Rams host Falcons in 2018 NFC Wild Card Matchup
Every single season in the NFL, we are treated to all kinds of unexpected surprises, and it is often some f the teams that make it to the playoffs who deliver the biggest surprise of all. The LA Rams were among the worst teams in the league last year, but they made a dramatic turnaround this season and came very close to actually securing a first-round bye. As it is, the Rams are in as the 3rd seed in the NFC, and they will start their playoff run with the 2018 NFC Wild Card game against the #6 seeded Atlanta Falcons, who booked their ticket with a win on the final day of the regular season.
Speaking of surprises, the Falcons needed to be added to that category, as the expectation was that they would simply cruise into the postseason after putting together such a great season last year. They were made to work for their playoff spot this season, though, and they have a ridiculously tough path to get back to the Super Bowl. The Rams are a -6 ½ point home favorite, with the point total set at 48 ½.
#LARams will face the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, January 6th at 5:15pm PT.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 1, 2018
Falcon vs Rams Game Preview & NFL Odds
When: Saturday, January 6 at 8:15 PM EST
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, LA
NFL Odds: LA Rams -6 ½
Why bet on the Atlanta Falcons
The NFC South has represented the NFC in each of the last two Super Bowl’s but went 0-2 in those games. Everyone knows how things ended for the Falcons last year, and the big question this season was whether that devastating loss to the Patriots would stick with them this season. That certainly appeared to be the case in the early part of the season, but in fairness, we also need to remember that they were working with a pair of new coordinators after losing a pair of coaches to NFL head coaching jobs.
The Falcons did get rolling in the second half, though, posting a 6-2 SU in their final 8 games. Surprisingly, the Falcons struggled at times this season, averaging 22 PPG, well below the number they posted last season. Atlanta went 5-3 SU on the road this season but only covered the spread twice in those 8 games.
Why bet on the LA Rams
One of the biggest turnarounds of any team was delivered by the LA Rams this season. This was a team that could barely move the ball on offense last season, but who was one of the most explosive teams this year. The arrival of Jared Goff as a legitimate NFL QB in his second season certainly helped the cause, as that allowed Todd Gurley to do what he does best, which is to power his way to the end zone.
Gurley is in the running for an MVP award this season, but I’m sure he would give it all up if it meant that his Rams could win the Super Bowl. Oddly enough, the Rams were much better on the road than they were at home this season, going 4-4 SU and ATS in their 8 home games. That said, the Rams are 5-2 SU the last 7 times that they have hosted the Atlanta Falcons.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
Atlanta does not want to get drawn into a shootout in this game, but they may have no other choice if they cannot slow down Todd Gurley. I like the Rams to win and cover, and I believe the point total will go UNDER.
Predicted Score: Atlanta Falcons 20 LA Rams 27