Rams (+3, +145) @ Saints -165 | O/U = 55.5
There’s no getting around that Jared Goff and the Rams simply haven’t played as well since their Week 11 win over Kansas City. Not as productive on offense, Goff in particular has been off more than on, it’s looked like Sean McVay has wanted to take the game off his shoulders rather than put it on them.
With New Orleans being really good against the run this season, though, Goff and the passing game will have to do more. Can they? In the regular season matchup they did, though they also fell behind 35-14 in that one before roaring back.
For the sake of discussion, let’s say Goff plays really well. He’s a good young quarterback who had some big games during the season, including putting up good numbers in shootouts with Brees, Mahomes, Rodgers. Todd Gurley seems to be healthy, they’ve got those capable receivers, and maybe they use their tight ends a little more.
But can the Rams slow down the Saints, in New Orleans? Their defense really hasn’t slowed any good offense down in a while. Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram; those guys should be able to run. Yes, the Rams have a healthy Aqib Talib, but is he going to shut down Michael Thomas, who they’ll move around as much as they need to? Not likely. That might actually be the key to the game, because if they are able to limit Thomas — 7 catches for 90 yards is “limiting” him these days — the Saints just have Ted Ginn and TreQuan Smith running deep routes, and maybe Aaron Donald can force Drew Brees to throw it quicker than he wants. There’s your upset chance.
I’m leaning with the Saints 34, Rams 28.