Saints vs Rams NFL Week 11 Odds, Picks
Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Stafford.
- The Saints are home favorites in Week 11 against the Rams.
- Los Angeles begins life without Cooper Kupp today in New Orleans.
- Phillip Kall breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.
Saints vs Rams Odds
Last week was a significant setback for both the Rams and Saints when considering their playoff hopes.
For New Orleans, this was watching the Buccaneers win in Germany followed by dropping its game against the Steelers. For Los Angeles, this was a crushing loss to the Cardinals placing it in the basement of the NFC West. If the loss was not bad enough, Cooper Kupp also was knocked out for the rest of the season.
Tied for the fewest wins in the NFC at three, it's unlikely that either team makes the playoffs. However, neither has first-round picks next year makes coasting to the end of the year a less desirable option.
With these teams' seasons slowly spiraling out of control, let’s see if we can find an angle to bet.
Saints vs. Rams Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Saints and Rams match up statistically:
Saints vs. Rams DVOA Breakdown
The Saints offense has taken a massive turn for the worse recently. In the first eight weeks, it was averaging 25 points per game and never had less than 300 yards of offense. In the past two weeks, New Orleans has averaged 11.5 points per game and hasn't gained more than 250 yards of offense.
The Saints' problem of late has been the deterioration of their offensive line. Injuries are forcing them to start backups from center through left tackle, and their Pro Football Focus blocking grades have reflected the drop-off. Last week, New Orleans had a 30.0 running blocking grade and a 48.4 pass blocking grade. It will be difficult for them to get anything going if they can’t repel Aaron Donald.
The defense has also lost several key starters. Up front, both Marcus Davenport and Cameron Jordan are injured and will miss this game. On the back end, New Orleans will also be missing both of its starting corners.
For years, this has been a defense that could physically dominate most opponents. Now, we will need to see if its backups can stop anyone.
Rams +2.5 | Saints -2.5
Fortunately, the Saints are facing what may be the most disappointing offense in the NFL. OK, well maybe second-most disappointing thanks to Denver. The
Rams currently rank 28th in points per drive and are dead last in yards per drive. The only saving grace for them has been Cooper Kupp, but he's not going to be there to bail out Los Angeles.
However, a matchup against a depleted pass rush and defensive backfield could be this offense's opportunity to show it still has some fight. The two players who will need to step up the most are receivers Allen Robinson and Van Jefferson.
Robinson has failed to live up to the $45 million contract he signed in March. As for Jefferson, he has zero catches on five targets on the year from Matt Stafford, but those targets have an average depth of target of 26.8 yards. If he can convert one of those into a big play, it could swing the game for the Rams.
Defensively, the Rams have been respectable but not near the level they established on their Super Bowl run. They rank 12th in yards per drive and 14th in points per drive.
Los Angeles' biggest problem has been their inability to cause problems for opposing quarterbacks. Despite having Aaron Donald, Pro Football Focus’ fourth-highest-graded defensive tackle, they rank second last in pressure rate per Pro Football Reference. Someone needs to help Donald create pressure. This will help the defense in the one area it’s been lacking in, which is forcing turnover. On the year, the Rams rank 27th with only eight forced turnovers.
Picking a side in this matchup seems dangerous for either team. The Rams just lost their only reliable source of offense, so who knows what they will put together. Meanwhile the Saints have lost their pass rush, cornerbacks, and offensive line.
When distrust begins to pile up like this though, the under is typically the way to go.
Looking at the Rams offense against the Saints defense matchup. Even if the Saints use backups to rush the passer, it may not matter. Los Angeles allows the third-highest pressure rate in the NFL, per Pro Football Reference. Even when the Rams offense has moved the ball, they have struggled in the red zone, ranking 25th in touchdown percentage inside the 20-yard line. That was all Kupp. Good chemistry has not been there for Stafford and the Rams' other receivers. That will likely be emphasized this week when Stafford is under pressure without his safety valve.
On the other side, the Saints offense has shown signs of life previously, but it's hard to imagine that with several backups starting up front. While the Rams have underwhelmed from a pass rush standpoint, it is hard to imagine them not correcting here. Donald may demand the attention of two or three blockers every play. This should at least make things uncomfortable for the immobile Andy Dalton and give the Rams backend support they have not had all year.
Trusting either of these teams to do much is too rich for my taste, so I'll trust them to do what is most likely, and what they have done in recent weeks: struggle.
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