Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks – NFL, Wild Card Weekend (January 9, 2021)
These two teams from the NFC West Division know each other very well, and they couldn’t be separated in head to head games in the regular season with both teams picking up a win. The Rams won the first game, 23-16, whilst the Seahawks got revenge winning the second game 20-9. One key thing to note in both games was that it was the home side who left the field victorious on both occasions.
The Rams had a mixed end to the regular season, winning three of their last five games and only securing their playoff berth on the final day of the season by beating the Cardinals.
Seattle finished the season strong winning their last four games in a row to clinch the NFC West Divisional title and take some real momentum heading into the playoffs.
The Rams edge the head to head record against the Seahawks over the last five games, three against two. However, as per the two games, this season all five of those games were won by the home team on the day.
Rams vs. Seahawks Odds
I had the spread at around 2.5 – 3.5 for this one, which the bookmakers have gone slightly higher on. They have anticipated a low-scoring game, presumably because they see it being close.
Prior to their win over the Cardinals, the Rams lost back to back games for the first and only time this season. One of those two games was against the Seahawks, and the other was against the Jets as they gave them their first win of the season.
The Rams ended the regular season with a split record on the road with four wins and four defeats. Slightly worrying for LA fans is that three of those defeats came in their last five away trips.
They have done well against the spread this year, especially on the road, where they won two-thirds of their last 18 games. However, that doesn’t appear to include trips to Seattle as they have only won four of their last 14 games played there.
LA has been involved in plenty of low-scoring games this year, with 11 of the last 13 going under the betting total. Their away fixtures have followed suit recently, with four of the last six played also going under. The trend continues massively looking at the head to head games between the two with 15 of the last 22 going under and six of the last nine in Seattle doing the same.
With the above in mind, there is no surprise then to see that the Rams have the number one defense in the NFL this season. They are allowing just over 280 yards against them per game, which is incredible. They concede just 190 passing yards per game, which combined with just over 90 rushing yards means they only conceded 18 points against them per game. They have also made the fourth-highest number of combined tackles this season.
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been at the heart of this solid defense, and he is relishing the prospect of facing the Seahawks in a season-decider. Donald has the third-highest number of sacks completed in the league this year.
They have a decent offense, but you would have to say that they aren’t clinical enough, and this will need to improve if they want to make a run in the playoffs. With this in mind, they will be extremely concerned that quarterback Jared Goff is a doubt for this game as he missed the win over Arizona with a thumb injury.
The Seahawks go into the playoffs as one of the form teams, having only lost one of their last seven games.
Lumen Field has been somewhat of a fortress for the Seahawks as they picked up seven wins from their eight games played this season.
Unlike the Rams, the Seahawks have not done well against the spread lately, losing four of their last six played. However, much like their mighty home record, they have won four of the last five at Lumen Field.
They, too, have been involved in some very low scoring games, with seven of their last eight games going under the betting total. At home, five of their last six have also gone under the betting total.
The Seahawk’s stats this season have been very average, but they seem to always find a way to win. They have the second-most passing yards conceded in the league and are averaging 100 yards per game more against them than the Rams do.
However, unlike the Rams, they are more clinical and play the key moments well as they are only averaging 369 yards per game but are still averaging 28 points per game. They pass the ball well, with 68% of their passes finding their destination, and they will certainly need to be on point to breach the best defense in the league.
They have the fifth-highest number of sacks made this year, with 48 successful sacks made.
One player that won’t mind if Goff recovers from his injury is Quandre Diggs, as he superbly picked him off the last time they played against each other, and he has the fifth-highest number of interceptions in the league this season.
Rams vs. Seahawks Betting Pick
This really is a game of so many different factors that could wing the game either way. I think if Goff was confirmed as fit at this early stage, the spread would be lower, and I believe he will return for this one. The Rams are consistently good defensively, and if they can improve going forward against a team that gives up 100 yards per game more than them, they could win this. I would go for them straight up, but given the home side always seems to win this fixture, I will take them with the spread as insurance.