MNF Pick: Rams vs. Bucs

November 23, 8:15 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
LA +4/TB -4
Rams +170/Buccaneers -210

NFC playoff contenders collide when the Rams head East to battle the Buccaneers for this week's edition of Monday Night Football. Both these teams would make the playoffs if the postseason started today, but as wild-cards, playing on the road. Division titles are preferred. Who do we like here for our free NFL pick?

NFL Betting Odds

Monday Night Football betting odds opened Tampa at -3 over LA, with an over/under of 48.5. Early betting action then bumped the Bucs to -4.

Rams vs. Buccaneers Betting Preview

Los Angeles bounced back from that loss at Miami the game previous to beat rival Seattle last week 23-16. The Rams drove the opening possession of the game to a field goal, fell behind 7-3, then drove their next two possessions 77 and 93 yards to touchdowns and led 17-13 at the half. LA then scored the first six points of the second half and held on from there for the win and the cover as a three-point favorite.

The Rams out-gained the Seahawks 389-333, held a 34:26 advantage in time of possession, and won the turnover battle 3-1, thwarting Seattle with a pair of fourth-quarter takeaways.

Prior to last week, the Seahawks had hit the 30-point mark seven times in eight games this season; the Los Angeles defense held Seattle to one offensive touchdown, none over the last 51 minutes of the game.

The Rams have now out-gained seven of their nine opponents this season and out-rushed six of those nine foes.

At 6-3, overall, Los Angeles is tied for first place in the NFC West with Seattle and Arizona, although the Rams lose the tie-breaker to the Cardinals. But LA also owns the second NFC wild-card spot at the moment.

Tampa Bay, meanwhile, just bounced back from that dismal performance against New Orleans two weeks ago to win at Carolina last week 46-23. The Bucs spotted the Panthers the first seven points of the game and trailed 17-10 late into the second quarter. But they then used a 22-0 run spanning the halves to take control, on their way toward victory and the money as six-point favorites.

The big play came when leading 20-17 in the third quarter but stuck at its own 2-yard line, Tampa RB Ronald Jones broke free for a 98-yard score to put the Bucs up by 10.

The Buccaneers out-gained Carolina 544-187, out-rushed the Panthers 210-65, made 30 first downs to 13 for Carolina and won the time of possession by a 36:24 split. Sounds like a dominating performance.

Tampa has now out-gained seven of its ten opponents this season and out-rushed eight of its ten foes.

At 7-3 overall, Tampa Bay trails division-leading New Orleans by a half-game and a tie-breaker in the NFC South. But the Bucs also own the No. 5 spot in the NFC playoff standings.

These two teams have played two common opponents so far this season; Los Angeles is 2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS against Chicago and the Giants, while Tampa is 1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS vs. the Bears and G-Men.

These teams met just last season, a wild 55-40 Bucs win out in LA. Now-departed Jameis Winston threw four TD passes that day for Tampa, while Rams QB Jared Goff threw for 517 yards and three interceptions.

Also, that game played over its total of 48.5 with 20 minutes to spare.

NFL Betting Trends

  • Los Angeles is 39-17 SU, 31-23-2 ATS with the coach/QB combo of Sean McVay and Jared Goff.
  • Tampa's Bruce Arians are 72-45-1 SU, 60-52-5 ATS as an NFL head coach.
  • Home teams are 76-70 SU, 69-76 ATS in the NFL this season.
  • Favorites are 96-49 SU but only 63-81 ATS in the NFL this season.

Totals Report

Unders are 7-2 in Rams games this season, which are averaging 43 total points against an average over/under of 48.

Overs are 6-4 in Bucs games this season, which are averaging 52 points against an average O/U of 48.

Overs are 78-66 in the NFL this season.

This should be a good one, with Brady and Goff going against two pretty good defenses. We can easily see this game coming down to a late field goal, and if that's the case, four points will come in very handy. Ultimately we like the Rams running game to make the difference here. We'll take LA and the points. 

Free Pick: 
Take the Rams +4