The Detroit Lions host the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night in the first round of the NFL Playoffs. It’s been a long time coming for the Lions, who haven’t played in a playoff game since 2016, and don’t have a playoff win since 1991. The team and the city are ready to get that win, but the Rams are not an easy opponent.
Both the Rams and Lions have been great against the spread, with Detroit being the best in the league at 12-5 and the Rams not far behind at 10-6-1. As home favorites, the Lions aren’t as good, going 5-3 on the season, while the Rams are 3-2-1 against the spread as road dogs.
ATS Pick: Rams +3
The Lions look like they’ll get star tight end Sam LaPorta back for this game, but he will be wearing a knee brace and likely not be 100%. At 53 points his is the highest over-under of the first round and there should be plenty of scoring, as both teams are near the top in offensive DVOA and middling in defensive DVOA.
I like both coaches, but the edge for motivation has to be to the Lions, who, unlike the Rams, don’t have a Super Bowl win, ever. But, motivation can only go so far. I do wish I could have got this line right when it came out with the Lions as 5-point favorites, but that has come and gone. This game is closer to a pick’em for me, as the Rams offense has been extremely efficient. Neither team has a great pass rush and both teams have strong offensive lines. That has me leaning Matthew Stafford over Jared Goff.
This game should be close and will probably come down to a field goal or key 4th down stop. That has me leaning the underdog in this matchup.