Rams vs. Jaguars Odds, NFL Predictions, Picks: Trust L.A. Defense to Smother Jacksonville in Week 13
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Donald.
- The Rams defense isn't just good on paper — our analyst expects it to stifle Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars.
- Find our breakdown of Jaguars-Rams odds below, followed by our analyst's predictions and picks.
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.|
Since their upset of the Bills and near upset of the Colts, the Jaguars have fallen back to their old ways. They lost to the 49ers 30-10, then followed that up by trailing the Falcons 21-3 before putting up some garbage-time points. This season may be lost, but pulling off upsets is always a big confidence boost for a young team. A struggling Los Angeles squad provides a perfect opportunity to potentially do just that.
The Rams have lost their bearings since their 7-1 start. They have lost three straight and have not looked competitive in any of the losses. Troubles have come both offensively and defensively, as by most metrics these three games have been some of L,A.’s worst. They have a tough schedule to end the year, and a dominant win would help restore the Rams’ confidence.
Both teams are currently struggling and could use a momentum-flipping win. Let’s see if we can find an angle to take as both teams battle to find their swagger.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Jaguars vs. Rams Injury Report
- CB Shaquill Griffin (concussion): Out
- RB James Robinson (heel): Questionable
- RB Buddy Howell (thigh): Out
- WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hip): Questionable
- RB Darrell Henderson (thigh): Questionable
- OL Rob Havenstein (foot): Questionable
- CB David Long (illness): Questionable
Jaguars vs. Rams Matchup
|Jaguars Offense||DVOA Rank||Rams Defense|
|Jaguars Defense||DVOA Rank||Rams Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Jaguars Have Declined Since Bye Week
The Week 7 bye seems to have had the opposite effect that one would expect for a young offense. The Jaguars offense went from averaging 356 yards and 19.3 points per game in their first six games, down to 283 yards and 11.4 points in their past five.
The expectations were not high for this team, but they have even seemed to fall short of that mark so far. The biggest worry is whether or not Urban Meyer is the guy to develop No. 1 overall pick, Trevor Lawrence. Jacksonville currently ranks 31st in the percentage of drives that end in an offensive score and third-worst in the percentage of drives ending in a turnover. Hopefully, these early offensive struggles don’t hamper Lawrence’s development.
The one thing the Jaguars have done well is run the ball. They currently rank fourth in the league with 5.0 yards per carry. Against a defensive front with Aaron Donald and Von Miller, they will need to continue that success to keep their young quarterback upright.
Defensively, the struggles are nearly as bad as they are on offense. Jacksonville is bottom 10 in both yards and points per drive, and that is with opposing teams frequently leading and running the clock. On top of the down-to-down struggles, the Jaguars have forced the fewest turnovers in the league. We will see if that turnover luck can change against Matt Stafford, who has majorly struggled to protect the ball recently.
Stafford Has Put Rams in Hole
Little more can be said for the Rams recently than disappointment. After hope for the NFC’s top seed and conversations of Stafford for MVP began, everything collapsed. While a team’s struggles are never on any one player, it is hard to ignore the poor positions Stafford has put the Rams in each game. In each of their past three losses, Stafford has turned over the ball deep in his own territory leading to a touchdown.
On top of protecting the ball, Los Angeles needs to work on sustaining drives. During their losing streak, the Rams are 11 for 38 (29%) on converting third downs. While having Odell Beckham Jr. replace the injured Robert Woods seems logical on paper, during the actual game it does not hold up.
Woods was a receiver willing to play over the middle of the field and get the tough yards on third down. Beckham prefers to play outside the numbers and make the big play. It paid off late against Green Bay, but that was empty calories given the score and time remaining.
As for the Rams defense, the unit is still third against the run, allowing 3.9 yards per carry, and 11th against the pass, allowing 6.1 net yards per attempt. The problem is the Rams struggle to get off the field on third down, as they rank 24th in conversion rate. This defense has the talent to create trouble for opposing offenses, particularly up front. A weak Jaguars pass protection unit could be just what is needed to get Miller and Donald comfortable playing together.
Jaguars vs. Rams Predictions, Picks
Both of these teams have shown reasons to worry about them in recent weeks. With a spread of more than two touchdowns, that makes backing either team even more difficult. The Jags have been beaten by that amount several times, and the Rams have not shown the consistent offense you need with a spread that large. Instead, we will turn to the total in this one.
As mentioned above, the Jaguars offense has simply been a mess since returning from the bye. Now, the Jaguars bring that mess toe-to-toe with one of the most talented defenses in the NFL. To have any success, they will need to run the ball so the Rams cannot pin their ears back and attack Lawrence. This will keep the clock rolling and shorten the game.
As for the Rams, they still need to figure out who their go-to second option is outside of Cooper Kupp. In a game the Rams should control, the answer could be their running game. We have seen Los Angeles abandon the run quickly in recent weeks because of Stafford’s critical mistakes. To avoid those in what is a must-win for their pride, handing the ball off is the best way to make sure you don’t lose it.
With both teams running the ball, the clock should move quickly and limit both teams’ chances to score. Even if the Rams do somehow find themselves and start lighting up the scoreboard, I am going to trust their defense to show it is not just great on paper.
Pick: Under 47 | Bet to: 45.5
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