Rams vs. Lions Odds, NFL Picks, Predictions: How to Bet Matthew Stafford vs. Jared Goff
Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Goff (left) and Matthew Stafford.
- In search of Lions vs. Rams odds? Find the spread and over/under in our guide to betting this Week 7 NFL matchup below.
|Time||4:05 p.m. ET|
Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions are eager to secure their first win of the season, but the season won’t get any easier as they travel to take on former Lion Matthew Stafford and the 5-1 Los Angeles Rams in the first matchup between these two teams since they swapped quarterbacks last summer.
The Rams were instantly viewed as Super Bowl contenders upon trading Goff for Stafford, while the Lions — who were seen as one of the league’s bottom-feeders — appeared to have gotten worse. Six weeks into the season, that assessment from analysts and fans alike doesn’t seem too far off.
The winless Lions hope to bounce back from a 34-11 blowout loss to the Bengals while the Rams come off a 38-11 victory over the Giants. It’s not a surprise that oddsmakers have installed the hometown Rams as 16-point favorites with a total of 50.5 for this Sunday’s matchup.
So where is the betting value in this matchup? Let’s analyze both sides and find out!
Click the arrow to expand injury reports
Rams vs. Lions Injury Report
- TE T.J. Hockenson (knee): Questionable
- RB D’Andre Swift (groin): Questionable
- FB Jason Cabinda (hip): Questionable
- OLB Trey Flowers (knee): Questionable
- RB Sony Michel (shoulder): Questionable
Rams vs. Lions Matchup
|Lions Offense||DVOA Rank||Rams Defense|
|Lions 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.|
Struggling Lions Face Difficult Matchup
The Lions are winless, but they’re one of the better 0-6 teams you’ll ever see as they have a Pythagorean Expectation of 1.5 wins, squandering potential victories over the Ravens and Vikings. But while this team is playing hard, there’s really not a ton of talent on this roster.
Goff has been a noticeable downgrade over Stafford, ranking 29th in Expected Points Added per play (EPA/play) and 31st in Air Yards at 6.8. In addition, Goff has been turnover prone with four interceptions and four fumbles.
It’s no surprise that this offense is 28th in scoring offense (18.2), ranking 16th in EPA/play and 17th in Success Rate. Detroit has failed to crack 20 points in its last five games, and things don’t appear to be getting better.
The offensive line was once thought to be a strength for this team and is now a weakness, with left tackle Taylor Decker on injured reserve and center Frank Ragnow out for the season. Ragnow’s backup Evan Brown will be making his third career start and is a downgrade with a PFF grade of 62.4, including a pass-blocking grade of 62.4 and a run-blocking grade of 58.3. Unfortunately for the Lions, he will be lined up against Aaron Donald.
What’s troubling for this offense is that it doesn’t have a receiver who can truly test a Rams secondary that lacks depth behind Jalen Ramsey. Tight end T.J. Hockenson and running back DeAndre Swift are listed as questionable, but they should play Sunday, so look for the Lions to try to get the ball to those two often.
Defensively, the Lions don’t have many answers for the Rams offense. Detroit ranks 27th in scoring defense (28.7) and 22nd in Dropback Success Rate. Even more troubling, this unit is dead-last in explosive pass play rate, allowing 15% of passing plays to go for 20 or more yards, which won’t bode well against Stafford and this explosive Rams offense.
Stafford Provides Huge Boost to Rams Offense
Stafford has been a huge upgrade for this Rams offense, ranking first in DVOA and ESPN’s QBR as well as third in EPA/play and Success Rate while throwing for 1,785 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Stafford leads a Rams offense with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and DeSean Jackson that’s scoring 29.8 and is first in EPA/play, fifth in Success Rate, fourth in Dropback Success rate and second in explosive pass play rate with 13% of pass plays going for 20 or more yards. The Rams can essentially name their score against this Lions defense, which has a banged up secondary that’s dead-last in passer rating (113.8) while allowing 10.2 yards per attempt.
The Rams defense has taken a step back from last season with the departure of defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and losses in free agency. While this unit is top 10 in EPA/play, it’s just 26th in Success Rate and allowing 47.6% of plays to grade out as successful.
Los Angeles’ defense is fourth in DVOA against the eighth-toughest schedule of opposing offenses, so it’s still solid nonetheless.
Rams vs. Lions Picks
It’s tough to imagine the Lions slowing down this Rams offense since it’s giving up 28.7 points per game and ranks 27th in DVOA, 28th in EPA/play and dead last in Dropback Success Rate. This is also a Lions defense that’s dead-last in explosive pass play rate, so Kupp, Woods and Jackson should have big games against this banged-up secondary.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams defense hasn’t been nearly as good as we saw last season.
While the Lions are banged up at receiver, I’m expecting them to do just enough to help this game go over the total with the Rams naming their score in this matchup.
Pick: Over 50.5 | Bet to: 51.5
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