Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:56 AM
TNF - Rams at Seahawks
The Rams (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) were handed their first loss of the season in a surprising home setback to the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay dropped 55 points on Los Angeles in a 55-40 stunner at the L.A. Coliseum to win outright as nine-point underdogs. The Rams had allowed 49 points in their first three victories, but fell in a 21-0 second quarter hole and got as close as 45-40 with eight minutes remaining on a Marcus Peters interception return for a touchdown.
Unfortunately, the Rams couldn’t do anymore to pull off the monster rally as the Bucs scored the final 10 points, capped off by former Ram Ndamukong Suh returning a fumble for a score in the last minute of play. Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff threw for 517 yards on 45 completions, but the former top pick was also intercepted three times as the Rams turned the ball over four times. Todd Gurley didn’t receive many carries due to the large early deficit, but the Rams’ running back scored a pair of touchdowns even though he only recorded five rushing attempts.
The Rams dropped only one home game in 2018, but fell to 1-1 at the Coliseum with the loss to the Buccaneers, who just one week earlier squandered an 18-point advantage in a one-point home defeat to the Giants. This marked the 15th time since the start of 2018 that the Rams scored at least 30 points and it is only the second time in this stretch that they lost when reaching that threshold as Los Angeles dropped a 45-35 decision at New Orleans for its first regular season loss in 2018.
The Seahawks (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) rebounded from a shocking home loss to the Saints back in Week 3 to cruise past the winless Cardinals, 27-10 as 5 ½-point road favorites. Seattle improved to 6-0-1 in its last seven trips to Glendale, as the Seahawks jumped out to a 20-3 halftime lead and never looked back.
Jadeveon Clowney returned a Kyler Murray interception 27 yards for Seattle’s first touchdown, while Russell Wilson hit tight end Will Dissly for the Seahawks’ only offensive score of the first half. Wilson threw for 240 yards and has not thrown an interception yet this season, while running back Chris Carson busted out for a season-high 104 yards.
Seattle owns a 2-0 record away from CenturyLink Field and to show how it impressive this road mark is for Pete Carroll’s team, look back at how they began the previous four seasons on the highway. In 2015, 2017, and 2018, the Seahawks lost each of their first two road contests, while splitting their opening two away affairs in 2016. Seattle didn’t cover its first true road game last season until Week 8 at Detroit, as the Seahawks are a perfect 2-0 ATS away from the Pacific Northwest in 2019.
The job the Rams have done away from Los Angeles under head coach Sean McVay in 2+ seasons is nothing short of remarkable. The defending NFC champions have won 16 of 19 road contests, including September victories over Carolina and Cleveland. The Rams have compiled a 3-1 SU/ATS record in the role of a road underdog since 2017, as the lone defeat came at Minnesota as one-point ‘dogs in Week 11 of the 2017 season, 24-7.
Seattle dropped its first September home game since 2009 in the 33-27 defeat to New Orleans back in Week 3, which was also the first loss at CenturyLink Field in the opening month under Carroll. Since 2014, the Seahawks are 4-3 SU and 2-5 ATS at home in October, including a 1-5 ATS ledger in the favorite role.
NFC WEST ODDS
In spite of these teams owning 3-1 records, both the Rams and Seahawks sit behind the 3-0 49ers for first place in the NFC West. Los Angeles opened the season at 1/2 odds (Bet $100 to win $50) to claim its third consecutive division title according to the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas.
The Rams have slipped to 11/10 odds to finish in first place, while Seattle has gone from 5/2 odds prior to the season to 12/5 entering Week 5. By the way, San Francisco started the season at 7/1 odds and have improved to 2/1 odds as the Niners host the Browns on Monday night.
The Rams have won each of the past three meetings with the Seahawks, including the last two at CenturyLink Field. Seattle has actually covered four of the last five meetings since 2016, including in both matchups last season.
The Rams edged the Seahawks, 33-31, which was also a Week 5 affair, but Seattle cashed as 7 ½-point home underdogs. Gurley rushed for three touchdowns, while Wilson completed only 13 passes, but three went for touchdowns. Seattle led, 31-24 in the fourth quarter prior to Gurley’s third touchdown of the game to tie things up, then the Rams went ahead for good on a 39-yard field goal from Cairo Santos.
The second meeting at the Coliseum in Week 10 was another shootout as the Rams held off the Seahawks, 36-31. Seattle grabbed the cover as 10-point underdogs thanks to a late touchdown pass by Wilson with under two minutes remaining in regulation. Wilson threw three touchdown passes again, but Goff was equal to the task by posting 318 passing yards and two touchdowns, while Gurley put up 120 yards and a score. Seattle is looking to beat Los Angeles at home for the first time since 2016.
After watching the ‘under’ easily connect in the first three Thursday Night games of the season, the ‘over’ (46 ½) rebounded in Week 4 as the Eagles and Packers combined for 61 points. Oddsmakers are expecting more points in the Week 5 midweek matchup between these teams and Chris David of VegasInsider.com offers up his thoughts on the total.
He said, “The ‘over’ has cashed in three straight games between these teams and that includes two tickets to the high side last season that had totals close in the fifties. The majority of the damage on the scoreboard during this span has come from the Rams, who have averaged 37 PPG and 425 YPG on offense. Not surprisingly, L.A. has won all three games. Goff has connected on over 70 percent of his passes in two of those victories while Gurley has run for 100-plus yards in two of the games and he’s accounted for seven touchdowns.”
“Even though the Rams posted 40 points and 518 total offensive yards last week in their embarrassing home loss to the Buccaneers, most pundits would tell you that McVay’s offense hasn’t looked sharp through four games. Despite that opinion, L.A. is still ranked sixth in scoring (29.2 PPG) and that unit has traveled well since the young head coach took over,” added David.
Los Angeles led the league in scoring away from home in 2017 with 32.8 PPG and they notched 25.9 PPG on the road in 2018. As visitors this season, they’ve scored 30 and 20 points and this week’s team total on the Rams is right around that average at 24 points.
Both clubs enter this game with identical 2-2 total records through four games. Seattle has been featured in a Thursday Night game each of the last four seasons and the ‘under’ has gone 3-1 while the Rams captured shootout victories in 2018 versus Minnesota (38-31) and in 2017 at San Francisco (41-39) on the short week.
CD connected on his total opinions last week in this segment and he believes we could see more points in this spot, at least from one team.
“A lot of folks are down on the Rams right now and deservingly so after they were embarrassed as heavy home favorites to Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, Seattle cashed easily for bettors at Arizona and those memories don’t fade quickly. If you really break it down, L.A. has beaten three teams that might be in the playoffs plus the Bucs could easily be 3-1. Seattle, however, has three wins against teams with one combined victory,” said David.
“Similar to last week, Green Bay’s defense was the toast of the town prior to facing QB Carson Wentz and the Eagles. We saw what happened there and Philadelphia captured the outright win. Sticking with that approach, this will be the toughest test of the season for the Seattle defense. The Rams have notched 21 scores this season, ranked third in the league. Unfortunately, the touchdown-field goal ratio of 12:9 isn’t great. Still, I’m going to buy more sixes instead of threes on Thursday and play the Rams Team Total Over.”
VegasInsider.com NFL expert Joe Nelson points out that the strong home-field advantage the Seahawks have owned through the years may not be there anymore, “Seattle hasn’t been nearly as impressive in its 3-1 start as the three wins have come against teams that are a combined 1-10-1 this season. They lost to New Orleans at home with the Saints playing without Drew Brees and the once amazing home-field edge at CenturyLink Field has eroded, failing to cover in both home dates this season while on an 8-10-1 ATS run at home since the start of the 2017 season with seven straight-up home losses. The two home games this season were unusual the results that could have been reversed as Seattle won 21-20 vs. Cincinnati despite being out-gained 429-232, but then lost to the Saints with a 514-265 yardage edge.”
There has been an advantage through the years for the home team in these Thursday matchups, but Nelson notes how it has changed, “Home teams have had a clear edge on Thursdays in recent years warranting this line flipping from the Rams opening as a slight favorite to Seattle currently priced as the slight favorite. Thursday hosts are 36-20 SU and 34-19-3 ATS since the start of the 2016 season, although it is worth noting that three of four road teams have won on Thursday night this season with all four underdogs winning outright.”
PLAYER PROPS – According to Westgate Superbook
Total Completions – Jared Goff (LAR)
Over 23 ½ (-110)
Under 23 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes – Jared Goff (LAR)
Over 1 ½ (-150)
Under 1 ½ (+130)
Will Todd Gurley (LAR) score a touchdown?
Total Receiving Yards – Cooper Kupp (LAR)
Over 73 ½ (-110)
Under 73 ½ (-110)
Total Gross Passing Yards – Russell Wilson (SEA)
Over 252 ½ (-110)
Under 252 ½ (-110)
Total Touchdown Passes – Russell Wilson (SEA)
Over 1 ½ (-180)
Under 1 ½ (+150)
Total Rushing Yards – Chris Carson (SEA)
Over 69 ½ (-110)
Under 69 ½ (-110)
Total Receiving Yards – Tyler Lockett (SEA)
Over 70 ½ (-110)
Under 70 ½ (-110)
The Rams opened up as 1 ½-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook when lines were released prior to Week 4. However, the Seahawks have moved into the favorite role by laying one point, while the total sits at 49 ½.
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