Rams-Seahawks Betting Preview: Trends, Props, Pick For NFC Wild Card Game

The NFC West foes split their regular-season series

by

January 8, 2021

The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks will meet for the third time this season when the 2020 NFL playoffs kick off Saturday with Super Wild Card Weekend.

Obviously, the stakes are much higher this time around, as the winner advances to the NFC divisional round while the loser heads home to begin its offseason.

The Seahawks outpaced the Rams during the regular season, winning the NFC West with a 12-4 record. Los Angeles, which finished 10-6, enters the postseason as a dangerous wild-card team, though, thanks in large to its stellar defense.

So, which NFC West squad will reign supreme when they lock horns Saturday at 4:40 p.m. ET? Here’s our betting preview.

The line and total are via consensus data, while the props are provided by DraftKings.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-3)
Total: 42

BETTING TRENDS
These teams met just two weeks ago, with the Seahawks winning 20-9 in Seattle and covering as 1.5-point chalk. It was a much different outcome than their Week 10 meeting in November, when the Rams won 23-16 and covered as three-point home favorites.

Neither team’s against-the-spread record stands out, as Seattle went 8-8 ATS during the regular season while Los Angeles went 9-7. The Seahawks were much better at home, though, going 6-2 ATS at Lumen Field and 2-6 ATS when leaving their own backyard.

Think the total (42) looks low? Well, it’s for good reason.

The Under hit in 12 of the Rams’ 16 games this season, the highest such clip in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Under hit in seven of the Seahawks’ final eight games, with 44 being the lowest total set in that stretch.

Los Angeles’ defense has been excellent. Seattle’s defense has significantly improved since the teams’ first showdown. Both offenses have taken a step back, with the Rams now facing uncertainty at the quarterback position in wake of Jared Goff’s thumb surgery that might sideline him — or at least hinder his potential — this weekend.

PROPS
First-half line, total
Seahawks -1.5, 20.5

First touchdown scorer
Cam Akers +700
Chris Carson +800
DK Metcalf +850
Tyler Lockett +850
Robert Woods +1050
Cooper Kupp +1200

Passing yards
Russell Wilson over/under 254.5 yards

Rushing yards
Cam Akers over/under 64.5 yards
Chris Carson over/under 59.5 yards

Receiving yards
Tyler Lockett over/under 62.5 yards
DK Metcalf over/under 60.5 yards
Robert Woods over/under 52.5 yards
Cooper Kupp over/under 51.5 yards

PICK
Seahawks -3

The Rams could be a sneaky Super Bowl contender thanks to their defense, the highest-graded unit during the regular season on Pro Football Focus. Or they could be one-and-done due to their offensive issues, which are compounded by Goff’s thumb injury and the possibility that John Wolford might draw the start under center.

We’re leaning toward the latter. Because not only do the Seahawks have Russell Wilson, one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. Their defense also has turned around its season since safety Jamal Adams returned from injury and defensive end Carlos Dunlap joined the pass-rushing mix.

Seattle’s defense ranked No. 1 against the run, per PFF’s grades, so it’ll be hard for Los Angeles to lean on its ground attack. And ultimately, we’re just not sure the Rams’ defense, while awesome and stacked with talent (Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, etc.), will produce enough splash plays.

Thumbnail photo via Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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