Bucs vs. Rams Betting Picks & Odds: Is There Value on the Over/Under?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jameis Winston.
Buccaneers at Rams Betting Picks & Odds
- Spread: Rams -9.5
- Over/Under: 49
- Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: FOX
Odds as of Thursday and via PointsBet, where Action Network users get an exclusive 200% deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150).
The Buccaneers struggled to defend Giants QB Daniel Jones in his first career start, so how will they plan for Jared Goff and the Rams?
Our experts cover the most important angles of this game, including Sean Koerner’s projected odds and a staff pick.
Buccaneers-Rams Injury Report
Which team is healthier? Rams
The Rams always seem to be healthy. C Austin Blythe (ankle) and TE Tyler Higbee (chest) were upgraded to full practice on Thursday, but DE Michael Brockers (illness) was downgraded to a missed practice.
The big injury of note on the Buccaneers is WR Chris Godwin (hip) who has two straight missed practices. Whether he participates on Friday will likely indicate if he’ll be active this weekend. C Ryan Jensen (back) has also missed consecutive practices, which isn’t ideal since he rates as Pro Football Focus’s best pass-blocking center. — Justin Bailey
Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.
Jared Goff at Home vs. Tampa Bay Pass Defense
Tampa Bay has one of the best run defenses in football, ranking second in run defense DVOA per Football Outsiders. However, it’s their pass defense that will need to address the mismatch on the road against Goff.
In 2018, Goff’s home/road splits were drastic.
Goff averaged almost 100 passing yards more at home and more than double the amount of passing touchdowns. In the Rams’ only home game in Week 2, Goff posted the overall QB8 stat line (283 passing yards, one touchdown) despite dominating the game after New Orleans lost quarterback Drew Brees in the first quarter.
Tampa Bay allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in 2018, and were torched by tight end Evan Engram (six receptions, 113 yards, one touchdown) and wide receiver Sterling Shepard (7/100/1) in Sunday’s loss.
The Buccaneers’ secondary is also not very active, ranking 17th with only 11 passes defended this season.
Tampa Bay will travel across the country with a defense that just allowed Jones to post the second overall fantasy QB line with four total touchdowns. The Buccaneers have given up 30-plus points to San Francisco and New York at home. They will need to play much better against Sean McVay’s explosive offense. — Mike Randle
Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds
- Projected Spread: Rams -9.5
- Projected Total: 49
This time last year, a Rams-Bucs matchup would’ve generated a total in the 56-point range.
The Buccaneers have not only improved defensively this season, but they also appear willing to rein Jameis Winston in as more of a game manager in an attempt to prevent careless turnovers. But in this specific matchup, as 9.5-point underdogs, the Bucs might be left with no choice but to let him air it out.
With the total down to 48.5 at some books, we have a bit of value in the over. The game flow should also lend itself to that. — Sean Koerner
Randle: Rams -9.5
Tampa Bay would need to play its best defensive game of the season, and it still might not be enough.
Similar to last week’s Vikings-Raiders game, the Buccaneers are facing a team that is better on both sides of the ball. Goff has been prolific at home and the Los Angeles defense is one of the NFL’s best. The Rams are fifth-best in team defense DVOA including the fifth-best pass defense. Cornerbacks Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters and Nickell Robey-Coleman are poor matchups for Tampa Bay’s receiving core.
The Buccaneers’ offensive line has struggled in pass blocking, especially Demar Dotson who ranks 73rd among qualified offensive tackles.
The Rams’ defensive personnel has shined with defensive tackle Aaron Donald (third), linebacker Cory Littleton (fifth) and safety Eric Weddle (10th) all ranking in the top 10 at their position as per Pro Football Focus.
Los Angeles is likely to continue its prolific scoring ways at home while their highly efficient defense will slow the mistake-prone Winston. Take the Rams to score big and win big at home on Sunday.
John Ewing: 1H Under 24.5
Early in the season, it has been profitable to bet first-half unders with high totals. This strategy works because offenses typically need a few games to hit their stride and it is just easier for an under to hit in a high total game.
This system performs better when the full game total has decreased by at least a 0.5-point. The line decreasing in an indication of sharp action on the under. Since 2005, in games matching this scenario the under has gone 76-41-6 (65%).
This first-half total is 24.5 points making it a match for this system. The full game total has also decreased from 50 to 48.5.