Packers vs. Rams Odds, Picks, Predictions For NFL Week 12: L.A. Has Edge To Cover Sunday’s Spread
Getty Images. Pictured: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Rams QB Jared Goff
|Time||4:25 p.m. ET|
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The bye week came at the perfect time for the Rams. After working to a tie for the NFC lead at 7-1, Los Angeles lost its last two, and wide receiver Robert Woods tore his ACL. Fortunately, the day before the Rams lost Woods they brought in Odell Beckham Jr., who should fill in the No. 2 receiver role. Against a tough Packers defense, the Rams will need to hope the bye was enough for OBJ to get up to speed.
The Packers have hit a similar rough patch. They have much more hope for a better future though. The Packers are awaiting the return of several key players, including their running back, left tackle and star cornerback. Even with the injuries piling up, the Packers were an overturned interception away from taking down the Vikings last week.
Both teams are looking to get a big win and break out of their slumps. Let’s look deeper to see who will have the edge.
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Rams vs. Packers Injury Report
- WR Robert Woods (knee): Out (IR designation)
- CB Dont’e Deayon (thigh): Questionable
- WR Ben Skowronek (back): Questionable
- CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder): Out
- LB Za’Darius Smith (back): Out
- LT David Bakhtiari (knee): Out
- WR Malik Taylor (abdomen): Out
- CB Kevin King (hip/knee): Doubtful
- RB Aaron Jones (knee): Questionable
- WR Allen Lazard (shoulder): Questionable
- LB Rashan Gary (elbow): Questionable
Rams vs. Packers Matchup
|Rams Offense||DVOA Rank||Packers Defense|
|Rams Defense||DVOA Rank||Packers Offense|
|Football Outsiders’ DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team’s success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.|
Rams’ Bye Week Came at Perfect Time
The two weeks before their bye were the worst for the Rams offense. They had their lowest point and yardage totals and they tied for the most turnovers of the year. Fortunately, they had their bye last week to find their mojo.
The key to this offense coming back is fitting OBJ in. The loss of Robert Woods is a major one. He provided a secondary option in the passing game when teams focused too much on slowing Cooper Kupp. Beckham has the skillset to fill in as the number two option, but the question is whether or not he will accept that role.
While OBJ can provide optimism for their passing attack, reinforcements are not coming for the run game. The Rams have been respectable in terms of creating space for their runners but have struggled to capitalize on it. L.A. ranks 11th in run blocking grade, per PFF, but is ninth-worst in rush yards after contact per carry, per Pro-Football-Reference.
The bye week also came at the best possible time for the defense, as the 49ers completely bullied them. Until that point, the Rams had played as one of the best defenses in the NFL. They still rank ninth in yards allowed per attempt and sixth in rush yards per attempt. At their best, they can create problems for any offense. However, we saw their complete disinterest in going against a physical team. They will need to have toughened up over their break because the Packers will happily pound the ball if allowed.
Packers Sprayed Ball Around Last Week
While the Rams got their bye week at the right time, the Packers were off by one week. Aaron Jones is still marked as questionable, and pushing the limit could be irresponsible for a team looking toward the playoffs.
If Green Bay elects the passive route with Jones, it still has A.J. Dillon. Dillon played well in his expanded role last week as he averaged 4.82 yards per carry and added in 44 yards receiving. His physical playstyle could also play perfectly against the Rams.
In the passing game, the Packers used their most diverse passing attack of the year. This was the first game of the season where Davante Adams was not the most targeted receiver when healthy. Having their full array of weapons on the outside gives the Packers the ability to attack pass defenses in a variety of ways.
Defensively, the Packers have found ways to overcome injuries to their two best players — Jaire Alexander and Za’darius Smith — for most of the year. They currently rank top 10 in points and yards allowed, as well as turnovers. The area they could use improvement is in the run game. They currently rank 23rd in yards allowed per carry. The good news is their offense typically gets ahead early and forces teams away from the run.
Packers vs. Rams Picks, Predictions
The Rams present problems for the Packers that no other team can. This is all thanks to the presence of Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey’s elite cover skills allow him to take away an opposing teams’ top option without requiring a constant double team.
If Ramsey can hold up in coverage against Davante Adams, the Packers could be in trouble. Last week we saw Green Bay be willing to turn elsewhere for its offense, but it came at a cost in terms of efficiency. The Packers’ most targeted receiver, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, had only four catches on 10 targets. He did break one for a 75-yard touchdown to save his day, but he had just three catches for 48 yards otherwise.
As for stopping the Packers running game, we have seen the Rams hold teams to fewer than 70 yards in four games this year. However, the biggest part of stopping the run is simply attitude. L.A. didn’t have it against San Francisco, but with a week off and its chances of the NFC’s top seed slipping, motivation and attitude won’t be a problem.
In terms of creating scoring opportunities for the Rams, we saw the Vikings pick apart the weakened Packers defense. Between their depth of playmakers and an excellent play-caller, L.A. will have the tools necessary to recreate Minnesota’s success. The only question to answer for this offense will be how OBJ fits and if he is comfortable with that role. I am not too scared of this causing issues as both parties work through this “honeymoon” phase.
At full strength, this game would look much different. However, the Rams come in with extra rest and the Packers are still working through injuries and doing what they can to get to the bye. The Rams also have the extra boost of motivation since they need every win they can get to even have one home playoff game. The Packers pretty much have their division locked up.
Take the Rams to start the end of their year hot with a big win.
Pick: Rams -2 | Bet to: Rams -3.5
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