Despite having 25 players on the COVID-19 reserve list as of Thursday night, the LA Rams are 5.5-point favorites vs the Seattle Seahawks per DraftKings Sportsbook, one point HIGHER than previously reported, so will they be able to win and cover the spread?
The 9-4 Rams are coming off of a big divisional win against the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football and will be looking to extend their winning streak to three, but 5-8 Seattle has the same aspirations in mind after wins over the 49ers and Texans.
Against the Cardinals in Week 14, Matthew Stafford completed 23 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns, Cooper Kupp had 13 catches for 123 and a touchdown, and Aaron Donald had five tackles and three sacks, winning NFC Defensive Player of the Week. The Rams had a number of starting players out due to COVID-19 including Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Higbee, and Rob Havenstein, but managed a relatively easy victory over a quality opponent in Arizona.
Heading into Week 15 to play the Seahawks at home at SoFi Stadium, the COVID-19 situation hasn’t changed a whole lot yet for the better since Odell Beckham Jr has been added to the list, but Higbee has been activated and it is possible that the NFL will even change its rules prior to Sunday to accommodate teams being devastated by this news right now.
The Rams have won four of the last five meetings with Seattle, including their first matchup this season on the road and the wild card playoff round that resulted in elimination for the Seahawks.
In the first meeting, Stafford threw for 365 yards and a touchdown to lead LA to a 26-17 win over the Seahawks. Going into this week, the Rams rank fourth in points scored per game with 28.2, third in passing yards per game with 287, and seventh in rush yards allowed per game with 100. Seattle is ranked fifth in points allowed with 20.2, but are last in passing yards allowed with 278 per game.
Some rankings of Seattle Seahawks defense that take into account opponent played:— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) December 14, 2021
PFF Massey: No. 26
DVOA: No. 26 (and 28 against the pass)
ESPN FPI: No. 21
No one should be surprised given the roster, but very poor results given the massive investment of draft capital there
The Seahawks recently lost one of their defensive leaders as safety Jamal Adams is out with a season ending injury.
Ryan Neal says he’s not Jamal Adams and won’t try to be him as he takes over at strong safety. Neal started four games for Adams last season and says he’s “way more confident this time around.” pic.twitter.com/GM2g9vggTG— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) December 8, 2021
That should make it more challenging for the group to defend one of the leagues most dangerous passing attacks: Kupp is leading the National Football League in completions, yards, and touchdowns. OBJ has three touchdowns with the Rams over his last three games. And second-year receiver Van Jefferson caught his sixth touchdown of the season against the Cardinals.
On defense, the Rams will hope to get Ramsey and Von Miller back in time to play against the Seahawks, but nonetheless the front remains in tact with Donald and Leonard Floyd, as the know rushers that will be after Russell Wilson.
Also the lesser known names have played well up front from Greg Gaines beginning to flash in his run stop abilities to his quickness getting to scrambling quarterbacks and rookie linebacker Ernest Jones came up with a key interception against the Cardinals which is his second of the season. The secondary has seen depth players like David Long Jr play well recently along with Darious Williams who also had a great game against DeAndre Hopkins in the absence of Ramsey.
Prediction: Rams beat the Seahawks 31-20 and beat the spread
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