St. Louis Rams (5-7) at Washington Redskins (3-9)
This line shifted an entire field goal from last week to this week as the early line was PK and now the line is at 3 in favor of the Rams on the road. It’s easy to understand why that happened, considering the Rams’ 52-0 trouncing of the Raiders last week. I love fading large line movements whenever it makes sense though as they’re often overreactions and I think that’s the case here. As good as last week’s win was, it was just against the Raiders and the Rams only were able to win by such a margin because they won the turnover battle by 5.
Turnover margins tend to be very inconsistent on a week to week basis. Teams that have a turnover margin of +4 on average have a turnover margin of +0.1 the following week over the past 25 years. Even crazier, teams with a turnover margin of +5 or more have an average turnover margin of -0.4 the following week. As a result, those teams are 61-84 ATS the following week because the line usually overcompensates for previous week’s game, as is the case here. The public, meanwhile, is still all over the Rams and I love fading the public whenever it makes sense, as it does here. This is a huge trap game for the public because they don’t understand the flukiness and inconsistency of turnover margins.
Even before the large line movement, I thought we were getting line value with the Redskins. While the Redskins’ record is a couple games worse, they actually rank higher in rate of moving the chains differential. They rank 19th, moving them at a 71.43% rate, as opposed to 72.24% for their opponents, a differential of -0.81%. The Rams, meanwhile, rank 25th, moving them at a 70.11% rate, as opposed to 72.40% for their opponents, differential -2.29%. On the season, the Redskins are +22 in first down margin, while the Rams are -22. The Redskins aren’t definitely better than the Rams, but the Rams don’t have any business being favored by 3 here on the road.
The Redskins are also in the better spot, with a trip to New York to play the Giants on deck. Teams are usually 81-61 ATS since 2002 as non-divisional home underdogs before being divisional road underdogs. The Rams, meanwhile, have to take on the Cardinals in 4 days on Thursday Night Football, which opens up an even more powerful trend in the Redskins favor. Teams are 39-61 ATS since 2008 as favorites before Thursday Night Football. We’re getting points at home with the better team at home in the better spot and we get to fade a huge line movement and a heavy public lean. I like the Redskins a good amount this week.
Washington Redskins 24 St. Louis Rams 20 Upset Pick +145
Pick against the spread: Washington +3