Detroit Lions (4-8) at St. Louis Rams (4-8)
Everything about this game screams to me to take St. Louis and the field goal. The Rams have gone from 2 point home favorites to field goal home underdogs in a week, from the early line last week to the line this week. I love to fade a significant line movement whenever it makes sense, as they tend be overreactions to a single week of play. It makes sense here. Despite the fact that the Rams rank 31st in rate of moving the chains differential, we’re getting some line value with them, as the Lions rank just 27th, especially since about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal
It’s no surprise that we’re getting line value with the Rams, as they’ve lost two straight games by 21 or more. Teams are 43-27 ATS since 2002 off of back-to-back losses by 21+, as teams tend to be overlooked, undervalued, and embarrassed in that spot. The Rams could easily be all 3 this week. The Rams are also home underdogs off of a loss as home underdogs, a spot teams are 75-52 ATS in since 2002. Despite all of this, the public is all over the Lions. I love fading the public whenever it makes sense because the public always loses money in the long run.
However, the Rams are just such a mess right now. Defensive end Robert Quinn, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, and safety TJ McDonald are all out this one, so the Rams are far less talented defensively than their 5th place rank in rate of moving the chains allowed suggests. Offensively, they don’t just rank dead last in rate of moving the chains; they’re also easily the worst offense I’ve seen in years. Transitioning to a new offensive coordinator this week, the Rams are going to have a really hard time moving the chains this week and their defense isn’t talented enough anymore to even come close to compensating. As currently constructed, they might be the worst team in the NFL. I’m taking the Rams, but I’m not confident at all.
Detroit Lions 15 St. Louis Rams 13
Pick against the spread: St. Louis +3