Double-digit betting favorites are a weekly occurrence in the NFL, but it is extraordinarily rare for a team to lay that much chalk in three consecutive games. DraftKings Sportsbook has installed the Los Angeles Rams as 14.5-point favorites for this Sunday’s game versus the Houston Texans after they were 10.5-point favorites over the New York Giants two weeks ago and 15.5-point favorites last week vs the Detroit Lions.
Being double-digit favorites in three straight weeks is not a one-time anomaly for the Rams.
According to SportsOddsHistory.com this is the fourth time since 1999 that the Rams have been double-digit favorites for three straight games. The team went on to the Super Bowl in all the three previous trips, winning the Lombardi Trophy in 1999.
NFL-mandated parity, the turn toward passing offenses, overall skill position talent, and the change to tiered scheduling have combined to level off week-to-week point spread dominance. In today’s NFL, it takes scheduling coincidence to allow for the possibility of three straight games as double-digit favorite.
The Greatest Show on Turf was born. Kurt Warner came out of nowhere to throw for 41 touchdowns and over 4300 yards. Marshall Faulk chipped in 1000 yards both rushing and receiving. The offense scored on two-thirds of their trips into the red zone. The ‘99 squad had seven games as double-digit faves and won them all covering the spread in six. The season culminated in a Super Bowl victory over the Jeff Fisher-coached Tennessee Titans
The Greatest Show on Turf was flying high, led by future Hall of Fame players Warner, Faulk, Issac Bruce, and Orlando Pace (Torry Holt deserves to be inducted too) and directed by Mike Martz. This group were double-digit favorites in 11 games overall, six in a row to close out the season, and all three playoff tilts, wins over the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles and the devastating Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.
The Rams offense ran through Todd Gurley until his precipitous fall. CJ Anderson picked up the flag late in the season. Jared Goff lost Cooper Kupp after game eight but still totaled 32 TD’s and threw for over 1000 yards each to Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. In their final games, the Rams lost outright to the Eagles (-13.5), and then won and covered vs. the Arizona Cardinals (-15.5) and San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)
The addition of Matthew Stafford and the vertical passing game to the yards-after-catch abilities of Cooper Kupp, and Robert Woods give LA a true quick-strike offense every bit as formidable as the famed GSOT. The Rams started this years three game run by beating and covering vs. the Giants (-10.5) and then beating, but not covering vs. Lions (-16.5).
The main takeaways should be that the Rams have been to the Super Bowl in all three previous seasons where they had three consecutive games as double-digit favorites. And in those years, LA has used a prolific offense to roll through opponents.
Just as an aside, a betting fan might be interested that during the Les Snead / Sean McVay regime, the Rams have a record of 7-5 as double-digit favorites for a 58.33 win percentage and a profit of 1.5 units.