performance was the product of a perfect storm. However, things can change significantly from week to week in the NFL. For the Titans, their strength defensively is against the run. Tennessee ranks 3rd in yards per game and yards per attempt against the run. I know most people do not associate the Titans as a good defensive team but the truth is that they play very well against the run.
Therefore, I think this matchup is intriguing because it means the Rams will need Goff to play well. Goff has been as solid as they come all season but he does not typically post the big numbers. In fact, Goff has only thrown for more than 225 yards once in the last 5 games. Therefore if the Titans play well against the run as I expect, they could keep things respectively close with some help from the Tennessee offense. Of course predicting the nature of the Tennessee offense is about as accurate as a coin flip.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has been extremely inconsistent in recent weeks. Mariota has 14 interceptions on the season including awful outings in recent weeks against Arizona and Pittsburgh. The up and down play has been difficult to predict and the Rams are a tough group to pass against. The recent emergence of WR Rishard Matthews has provided an additional receiving threat to TE Delanie Walker in the passing game. However, the Titans have struggled to put everything together with Mariota and an inconsistent running game. If they can put a solid effort together, the matchup is one that can be won.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Tough call here because I really feel like the Titans have a conquerable matchup. The concern is the turnovers and lack of consistency on offense. Perhaps the must-win scenario will get the best out of the Tennessee offense to help the matchup. Therefore I will roll the dice and take the Titans +6.5 - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)