Los Angeles at Tampa Bay Expert Pick & Odds
The Los Angeles Rams play their first game of the 2016 NFL season outside the state of California on Sunday afternoon as they look for their first touchdown of the year as well when visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a matchup of 1-1 teams. This game has one of the lowest NFL betting totals of the week.
How to Bet to the Los Angeles at Tampa Bay Expert Pick, Odds & TV Info
When: Sunday, Sept. 25, 4:05 PM ET
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
Radio: Los Angeles / Tampa Bay
Opening NFL Lines: Bucs -5 (42)
Why Bet on Los Angeles?
The Rams looked terrible offensively in their Week 1 shutout loss to San Francisco and they didn't exactly tear it up last Sunday in their return to Los Angeles but they managed to beat Seattle 9-3 on Greg Zuerlein’s three field goals — the longest a 47-yarder in the fourth quarter. Alec Ogletree recovered a fumble by Seattle’s Christine Michael at the Los Angeles 29 with 57 seconds left in the game, ending the Seahawks’ last scoring bid.
Case Keenum went 17-of- 35 for 130 yards and two interceptions in the 28-0 loss to the 49ers on Monday Night Football in the opener, prompting debate over whether No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff should immediately displace him as the starting quarterback. With Goff on the sideline in Week 2, after being promoted from an inactive third-stringer to the primary backup, Keenum went 18-of- 30 for 239 yards and zero turnovers against Seattle. Tavon Austin caught 5-of- 9 targets for 50 yards vs. Seattle. Austin was mostly held in check before reeling in a 27-yard catch down the left side. Todd Gurley rushed for 51 yards on 19 carries. He caught his lone pass-game target for 19 yards.
The Rams enter Raymond James Stadium on Sunday as the only NFL team yet to score a touchdown and will try to avoid becoming the first team since the expansion Bucs in 1976 to do so in the first three weeks of a season. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Keenum will remain the starter this week.
“We need more production out of our offense, and all things point to the quarterback position,” Fisher said. “But I’m expecting Case to continue to get better in this offense and we’re going to win games and score points.”
Fisher is 4-0 against the Bucs since joining the Rams, beating them 28-13 on the road in 2012, 23-13 at home in 2013, 19-17 on the road in 2014 and 31-23 at home in 2015.
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
This is the Bucs’ home opener. They won in Atlanta in Week 1 but were dominated last week in a 40-7 loss at Arizona. Jameis Winston, who had four touchdown passes against Atlanta in the opener and was NFC player of the week, threw 51 passes, the most in his two NFL seasons, completing 27 for 243 yards.
He was picked off four times and lost a fumble. He was 13-of- 33 for 159 yards (39 percent), a touchdown and three interceptions on passes thrown more than 5 yards downfield. It was the second-worst completion percentage of his career on such throws.
The offense was able to produce one potential scoring drive in the first half and would have put three on the board if it wasn’t for a missed 45-yard field goal attempt by Roberto Aguayo. On the first drive of the third quarter, Winston hit Mike Evans on a 19-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the far end zone.
The loss was costly for Tampa as top running back Doug Martin hurt his hamstring and will miss three weeks. After Martin left the contest Sunday, Tampa’s run game struggled, especially on runs between the tackles. Last season, the compact, muscle-bound 5-foot- 9 back plowed his way for 1,402 yards (second in NFL) on 288 carries.
Offensive tackle Demar Dotson on Martin: “He means a lot. He”s a tremendous running back. He helps the offensive line out because we don’t have to hold blocks for long.”
Charles Sims takes over as the lead back in Martin’s absence. He had nearly 1,110 yards of total offense last year but isn’t the runner Martin is. Sims averaged 4.9 YPC on 107 totes last season, but on his other 79 career carries he’s averaging just 2.7 YPC
My Expert Pick
Rams are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings in Tampa Bay.
Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
Underdog is 7-3- 1 ATS in their last 11 meetings.
Tampa will end that losing streak in the series and go under the NFL betting total.