TNF Preview: Las Vegas at L.A. Rams

TNF Preview: Las Vegas at L.A. Rams

Los Angeles Rams vs. Las Vegas Raiders

Line: Las Vegas -6

Total: 44.5

Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California

When: Thursday, 12/8 at 8:15 p.m. ET

TV: Amazon Prime

The Las Vegas Raiders will try to continue their late-season surge when they face the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

Las Vegas picked up its third win in a row in a 27-20 victory against the Chargers on Sunday, but it is still sitting two games under .500. The Rams have been unable to overcome injury issues this season, entering this game on a six-game losing streak—they were able to snap a five-game winless streak against the spread in their 27-23 loss to Seattle as 6.5-point underdogs last week, though.

Bettors are still wary of backing the Rams right now, moving them from the opening line of +5.5 to +6 as of early Wednesday. Thursday night’s total has seen some movement as well, shifting from 42 to 44.5 points after a few days of betting action.

Las Vegas lost seven of its first nine games this season and appeared to be completely out of the playoff discussion, but the Raiders have been able to keep their campaign alive with their recent winning streak. They beat Denver and Seattle in back-to-back overtime road games at the end of November before beating the Chargers last week.

The Raiders still need a somewhat perfect end to the regular season if they want to sneak into the postseason, with DraftKings listing them at +700 to make the playoffs. Quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Davante Adams connected on a pair of long touchdown passes in the win over the Chargers on Sunday, and the defense stepped up with five sacks against Justin Herbert.

Carr has decent numbers this season, completing 62.3% of his passes for 2,980 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Adams has been his favorite target, hauling in 79 receptions for 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has now gone over 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth time since 2018 and ranks fifth in NFL history for touchdown receptions through nine years of a career (85).

“The stats mean a lot to me in the sense that I’m holding up my end of the bargain,” Adams said. “I’m doing what I’ve got to do. The efficiency part of it is big, too. We’ve got to make sure we’re being as efficient as possible and let the stats and all of that take care of themselves down the road.”

Running back Josh Jacobs had 144 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, and the Raiders improved to 5-1 this season when he has rushed for 100 or more yards. Jacobs has tallied 1,303 yards overall this season, which is the most in team history through 12 games. Las Vegas ranks eighth in the NFL in yards per game (366.9) and is facing a Los Angeles defense that is No. 14, allowing 332.9 yards per game.

The Rams have simply been unable to overcome key injuries this season, as they are playing without starting quarterback Matthew Stafford, wide receiver Cooper Kupp and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. They won the Super Bowl 10 months ago, but they are looking like they are going to finish near the bottom of the NFC this season.

“I’m proud to be rolling through this with this group,” head coach Sean McVay said. “I’m proud to be battling through adversity with them. I’m going to continue to do everything in my power for us to try to change the result, but you can’t deny that there’s been improvement.”

Their most recent outing was at least a competitive loss, as they held a 23-20 lead against Seattle with less than three minutes remaining. Running back Cam Akers rushed 17 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns, but quarterback John Wolford threw two interceptions. Wolford and Bryce Perkins have combined to throw two touchdowns and five interceptions in place of Stafford.

Akers is averaging just 3.3 yards per carry on 101 attempts, while Darrell Henderson Jr. has 283 yards and three scores. Wide receiver Tutu Atwell had two receptions for a team-high 48 yards in the loss to the Seahawks. He is facing a Las Vegas defense that is No. 27, allowing 371.9 yards per game.

The Raiders have been outstanding in primetime, covering the spread in nine of their last 12 games under the lights. They have covered the spread in six of their last nine games this season, but they have gone winless against the spread in their last five games against the Rams. Los Angeles is 3-10-1 ATS in its last 14 games.

The pick: Las Vegas -6

Los Angeles has been the least profitable team in the NFL since the end of last season, and it comes into this game after blowing a late lead against Seattle. The Rams should be lacking motivation to win games at this point, especially with their three best players sidelined due to injuries. Las Vegas has suddenly gotten hot, winning each of its last three games. The Raiders still have a small opportunity to make the playoffs this season, giving them plenty of motivation to go along with their momentum. Their recent struggles against Los Angeles are a concern, but this is a bad version of who the Rams have been of late.

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