Expert Betting Preview on Six Super Bowl LIII Hopefuls

Are the Rams a Safe Underdog Pick in the NFL Lines vs. Seahawks?

Written by Michael Hunt on Thursday,December 14, 2017 8:37, EDT

Easily the most important game in the NFC this week is from Seattle as the Seahawks look to keep their playoff hopes alive against the NFC West-leading Rams. The winner here probably wins the division, while the loser could miss out on the postseason. Seattle is a slight NFL betting favorite. Remember to be on the lookout for any changes on the NFL lines on game day.

LA Rams at Seattle NFL Lines & Week 15 Pick

When: Sunday, 4:05 PM ET
Where: CenturyLink Field
TV: Fox
Radio: ESPNLA 710AM (LA) / 710 ESPN (Seattle)
Stream Option: NFL Live
Opening NFL Lines: Seattle -2 (47.5)

Last Meeting

The Rams have one of the NFL’s best offenses but were largely shut down in a Week 5 16-10 home loss to Seattle. Russell Wilson passed for 198 yards and a touchdown, and Earl Thomas forced two of the Rams’ five turnovers. It was the first time the Seahawks had forced that many in a game since they intercepted New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning five times on Dec. 15, 2013.

Jared Goff moved the Rams 55 yards in the final 1:09, but Seattle’s defense made its final stop. Rams rookie Cooper Kupp barely missed a diving TD grab on third down, and Goff’s fourth-down pass to Kupp was too low. Tavon Austin rushed for a 27-yard TD for Los Angeles, and Goff went 22 of 47 for 288 yards with three costly turnovers. The Seahawks defense limited Rams running back Todd Gurley to a season-low 50 all-purpose yards. Gurley totaled 43 yards rushing and seven yards receiving.

Top NFL Picks & Predictions for Week 15

Latest NFL Betting Trends

  • LA Rams are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games
  • LA Rams are 6-2 SU in the last 8 games
  • The total went OVER in 5 of LA Rams’s last 6 games on the road
  • Seattle is 2-4-1 ATS in the last 7 games
  • Seattle is 7-3 SU in the last 10 games
  • The total went UNDER in 4 of Seattle’s last 6 games

Why Bet on the LA Rams’s NFL Lines?

The Rams, who have won six of their past eight games, lead the NFC West by one game over Seattle. Los Angeles can clinch a playoff berth with a win combined with losses by Atlanta, Detroit, Green Bay and New Orleans.

L.A. comes off a 43-35 shootout loss to the Eagles. Goff completed 16-of-26 passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. Goff also lost a critical fumble at his own 35-yard line with 8:26 remaining, setting the Eagles up for a lead they would not relinquish. Gurley rushed 13 times for 96 yards and two touchdowns in the Rams’ Week 14 loss to the Eagles, adding three receptions for 39 additional yards.

Coach Sean McVay wants to be more “mindful of” sticking with the run. The Rams went away from Gurley for long stretches of Sunday’s narrow loss, especially in the first half. Gurley’s rush attempts (13) were doubled up by Jared Goff’s passes (26) even though Gurley averaged 7.38 yards per carry.

Gurley hasn’t reached 20 carries in seven games. It’s going to be hard to stick with the run against the Seahawks in Week 15. He leads the NFC with 1,637 scrimmage yards (1,035 rushing, 602 receiving) and tops the league with 13 touchdowns (10 rushing, three receiving). Gurley has gained more than 100 scrimmage yards in 10 games this season, the most in the NFL.

What Has Happened Within the LA Locker Room?

The Rams suffered a major injury in the Eagles loss as starting cornerback CB Kayvon Webster has been diagnosed with a ruptured right Achilles’ tendon and is done for the season. His loss really thins the Rams’ depth. Third-year undrafted free agent Troy Hill will take over as the Rams’ No. 3 corner, manning the boundary in nickel situations. Nickell Robey-Coleman will stay inside when three corners are on the field.

On the bright side, McVay said No. 1 receiver Robert Woods is “on track” to play Week 15 against the Seahawks. Woods hurt his shoulder a few weeks ago vs. the Vikings. Linebacker Connor Barwin is also on track to play. Barwin has been sidelined the last two games because of a fracture in his forearm. Offensive tackles Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein, both of whom exited Sunday’s loss to the Eagles prematurely, are also expected to play.

With a win, the Rams would sport a two-game lead on the Seahawks with two games remaining.

Why Bet on Seattle’s NFL Lines?

One reason to like the Seahawks in this game is because Wilson is 11-3 all-time in December home games. Although the Seahawks have usually been a safe bet at home, that hasn’t been the case this year with Seattle going just 2-4 ATS (but 4-2 straight-up).

Wilson has thrown 17 fourth-quarter touchdown passes in 2017, the most in a single season in league history. In the fourth quarter of last week’s loss at Jacksonville, Wilson threw a 74-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett and a 61-yard TD to Paul Richardson, becoming the first player to throw two 60+ yard touchdown passes in the fourth quarter of a game since Kurt Warner in 2000 (September 24, 2000).

Are the Seahawks a safe bet in Week 15?

Wilson ranks second in the NFL with 29 touchdown passes and is second among NFL quarterbacks with 482 rushing yards. He can become the first quarterback in NFL history with at least 30 touchdown passes and 500 rushing yards in multiple seasons, having also accomplished the feat in 2015. Randall Cunningham and Cam Newton are the only other quarterbacks to reach the marks in a single season.

How is the Defense Looking Like for This Game?

Seattle’s defense could be short-handed here. Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are dealing with injuries that have their availability in question. Wagner aggravated a hamstring string while being blocked by Jaguars center Brandon Linder early in the quarter. Wagner is playing like a Defensive MVP. Wright sustained a concussion while being blocked by fullback Tommy Bohanon. Not having either or both of those two every-down players would be hard on Seattle’s defense in any game.

Seahawks running back Mike Davis said he’s sure that he’s playing vs. the Rams despite the rib injury that knocked him out of the Jacksonville game. Seattle (8-5) is playing for the lead position in the NFC West. A win against the Rams (9-4) would give the teams the same record, but the head-to-head tiebreaker would put Seattle in first place with two games left.

Expert Prediction & NFL Week 15 Pick

The Rams might be building a powerhouse as soon as 2018, but they aren’t quite ready to win in Seattle. It might be a close on in the NFL lines, but still, LA is a young team that needs more experience.