Thursday Night Football is back with a cross-conference clash as the Raiders (5-7) travel to face the Rams (3-9). NFL Betting Odds favor the visiting Raiders by a whopping 6.5 points with the projected Over/Under scoring total set at 42.5.
The Raiders have won three straight, coming fresh off the heels of a narrow 27-20 victory over the Chargers in Week 13. The Raiders’ offense is amongst the most potent in the NFL despite what their win/loss record indicates. They average 380.1 yards of total offense (8th) with 241.5 passing yards (9th) and 125.4 rushing yards (10th). Derek Carr and company have struggled with consistency this season but still average a respectable 24.3 (9th) points per game on offense. Unfortunately, the Raiders’ outlook on the defensive side has been less than ideal. The team’s defense allows 384.6 scrimmage yards (26th), 258.1 passing yards (30th), 113.8 rushing yards (14th), and 18.1 PPG (5th) on average to opposing offenses.
The Rams are home team underdogs, giving up 6.5 points to the traveling Raiders, and for good reason. A litany of injuries longer than your grandma’s grocery list has forced the reigning Super Bowl champions into the basement of irrelevance this season. John Wolford is expected to get the start under center with Matthew Stafford out for the remainder of the season with a neck injury. A stunning fall from grace has turned The Rams’ offense into a subpar unit, averaging 308.7 scrimmage yards (30th) with 195.8 passing yards (225th) and 27.3 rushing yards (30th) per game. The Rams are one of just three teams to average less than 17.0 points per game this season, with a lowly 16.8 PPG (29th). Similarly, the Rams’ once-feared defensive unit has crumbled into an easily exploitable and predictable unit. They allow 347.9 scrimmage yards (13th) and 23.3 PPG (22nd) to their opposition.
The Raiders are looking to extend their win streak, keeping their playoff hopes alive for at least one more week. The Rams, on the other hand, are simply hoping to not be blown out on their home field as they wade through the waters of a lost season.
KEYS TO VICTORY
Las Vegas Raiders
- Force Turnovers
- Maintain Early Lead
Los Angeles Rams
- Contain the Run
- Limit Offensive Possessions
Scoring Prediction: Raiders 24 – Rams 10
Over/Under: Under 42.5
Now that we have introduced the matchup let’s dive into some high-upside player props for this Thursday Night Football Showdown.
DEREK CARR OVER 1.5 PASSING TOUCHDOWNS
Betting Odds: -110
The Rams have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in three of their last five games. The quarterbacks in question are not your typical high-octane gunslingers with Jimmy Garoppolo, Andy Dalton, and Geno Smith all tossing for two or more touchdowns against the Rams’ defense in recent outings. Carr is averaging 1.66 passing touchdowns per contest but has thrown multiple touchdowns in five straight contests. The Rams’ defense concedes an expected increase of 9.9% to the passing production of opposing quarterbacks and 19.1% over the expected average to wide receivers.
FOSTER MOREAU UNDER 35.5 RECEIVING YARDS
Foster Moreau has surpassed 35.5 receiving yards in only three games this season, two of which coincidentally came while Darren Waller was still on the field as the starting tight end. Moreau has just one game over 33.0 yards since Waller was placed on injured reserve. The Raiders’ supplementary tight end is averaging 32.6 yards per game over his last three contests and just 38.3 yards per game for the season. As bad as the Rams have been this season, they have been surprisingly stout at defending tight ends. They allow a negative expected average of -2.9% receiving production to the position, ranked 20th in the NFL.
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