With the NFL regular season set to begin tonight, there’s value to be had on Thursday Night Football with the Buffalo Bills taking on the Los Angeles Rams.Buffalo Bills (-134) vs. Los Angeles Rams (+114) Total: 51.5 (O-114, U-106)
The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams are set to play host to the current Super Bowl favorites, the Buffalo Bills, in what should be a compelling opening matchup for the NFL. Both teams have new offensive coordinators at the helm, with their former ones earning head coaching opportunities. It will be interesting to see how these new minds scheme against one another, knowing the defensive talent on each side.
Not much has changed for these teams in terms of personnel, but the Rams saw Von Miller depart to Buffalo and sign a long-term deal with the Bills, while Allen Robinson landed in Los Angeles after his tenure with the Chicago Bears.
This game will likely be won in the trenches, with the Rams boasting a terrifying pass rush, while there are certainly a few more question marks about the Bills’ offensive line than there were at this time last year. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Bills also have put together a formidable defensive line, which could hamper the Rams’ running game. It should also be telling how Liam Coen and Sean McVay decide to operate the ground game in this contest. With a healthy Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson Jr., the Rams backfield is cloudy at best, but Akers is still expected to be the lead back, even if we don’t know what the split will be. Regarding the Bills running backs, there’s no certainty that we know what that split will be either. Devin Singletary is expected to be the early downs back, but James Cook out of Georgia should see work on passing downs, while Zack Moss might be the leader for short-yardage situations.
The sharp money appears to be headed in the Bills’ direction for this contest, seeing 73% of the handle and just 52% of tickets go towards Buffalo on the moneyline. In addition, 81% of the handle and 73% of tickets favor the Bills at -2.5 on the spread, which shows a lot of intrigue surrounding Buffalo entering this matchup.
The primary question that needs to be answered is whether or not Buffalo can live up to their Super Bowl hype in Week 1. With a new weapon in Cook and likely more improvement from Allen headed into Year 5, look for the Bills to put the defending champs on notice.
Best Bet: Bills moneyline (134), Bills -2.5 (-110)
Regarding the total, there’s certainly potential for it to be high scoring, represented by the third-highest total for Week 1. Looking at 2021, the Bills had the NFL’s third-highest scoring offense, while the Rams sat in a tie for seventh. Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford present challenges for each defense, and it’s not hard to see both connecting early and often. There’s also a world where both teams have a feeling-out process, meaning there could be a low-scoring first half that threatens the over in this contest. You’ve already seen the line fall one point this week, and there’s some sharp money on the under, which has seen only 36% of tickets but 45% of the handle. Expect more scoring in the second half, but the total to still fall slightly under the number.
Game Pick: Bills 26, Rams 23
Best Bet: Under 51.5 (-106)