Bills vs Rams: Updated Odds, Picks, Prediction
Pictured: Josh Allen (left) and Matthew Stafford.
- The Buffalo Bills are 2.5-point favorites tonight against the Los Angeles Rams.
- The reigning Super Bowl champs are 5-0 in season openers under Sean McVay.
- Sean Koerner lays out how he's backing the Rams tonight below.
Bills vs. Rams Odds
Week 1 is finally here, and we're getting started with Bills vs. Rams!
I couldn’t be more thrilled for the upcoming season or for the opening game. The NFL schedule makers gave us a real treat in the Bills vs Rams to kick off the season. We have the reigning champs in the Rams facing the Super Bowl LVII favorites in the Bills, who are currently 6-1 to win it all at most books.
Bills vs. Rams Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Bills and Rams match up statistically:
Bills vs. Rams DVOA Breakdown
When the Bills Have the Ball
The Bills offense could be even better this season than last, if you can believe it. Here are a few of the key additions and personnel changes I consider to be upgrades:
- Signing LG Rodger Saffold to a one-year deal.
- Drafting James Cook, the top pass-catching back in the 2022 class, to add an element that was missing from their offense.
- Gabriel Davis becoming a full-time starter without Emmanuel Sanders.
- Isaiah McKenzie replacing Cole Beasley as the slot receiver. McKenzie’s 0.60 EPA per target led the team last season, while Beasley’s 0.03 ranked sixth.
The biggest change to the offense will be new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey taking over for Brian Daboll. Considering it’s an internal hire, with Dorsey serving as the Bills' QB coach last season, I’m not expecting too much of a change.
There is a chance that Dorsey makes the offense more balanced after it ranked first in early-down pass rate in neutral situations. If that ends up being the case, there might be value in Bills games going under the total early in the season.
The Rams defense is more than capable of slowing down the Bills' potent offense. Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey remain two of the top defensive players in the league. While the Rams lost Von Miller in free agency, they were able to land future Hall of Fame LB Bobby Wagner in free agency.
When the Rams Have the Ball
The main story heading into this game is around Matthew Stafford’s elbow injury and whether it will impact his play. Sean McVay has said the QB will have no limitations Thursday night, but there is obviously a chance his actions will prove otherwise.
Either way, if this injury ends up being more about pain tolerance, there is arguably no tougher player than Stafford, who has played through multiple injuries, including a separated shoulder.
The Bills defense will be without Tre'Davious White, who was placed on the PUP list and will miss the first four games as he returns from his Week 12 torn ACL last season.
White's injury was a huge loss for the secondary, which will now have to potentially start two rookie CBs in Kaiir Elam (first-round pick) and Christian Benford (sixth). Stafford and the Rams offense will surely take advantage of the inexperienced secondary.
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I think the best way to take advantage of this matchup is to back the Rams +1 in the first half.
As I mentioned earlier, Dorsey will be making his debut calling plays, which is like being handed the keys to a brand new Lamborghini. It’s going to be hard for him to mess things up, but it might take him a game or two to get this offense firing on all cylinders.
Meanwhile, McVay is excellent at game planning (he’s 5-0 against the spread in Week 1), and I think that gives the Rams a slight edge in the 1st half. Considering there’s about a 7% chance the score is tied at halftime, I like the value we are getting with +1 here.