Rams vs. Houston Texans: NFL betting lines, odds and picks

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford huddles with his teammates during a win over the Detroit Lions on Oct. 24.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Nobody will complain about the Rams’ schedule. Why would you? Playing the Houston Texans right after getting an early win over the Detroit Lions is a real positive development, especially since 6-1 in the NFC West wasn’t good enough for the top spot in the division after seven weeks.

The division-leading Arizona Cardinals just routed the Texans and now Los Angeles will have the same opportunity, albeit down in the Lone Star State and not at home. The Rams are one of the biggest favorites on the board and should improve to 7-1. Winning by more than 14.5 points is the question.

Los Angeles Rams (-14.5, 47.5) at Houston Texans

The stat sheet looks a lot similar this week to what we saw last week against the Lions. This game doesn’t have the big Matthew Stafford/Jared Goff story line, but that was about the only thing that could have drummed up interest in last week’s contest.


The Rams entered Week 8 second in the league in yards per play with 6.5. The Texans are even lower than the Lions with 4.8 YPP. That ranks 30th in the league, better than only the Jets and Bears. The Rams have scored on 50.7% of their possessions, while the Texans have only scored on 24% of their possessions.

Much like last week’s game, this just looks like a “volume” handicap. The Rams are going to score twice as often as the Texans on average. Houston only has nine takeaways this season, while the Rams have 12, so Los Angeles could even get extra possessions with a much more reliable quarterback in Stafford than rookie Davis Mills or Tyrod Taylor, who returned to practice this week. By Thursday, the Texans had not yet named a starter, but it will either be the rookie with seven interceptions against five touchdowns or the veteran starter coming back after missing five games.

Matthew Stafford’s stats rank among the best in the NFL, but the stat the Rams’ quarterback likes best is six wins in seven tries.

Oct. 27, 2021

The Rams defense has been excellent against the pass, but has struggled a bit to stop the run. Fortunately, the Texans are dead last in the NFL with 3.3 yards per carry.

There are no justifications for betting against the Rams from a statistical standpoint. Maybe you could argue that the Rams look past this game to Tennessee on Sunday night or struggle with an early kickoff again like they did in Indianapolis and New Jersey against the Giants, but that’s really about it.

After another bad first quarter last week, you have to think Sean McVay drives home a fast start to his players. The Rams may not play four quarters this week, but they should at least play the first two.

Pick: Los Angeles Rams -7 1st Half


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