Seattle Seahawks vs. Los Angeles Rams
Line: Rams -2.5
Where: Lumen Field
When: Thursday, 10/7 at 8:20 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network
Seattle has a chance to climb back into the NFC West race when it hosts Los Angeles in primetime on Thursday night.
The Seahawks are coming off a 28-21 win at San Francisco in Week 4, improving to 2-2 on the season. They are entering Week 5 with +500 odds to win the division, according to DraftKings.
Los Angeles won its first three games of the year, but it came up short in a 37-20 loss against Arizona on Sunday. The Rams are +150 NFC West co-favorites with the Cardinals, despite sitting one game back in the loss column.
Oddsmakers and bettors are high on Los Angeles in this game too. The Rams opened as 1-point favorites and have moved to -2.5 after the early betting action. Thursday’s total opened at 53 and has been bumped up to 54.5, which could be due to the Rams going ‘over’ in their last six games.
Seattle has been trending in the opposite direction offensively, as it has now gone ‘under’ in 10 of its last 13 games. The Seahawks did not pick up a first down in their first five possessions against San Francisco last week, but they were able to avoid their first three-game losing streak in a decade with a 28-21 win.
Veteran quarterback Russell Wilson only had 149 passing yards, but he threw two touchdowns and rushed for another. Wilson has completed 72.5 percent of his passes this season and has a 9-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio.
Running back Chris Carson leads the rushing attack with 232 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per attempt. He is currently listed as ‘questionable’ for this game with a neck injury. Wide receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf have been Wilson’s top targets in the passing game.
They are facing a Los Angeles defense that has underperformed so far, listed at No. 27 in yards allowed per game (396.8). It has been a shocking turn after this unit allowed the fewest yards and points in the league last year.
The Rams are in the top 10 offensively, though, racking up 391.3 yards per game. They were unable to keep pace with Arizona in Week 4, but they notched wins over Chicago, Indianapolis and Tampa Bay in their first three games.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford has made a smooth transition from Detroit to Los Angeles, completing 68.1 percent of his attempts with an 11-to-2 TD-to-INT ratio. Darrell Henderson Jr. has rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 43 carries. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp has caught 30 passes for 431 yards, which ranks third in the NFL.
Seattle’s defense has struggled even more than Los Angeles, sitting dead last in the league with 444.5 yards allowed per game. The Seahawks lost Carlos Dunlap and Darrell Taylor to injury against San Fransico, which does not bode well for a defense that has allowed more than 420 yards in each of their last three games. Both defensive ends are listed as ‘questionable’ for Thursday’s tilt.
The Rams have covered in four of the last five head-to-head meetings between these teams and they have gone ‘over’ in four of the last five meetings at Lumen Field. Seattle is 2-4 ATS in its last six games, but it is 8-1-2 ATS in its last 11 Thursday games.
The pick: Los Angeles -2.5
Los Angeles tends to do an excellent job of responding from bad losses, going 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games after a double-digit loss at home. The Rams were forced to abandon their rushing attack against Arizona due to scoreboard pressure on Sunday, but they should be able to control the tempo from start to finish on Thursday. Seattle currently has the worst defense in the NFL, and it is dealing with some injury questions on top of that. The Rams have held Wilson and co. to 20 points or less in the last four meetings between these teams. They have struggled defensively to open the season, but I expect things to change moving forward. Until Seattle proves otherwise, Los Angeles is the better bet when these teams meet.