The Rams are one of the more overrated teams coming into the season. Matt Stafford obviously elevates this offense, but they still have concerns on the offensive line and in the running game, while their defense is unlikely to be as good as a year ago, losing a trio of key players in John Johnson, Michael Brockers, and Troy Hill, as well as talented defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, whose efforts earned him the head coaching job with the Chargers. They’re still a solid team, but they’re not the Super Bowl contender many see them as and could easily find themselves out of the playoffs in a loaded NFC West, facing a tougher schedule than when they went 10-6 a season ago.
However, we’re not getting a good opportunity to bet against the Rams this week because they’re facing a Bears team that is likely to be one of the worst in the league to start the season. Low upside veteran Andy Dalton will begin the season as the starting quarterback, behind a patchwork offensive line with an underwhelming group of skill position players, while their defense is far from what it used to be, especially with Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman both out for the start of the season. This line is appropriate at Los Angeles -7.5 and I’m actually going to take the Rams for pick ‘em purposes, in the wake of the Bears’ injury issues.
Los Angeles Rams 24 Chicago Bears 16
Pick against the spread: LA Rams -7.5