Although they’re divisional rivals, and both coming off winning weeks, these two teams are in very different situations. The Rams have all but clinched the playoffs sitting at a 98% chance to make it into the postseason (based on Football Outsiders’ odds). While the Seahawks sit at 1.2% chance, meaning they are playing without much motivation. That typically indicates an opportunity for a “look ahead play” (favoring the “worse team”), but there is probably too much of a talent disparity and coaching advantage to be overcome by the Seahawks.
Ryan’s Season Totals
Assigned Games: 19-16-1
Best Bets: 25-15, Up 1228%
- Opening Line: Los Angeles -7
- Current Line: Los Angeles -4.5
- Over/Under: 45.5
- Location: SoFi Stadium Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
- Start Time: 4:25 PM EST, SUN 12/19
- Last Meeting: Rams, 26, Seahawks 17 at Seattle earlier this year
We’re at a point where it’s fair to say the Rams offensive issues since Super Bowl LIII were due to the QB play, and not the HC Sean McVay. This is evidenced by some pretty telling objective proof: By SIS EPA/play on passes the Rams produced .15 EPA (2019) and .11 EPA (2020) with Jared Goff, yet: .22 EPA this season with Matthew Stafford. Most of this is based on explosive plays, as the Rams “Bust Rate” on pass plays has remained stable between Goff and Stafford, yet the “Boom Rate” is up 30% from last year. Clearly the issue with this team was the QB play. If you need any more evidence to support this: The Lions Passing EPA/play went from .19 EPA and .17 EPA (the two previous years with Stafford) to .08 EPA this year (with Goff).
The Seahawks are a team with little to play for, and even if they were motivated, they have been absolutely hampered by their Head Coach’s strategic contributions. Beyond being the EDJ Sports 2nd worst coach by 4th down decision making, Pete Carroll has now shown multiple years of not understanding very elementary level strengths and weaknesses of his team (see personnel example here). In year’s past Carrolls subjective value (being a player’s coach, having the team’s trust etc.) seemed to make up for poor objective contributions, but we’re now at a point where he is a liability to a very average team.
- Seahawks are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
- Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games.
- The UNDER is 11-3 in the Rams last 14 home games.
This is the second game this week I have seen a legitimate disparity in the Football Outsiders and PFF Team Performance metrics. These two companies’ metrics, which have gained a lot of respect in the analytics community, are typically in concert with each other. Currently PFF ranks the Rams at #2 and Seahawks at #23, yet FootballOutsiders sees the Rams as 5th best, and Seahawks 17th. That kind of discrepancy usually alerts us to a “no play” scenario. Additionally, this game has seen a lot of movement on both the moneyline and spread. With that said, unless you bet early and have a chance to middle this game, it’s likely smartest to hold off wagering on it. If you must make a play, the matchup does feel like a situation where coaching/not making coaching mistakes will be a big factor, so we have to lean Rams here.
Prediction: Rams 23, Seahawks 14