Schwartz’s Trench Report: How I’m Betting the Chiefs-Rams Over/Under
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Aaron Donald, Mitchell Schwartz
- Former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz offers his best Week 11 NFL bets based on the battles up front.
- He's picking a side in Titans-Colts plus the historically high over/under in Chiefs-Rams.
Welcome back to the trench report! It’s slim-pickings with six teams on bye, but we’ve got two plays for Week 11, including an over/under bet for the high-powered offensive showdown on Monday Night Football between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams.
>> Chiefs-Rams odds as of 10:30 p.m. ET on Sunday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams
- Spread: Rams -3
- Over/Under: 63
- Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
This one is simple. The Rams have a fantastic offensive line. They’re first in adjusted line yards and seventh in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders.
Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ O-line ranks only 19th in adjusted line yards but ninth in yards per carry. What they do really well is protect the passer. Through 10 games, Patrick Mahomes has only been sacked 17 times.
These offensive lines will dominate because their defensive counterparts aren’t good.
The Chiefs rank 32nd in run defense, and while they have sacked the quarterback more often lately, they haven’t played anyone good.
The Rams defense isn’t much better, ranking 24th in rush defense and 18th in sack rate. The main reason the Rams are even that high is because of All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. I think the Chiefs can keep Donald in check — as much as one team can — with quick passing routes and by attacking him in the running game.
It’s a high total, but there’s reason to believe both offenses will combine to clear it.
The Bet: Over 63
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
- Spread: Colts -1
- Over/Under: 50
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
We should all know the best offensive lines in the league: The Saints, Rams, Steelers, etc. I’ve covered most of them throughout the season. Now it’s time to acknowledge the Colts.
Indianapolis has been waiting years for its offensive line to become what it has this season. The Colts invested three first-round picks and a second-rounder on four of their five starters, two of whom (including Quenton Nelson) were drafted this past April.
Nelson has played so well at left guard that he was named Offensive Rookie of the Month in October. A freaking guard! (And the first in NFL history to win the honor.)
The Colts’ offensive line ranks third in adjusted rushing yards and third in stuff rate, per Football Outsiders. As a reminder, stuff rate is the percentage of runs in which a running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage.
So the Colts are opening up huge holes for their backs, and not allowing many tackles for losses. They haven’t allowed a sack in pass protection in four games and rank fifth in adjust sack rate.
Now the Colts face a Titans defense that ranks first in points allowed per game (16.8), but if you dig deeper into the advanced stats, Indianapolis’ offensive line should have its way away against Tennessee: The Titans defense is 25th in adjusted rushing yards and 19th in sack rate.
The Colts’ defensive front also has the advantage over the Titans’ offensive line.
Tennessee had one of the better units in the league a few seasons ago, but has regressed over the past few seasons. The unit ranks 26th in rushing and 32nd in pass protection this season. (Those pass protection numbers could be skewed a bit after allowing 11 sacks to the Ravens in Week 6, but nonetheless, it’s not good.)
I think if you couple playing at home and the Titans’ poor pass protections, the Colts could feast.
The Bet: Colts -1