Rams-Broncos Betting Preview: Is Los Angeles Too Big of a Road Favorite?

Rams-Broncos Betting Preview: Is Los Angeles Too Big of a Road Favorite? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Donald, Von Miller

Betting odds: Los Angeles Rams at Denver Broncos

  • Spread: Rams -7  
  • Over/Under: 52
  • Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • Channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: There have been a couple of steam moves on the Broncos as a 7-point home dog, but the line has stayed there at that number at most books.

However, the juice on Denver is generally in the -120 range. I think we have a case of “the books are afraid to move the Rams to -6.5” on our hands.

This is the most popular under of the week, with more than 70% of bets as of writing (see live data here). Mark Gallant

Weather report: Bundle up! Winter is coming early in Denver, as the temps will be in the mid- to upper-20s. Snow is also a possibility.

I wouldn’t expect a blizzard, but a few inches are in the forecast for the area on Sunday. — Gallant

Did you know? Between his professional and collegiate careers, Jared Goff has never started a game with a temperature below 33 degrees. He has started two NFL games with temperatures below 40 degrees.

  • Week 13, 2016 (at New England): 14-of-32 passing, 161 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
  • Week 15, 2016 (at Seattle): 13-of-25 passing, 135 yards, 0 touchdowns

The Rams lost both straight-up and against the spread, scoring only 13 points combined. Evan Abrams

Trends to know: This is only the 12th time since 2003 that Denver has been a home underdog of more than three points. In the previous 11 games, the Broncos were 3-8 SU and 3-7-1 ATS.

Denver has been a home dog of seven or more points only twice before, losing and failing to cover each time by an average of 14.5 points.John Ewing

Biggest mismatch: Rams WRs vs. Broncos CBs

Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks are progressing through the concussion protocol and appear to have a chance of suiting up on Sunday.

Brandin Cooks (center) and Cooper Kupp (right) are on track to clear the concussion protocol by Sunday. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A juicy matchup awaits both, as the Rams have the week’s biggest matchup advantage in terms of explosive passing plays. Other than all-world slot corner Chris Harris Jr. — who should spend most of his time on Kupp — the Broncos don’t have another cornerback graded among Pro Football Focus’ top 70. — Ian Hartitz

Which team is healthier? Rams

While Cooks (concussion) and Kupp (concussion) seem to have a good chance at playing, the Rams’ special teams will likely be without kicker Greg Zuerlein for another week.

Meanwhile, the Broncos’ already not-great secondary isn’t 100%, as cornerback Adam Jones (leg) and safety Darian Stewart (foot) should be considered questionable.

The offense is expected to be without right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee).

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Hartitz

DFS edge: This matchup has the makings of a shootout. It’s one of four games with an over/under above 50 as of writing, and it carries the largest combined explosive pass-play rate in Week 6.

The game’s above-average situation-neutral pace also helps, but exposure to the Rams receivers should be focused on Robert Woods and Cooks (concussion), considering Kupp (concussion) will have to deal with Harris. Hartitz

Bet to watch: Rams -7

I’m not a fan of this slate in general, so I’m being a fish and picking a good team against a bad team.

I think it’s #NotSharp to lay a lot of points on the road, but I have so much respect for offensive-minded head coach Sean McVay and the Rams and so little respect for defensive-oriented head coach Vance Joseph and the Broncos that I’m fine with the spread.

Both McVay and Joseph were first-year coaches in 2017. Since then, McVay’s Rams have exceeded their Vegas expectations offensively more than any other team (16-5), while no team has allowed opponents to hit their implied totals more than Joseph’s Broncos have on defense (7-14).

The Broncos are the only team this season yet to win against the spread (0-4-1), and Joseph’s team has been dead-last ATS ever since he became a head coach (4-15-2).

Plus, there’s this irrelevant but still intriguing #RevengeGame angle: One-year wonder quarterback Case Keenum is taking on a Rams franchise that, under former Jeff Fisher, almost ruined his career.

But on the other side is Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who was jettisoned from the Broncos two years ago after overseeing the league’s best defense and was fired by the Texans in 2013 after Keenum sabotaged the season with his 0-8 record as the starter in Houston.

As far as revenge goes, Phillips has the edge.Matthew Freedman

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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