Seahawks vs. Rams Betting Predictions

Seahawks vs Rams NFL Wild Card
Seattle vs. Los Angeles, NFL Betting Predictions, Wild Card Game, January 9

This is the third meeting of the season between these two divisional foes, but they also just played two weeks ago in Seattle. That was a comfortable win for the Seattle Seahawks that propelled them to the NFC West title officially, and continued a winning streak that reached four games in Week 17. The Los Angeles Rams bounced back to beat the wounded Cardinals to secure their berth, but they are also are banged up entering this week. Seattle has the better quarterback, and he will outwit the best defense in football to win this game.

Seahawks vs. Rams Betting Odds

The biggest question for Los Angeles entering this weekend is who will play quarterback for the Rams. It is unclear if Jared Goff will be ready to go after surgery last week on his finger, and if he isn’t healthy enough, it’ll be John Wolford again. Wolford was not terrible, but he certainly wasn’t great against Arizona last week, completing less than 58 percent of his passes and tossing one interception. His mere presence makes Cooper Kupp, who should play this week, and Robert Woods far less dangerous weapons than they otherwise would be. It also puts more pressure on Cam Akers to carry the running game, something he is capable of doing but didn’t do last week with just 34 rushing yards on 21 carries against the Cardinals. As usual, it will come down to the Rams defense to play well enough to give the offense enough possessions to score. Los Angeles led the league in scoring defense and total defense this year after allowing 24 or fewer points in 13 of 16 games this season. Aaron Donald is the best defender in the league and the Rams ranked No. 1 against the pass this season and third against the rush. It’s the defense that carried Los Angeles to the postseason, and now it will have to carry them through the playoffs.

At the beginning of the season, the question was whether Seattle’s defense was good enough to win in the playoffs. Now the question is whether or not the Seahawks can jumpstart their offense to score enough to win. The Seahawks have held their last eight opponents to 23 points or fewer and only one was able to gain more than 355 yards of total offense. It was a dramatic overhaul that coincided with the Seattle offense losing a lot of steam. Though Seattle has won six of its last eight games, it has been held to 23 or fewer points five times in that span. Russell Wilson, once a frontrunner for the MVP has cooled off significantly over the last part of the season and has been held to 225 passing yards or fewer in each of the last four weeks. The Seahawks as a whole have gained 350 yards of offense just once in the last eight games, including two straight wins in which they gained less than 300 yards. The good news for Seattle is it has only had four turnovers in its last seven games after going through a stretch with 10 in four games right after the bye week.

I am not sure how the football betting sites in New Jersey came up with the over/under of 42.5 points for this NFL wild card game. Los Angeles has given up more than 24 points just once in the last eight games, including holding Seattle to 16 and 20 points in their two meetings this season. Neither of the two previous matchups between these teams actually reached 40 points, which might have been a better starting option. Meanwhile, the Rams haven’t scored more than 24 points four times in their last five games and enter this week with uncertainty as to who will start at quarterback. It will be tough for Seattle to score 20 points this week, but it will be easier for the Seahawks to do it than the Rams, who haven’t exceeded 20 points in the last three weeks. So we’re going to get funky with the NFL wild card odds here and bet the under 34.5 total points at +250 odds in this game.

Seahawks to win

Seattle is only a 3.5-point favorite at the online sports betting sites in New Jersey, and I understand why. The sportsbooks see the Rams had the top-ranked defense in the league this year and see the Seahawks have struggled to score points and landed on this number. However, they failed to take into account the Rams offense was anemic for the last month of the season. It’s not that I think the Seahawks are going to put up a lot of points on the Rams, it’s simply that I have far more faith in Seattle’s offense right now than Los Angeles. Just two weeks ago, the Rams scored just nine points in Seattle and now Los Angeles might not have its starting quarterback. I feel safe in saying the Seahawks will win by at least a touchdown, so I’m betting Seattle laying 7.5 points at +170 odds as my main NFL wild card prediction.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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