L.A. Rams (10-6 9-7 ATS) at Seattle Seahawks (11-5 7-9 ATS)
The Rams and Seahawks face each other for the third time in the Wild Card round of the playoff. The Seahawks are a 4.5-point home favorite in this NFC West matchup with the total sitting at 43.
The public has backed the Rams in this playoff game, so far, as they opened as a 5-point underdog and are a 3.5-point dog as of Wednesday.
The big question for this game is will Rams’ QB Jared Goff go? He missed the last game with a dislocated thumb and whole he has not been ruled out it looks as if he will not be able to go. If he cannot John Wolford will get another start and he played well in the season finale.
The Seahawks enter the game winners of four in a row. In their second to last game of the season, which was at home, they beat the Rams 20-9 after losing to them in La La Land earlier in the season.
The Rams had lost two in a row before beating the Arizona Cardinals 18-7 in their season finale. Aaron Donald leads a loaded Rams’ defense that has to play well in this game. Not only will the team likely be without Goff but they have only averaged 17.7 ppg over their last four games.
While the Seahawks’ offense did not play great at the end of the season they played pretty well and rank eighth in the league in ppg. Their D took lumps at the beginning of the season but finished strong and they only allowed an average of 12.5 ppg in their last four games.
The Seahawks have covered the spread in 10 of their last 14 home games against the Rams including covering in the second to last game of the season.
Defense Comes Through
In the 18-7 must-win game over the Cardinals in their last game the Rams’ defense came up big holding Arizona to only 214 yards and only gave up 48 rushing yards.
In his first career start in the Arizona win John Wofford passed for 231 yards with no TD and one pick and was sacked twice and also led the team with 56 rushing yards.
Not only is Goff likely out but lead RB Cam Akers is battling an ankle injury. He missed the Seattle game in the second to last one of the season and in the win over Arizona coming back he only rushed for 43 yards on 21 carries.
Wofford may have to shoulder the load of the offense with Akers struggling. On top of that the Seattle run defense has been solid on the season while they rank second to last in the league in pass defense.
While their pass D played well in the 20-9 win over the Rams in the second to last game they did give up 242 passing yards to the 49ers in their finale and that was facing a third-string QB.
Comeback Gives Seahawks Division
In the last game of the season, the Seahawks beat the 49ers 26-20 scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter to win the NFC West.
Russell Wilson was not picked off in his last two games and while he did not put up big numbers in the last few games he was solid. He has to avoid the performance he had in the early season loss to the Rams where he turned the ball over three times and was sacked six times.
Chris Carson has also been solid in the last few games and rushed for 69 yards in the win over the Rams late in the season.
The Seahawks offense has not been lighting it up at the end of the season, but they have been getting it done. If they can hold onto the rock and keep Wilson from getting sacked they should win convincingly.
The Rams had 53 sacks on the season with Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd combining for 23.5. They have to get to Wilson and not give him time to make big plays in the air as well as on the ground.
The Rams have covered the spread in five of their last six games facing a team with a winning record. However, the Seahawks have covered in four of their last five home games.
I don’t think Goff will go but Wofford will play well. However, he will not get much help and will make some mistakes. The Rams’ D will have a decent game but they will not be able to shut Wilson and company down. I look for a low scoring affair where Seattle will win and cover.
PICK: Seahawks -3.5