After both underdogs cleaned up in yesterday's divisional matchups, the Rams will look to continue the trend as they visit Tampa Bay and Tom Brady as 3-point underdogs.
Tampa has kind of "limped" into this game. I have that in quotes because they have still been winning games, but it is important to realize who they have been playing. Since their 9-0 loss to New Orleans, they have played (and beaten) Carolina 2x, the Jets, and the Eagles.
The Rams come into this game after winning 6 of their last 7 against mostly impressive competition.
Here's where it gets really interesting. TB's strengths are also LAR’s strengths. They’re both potent passing offenses that love to run out of 3WR sets and have great offensive lines and run defenses. BUT both teams are missing a star starter on the OL and both teams are worried about the pressure that the other team can bring.
The Bucs may have a strong defense but that doesn’t mean they are invincible, and since they blitz over 40% of the time and Matt Stafford is great against the blitz, I expect the Rams to be able to move the ball decently well in this game.
The Rams defense is set up perfectly for this matchup, Jalen Ramsey will likely be shadowing Mike Evans for most of the game, making Brady’s top options Grayson and maybe Scottie Miller? With the pressure I expect Aaron Donald and his crew to get on Brady, I expect TB12 to get frustrated early.
The key to this game for the Rams is to take care of the football. We bet on Cincinnati yesterday because the Titans had a tendency to turn the ball over in big spots, and TEN threw a pick on the first play of the game, the first play of the second half, and their last throw of the game, Matt Stafford CANNOT make unnecessary mistakes and give TB12 field position, Johnny Hekker is actually an X-factor in this game because if he can continue to pin the Bucs inside their own 20, they will have trouble creating and sustaining strong drives.
Both offenses are great out of a 3WR set, but the Rams are actually much better at defending against that personnel set according to Sharp Football Statistics. With all of the injuries and how the Rams are perfectly set up for this matchup, I’m going against the GOAT in the playoffs.
PICKS: Rams +3 2u
Rams +130 1u