Rams vs. Jets Odds & Picks: The Value Isn’t On This Massive Spread — It’s On The Total
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff and Sean McVay
Rams vs. Jets Odds
After coming within one play of beating the Raiders, the Jets looked helpless in a 40-3 loss to the Seahawks. Facing the Rams’ top-ranked defense as a 17.5-point underdog means Jets fans should brace themselves for another disastrous loss.
The only good news is that each loss moves them one step closer to Trevor Lawrence.
Meanwhile, the Rams are coming off a defensive smothering of the Patriots en route to a 24-3 victory. With only 132 passing yards, the Rams showed their willingness to let their defense do the heavy lifting while the offense milks the clock with its running game. And now against the Jets’ anemic offense, the Rams defense should have the same advantage.
With their willingness to play conservatively, betting for or against the Rams seems risky thanks to the large spread. Let’s look at the total instead and see if we can find value.
New York Jets
The Jets’ offense struggled to get anything going against the Seahawks’ 27th-ranked defense last week. Things will be more difficult against the Rams, who rank in the top five in turnovers forced, as well as points and yards allowed.
The leading cause of Jets’ troubles has been the offensive line, which ranks dead last in pressure rate allowed per Pro Football Reference. To make matters worse, the Jets are missing their starting guards, Alex Lewis and Greg Van Roten, this week.
While pressure has been an issue, the play of quarterback Sam Darnold has not helped. At 54.7, Darnold’s Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade ranks 38th of 39 eligible quarterbacks.
Ranking fourth in yards allowed per carry, the Jets’ lone bright spot has been their run defense. That follows the lead of Quinnen Williams and John Franklin-Meyers, both of whom grade higher than 73 per PFF. Their play will be crucial in slowing the Rams, who rank seventh in rush attempts.
Despite the play of their run defense, the Jets’ pass defense allows teams to move the ball on them at will. Ranking eighth-worst in pressure rate and third-worst in passer rating allowed per Pro Football Reference, both the coverage unit and pass rush have disappointed this season.
Los Angeles Rams
Two years ago, the Rams relied on a league-best offense for success. This season, that game plan has flipped. Ranking first in yards per pass attempt allowed and sixth in yards per rush allowed, this L.A. defense stops opposing offenses on all fronts, led by cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Ramsey’s presence allows cornerbacks Darious Williams and Troy Hill to not be outmatched physically in their assignments, which has led to all three being ranked in the top 24 corners by PFF, with Williams making his way all the way up to No. 4.
Pairing this coverage unit with Donald up front forces opposing quarterbacks into a lose-lose situation. If the quarterback throws, he will likely be throwing into a tight window. If the quarterback looks to extend the play, he will have Donald bearing down on him. Darnold is in for a long day against Donald and Co. with a banged-up offensive line.
Offensively, the Rams’ game plan has remained pretty simple: Use the running game to set up play-action passes.
Despite their strong commitment to the run, the Rams’ production has been mediocre as they rank 17th in yards per carry. However, rookie Cam Akers has brought some excitement over the last three games with 327 rushing yards on 59 carries. With 29 of those carries coming last week, Akers looks like a bell-cow back moving forward.
Facing the 31st-ranked passing defense, Jared Goff should have no major issues. The typical strategy to throw Goff off involves creating pressure on him in the pocket. This will be a struggle for the Jets’ defense, which ranks eighth-worst at pressuring opposing quarterbacks.
Playing elite defense and committing to the run has been the Rams’ formula to success all season. Against the Jets’ last-ranked offense, the Rams’ defense should be able to continue its success and give Los Angeles no reason to abandon the run on offense.
The game script looks set to be one that is boring to watch but plays right into the Rams’ hands. This makes the 17-point spread too much either way since Los Angeles may have no problem keeping the clock moving throughout the game.
The total is the better way to play this game. With the Rams’ elite defense and conservative style, the under is the side with value.
Pick: Under 43.5 (down to 42.5)