Buccaneers and Los Angeles to engage in Naval ‘Ramming’
If you’ve been engaging in online NFL betting so far this year, then you might have noticed how unpredictable the Los Angeles Rams are turning out to be. To open the season the Rams faced the 49ers and were actually pegged as the favorites in the contest. It didn’t seem unreasonable to choose Los Angeles in this contest. After all, both teams were coming off a disappointing season. However, Los Angeles proved to be no match for San Francisco and the Niners would emerge victorious, 28-0. After seeing the Rams lose so defiantly against San Francisco –a team coming off a 5-11 season – many expected them to lose in Week 2 when they faced the Seahawks. It seemed only natural to pick a playoff contender over the lowly Rams. However, Los Angeles proved that they shouldn’t be ruled out so easily and actually ended up upsetting Seattle, leaving those who try to predict the Rams’ games with a tremendous headache. In Week 3 the Rams will square off against the Buccaneers, what are most football betting sites predicting this time?
Week 3 – Sunday the 25th of September
Rams +6 (-115) 42 (-110) +205
Buccaneers -6 (-105) 42 (-110) -245
It’s not surprising to see the Rams get pegged as the underdogs, but what is surprising is seeing the Buccaneers being favored so heavily. Tampa Bay has been very inconsistent so far this year. They looked strong against the Falcons, but pitiful against the Cardinals. Behind Jameis Winston’s 125.1 passer rating, the Bucs outscored the Falcons 31-24. Winston finished the day completing 23/32 passes for 281 yards and 4 touchdowns. But it was Tampa Bay’s defensive efforts that won the game for them, that and the 7 penalties for 74 yards Atlanta committed. Winston proved he could win games for Tampa Bay, but the following week he proved just as capable of losing them. Against the Bucs Week 2 opponent, the Arizona Cardinals, Winston threw 4 interceptions. The second year quarterback would finish the day completing 27/52 passes for 243 yards and just one touchdown. Looking over the numbers now it’s clear that Tampa Bay put entirely too much pressure on the young Winston. The Bucs only ran 76 offensive plays that game, 52 of which were passes. When more than 2/3rds of your plays are passes, your offense is going to become predictable. In Week 2 Winston finished with a humbling 39.2 passer rating, but to be honest he wasn’t receiving too much help from the play caller. The Cardinals passing defense is pretty good, but the Rams is actually ranked higher. If Winston gets some help from the running game this Sunday, then the online NFL betting odds should prove true. There’s no reason Tampa Bay should have a problem outscoring the league’s worst offense.
Herm Edwards, former NFL coach turned ESPN analyst, actually said that the Rams set offensive football back 50 years after their season opener on MNF. But his claims were not hyperboles; Los Angeles finished that game with 185 total yards on offense. Coming into this contest the Rams are dead last in points per game, total yards per game, and passing yards per game. Their running game is slightly better as it ranks 28th in the league. There’s no doubt these statistics are contributing to this Sunday’s odds, but fans should still take into account that the Rams are coming off a win over the Seahawks. The Seahawks are one of the better teams in the NFC considering they have an elite defense, and a dual threat quarterback. But Los Angeles still found a way to upset them 9-3. They may not have the most explosive offense, or any offense really, but the Rams still found a way to beat one of the online NFL betting favorites in the NFC West. Obviously it was the Rams’ defense that helped them overcome their division rivals, and come Sunday they’ll be looking to do the same against the Bucs. The odds may not have their back, but there’s no doubt the Rams are coming in with all the momentum this week.