Seahawks vs Rams Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 18 Betting Preview

Seahawks vs Rams Odds, Pick, Prediction | NFL Week 18 Betting Preview article feature image

Jane Gershovich/Getty Images. Pictured: DK Metcalf.

  • The Seahawks are 5.5-point favorites against the Rams.
  • To make the playoffs, Seattle has to win and get a Green Bay loss.
  • John LanFranca previews the game and makes his Seahawks vs. Rams pick below.

We look for a Seahawks vs. Rams pick as Los Angeles travels to Seattle on Sunday afternoon to try and ruin the host's playoff chances. The Seahawks need a win and Packers loss to get in as the No. 7 seed in the NFC.

Back in Week 13, when these teams faced off in Los Angeles, Geno Smith played a near flawless game, but the Rams still covered the spread of 6.5. In that game, Los Angeles gashed the Seahawks defense on the ground to the tune of 171 yards on 33 attempts, marking the shift in how Sean McVay’s offense would find success in the latter part of the season.

The Rams' rushing attack has remained strong over the past month and they’ll once again be able to exploit this glaring weakness in Seattle's defense.

Seahawks vs. Rams Odds

Sunday, Jan. 8
4:25 p.m. ET
Seahawks Odds
-115o / -105u
Rams Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Seahawks vs. Rams Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Seahawks and Rams match up statistically:

Seahawks vs. Rams DVOA Breakdown
Overall DVOA2421
Pass DVOA2318
Rush DVOA2224
Overall DVOA1319
Pass DVOA924
Rush DVOA2413

It has been a tumultuous year for Cam Akers. However, very few running backs have played better since Week 13, when these teams first played.

Akers' resurgence has included 18.2 touches per game, a 4.9 yards per carry average and six rushing touchdowns. Over that span, the Rams offense ranks 14th in the league, according to DVOA, a massive improvement over what we saw throughout most of 2022. 

The success Akers has had on the ground has aided greatly in making Baker Mayfield look like a viable quarterback option. The entire philosophy of this offense is predicated on keeping Mayfield’s attempts down and giving him easy throws off play-action bootlegs. Mayfield has only thrown one interception in his four games played with the Rams, a marked improvement from the six thrown in his seven games with the Panthers.

Bet Seattle vs. Los Angeles at FanDuel

The key to this NFC West matchup will be whether the Rams can successfully implement their new style of attack.

The Seahawks rush defense ranks 24th in adjusted line yards surrendered to opposing runners, and only stuffs 16% of rushes at or behind the line of scrimmage. Those numbers are right in line with their ranking of 25th in yards per carry allowed (4.8).

Only five teams have given up more first downs on the ground than Seattle. Over the past six games, the Seahawks defense is 29th in rush defense DVOA. I have a hard time seeing a scenario in which the Rams' running game is stifled.

It may also surprise you that since their previous meeting, the Rams' passing attack, on a per play basis, has been more effective than the Seahawks'.

Seattle ranks 20th in DVOA over its past four games through the air. The Rams passing game ranks eighth. In fact, Seattle's passing offense, which ranked sixth in DVOA through the first nine weeks, is 21st since Week 10.

Betting Picks

Teams motivated to get in the playoffs, playing against a team eliminated from playoff contention, have not covered the spread at a high rate.

Of the previous 42 games in which we have seen this scenario play out, the team with "nothing to play for" has covered at a 61.9% rate — and when those teams are catching more than a field goal, they have covered the spread at a remarkable 68.7% rate. 

Furthermore, divisional road underdogs of six points or more are 12-3 (80%) against the spread this season. McVay's teams have only been a road underdog of three or more points eight times in his short coaching career, in which the Rams are 5-2-1 against the number. Meanwhile, Pete Carroll is 6-16-2 (27.3%) as a favorite of six or more points over the past six seasons. 

The Seahawks defense is simply not strong enough for this team to consistently win with margin. Similar to a must-win game they played versus the Panthers at home in Week 14, Seattle is bound to lose the time of possession and turnover battle if it can't limit the Rams' ground attack. The Panthers controlled the line of scrimmage in that game and ran for 223 yards.

I am expecting a similar gameplan from the Rams, which should keep things interesting to the very end.

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