When the schedule was being made for the season, I don’t think the league imagined the state of both of these teams. We have a very legitimate possibility that we’ll see Baker Mayfield, who was claimed off waivers earlier this week, get into this game. Not exactly what Rams fans envisioned this late into the season, right? Nonetheless, bets will be made for this game and I’m here to give three that I like.
The Raiders are not a strong team defensively by any means but the Rams aren’t a good offensive team, either. This total sits at 43.5 points and I’m looking toward the under. Both of these teams have been running the ball more frequently as of late, which is something we could see once again this week. On the season, the Raiders are running the play on average 39% of the time. Over the past three weeks, we’ve seen that number jump up to 48%. The Rams, who continue to be ravaged by injuries at quarterback, have gone from a 38% yearly average to over 50% over the last three weeks. Cam Akers has seen double-digit carries in two of those three games but continues to be inefficient when carrying the rock. He’s averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and just 2.7 yards per carry after contact. Josh Jacobs will have to endure a tough matchup against a strong Rams run defense as well.
The Rams have also been one of the lowest scoring teams in the league overall. Entering this game, they’ve averaged just 16.8 points per game. That average is so low that it’s only better than three other teams in the league, being the Colts, Texans and Broncos. Not exactly bragging rights your team wants to own. If Mayfield is going to earn the start, I’d expect the Rams to be running the ball plenty with Akers, as he realistically has had about two and half days to prepare himself with the Rams playbook. All of this simply sounds like a lot of keeping the ball in the running backs hands, successful or not, and being a low scoring game.
Derek Carr has been looking in the direction of Moreau in the red zone lately. After struggling to even garner a look, Moreau has seen five red zone targets over the last four games. He’s cashed two of those in for a touchdown in Weeks 10 and 12, which accounts for his total on the season. To be fair, the Raiders have not found a lot of success in the red zone, scoring on just 48% of their drives, which ranks 28th in the league. However, the Rams have been generous to the tight end position, giving up five touchdowns, which is tied for ninth in the league. Amazingly enough, at least over this stretch, those five red zone targets are the most amongst any player on the team and just edges Davanate Adams by one. Adams primarily scores outside the red zone, as only three of his 12 have come in that scenario. If Moreau continues to be the go-to guy for Carr in this situation, I like his odds at +225.
Atwell is your boom-or-bust option for the Rams offense, who are completely decimated over their starters at receiver. Atwell doesn’t draw many targets but he did just see a season-high over five last week against the Seahawks. Nonetheless, he’s the downfield threat moving forward, as evidenced by his aDOT (average distance of target) at 28.1 yards. He can easily surpass this yardage on one catch but the chances he could potentially get will be limited. The Raiders are seven-point favorites as of this morning, which put the Rams in a positive, pass game script.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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