Rams vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Betting odds, lines, start time and how to watch
The song remains the same for the Rams. We are still waiting to see if Matthew Stafford, Sean McVay and the rest of the organization can step up and beat a good team. Fortunately, that question does not need to be answered this week. The Rams sorely need a win and a visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars should be just what the doctor ordered.
Sports betting, however, is not usually as simple as just picking the winner. The Rams are a 13-point favorite here and the burning question is whether the team can put it all together and not only win, but win in impressive fashion.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Rams (-13, 48), 1:05 p.m. PST, FOX
Beating bad teams has been the reason why the Rams are 7-4. A soft schedule that has provided ample opportunities for victories has been the team’s best friend. Those lingering questions about beating average or better teams will continue, but this week is a chance for the Rams to pick up an important eighth win and gain back a little bit of steam in the NFC playoff race.
The Rams have the talent. Los Angeles also has the right kind of statistical profile. The team is +0.9 yards per play, a mark that few teams have reached this season. However, the Rams are also 13th in third-down conversion rate and rank among the middle of the pack in red zone success. To beat good teams, you have to be strong in both areas. To cover double-digit spreads, improving those metrics would also help.
Matthew Stafford must play as the quarterback the Rams felt would lead them to the Super Bowl, writes columnist Dylan Hernández, not like Jared Goff, the guy they dumped.
This game has little to do with Jacksonville, other than the fact that the Jags are the opponent this week. This game is all about Los Angeles getting back on track. It’s about seeing if Stafford can find a rapport with Odell Beckham Jr., continue using Van Jefferson in the absence of Robert Woods and to see if the Rams defense can come together and suffocate an offensively challenged opponent.
It seems like a laundry list of tasks and the Rams are more worried about smoothing out the rough edges than blowing out the lowly Jaguars. Sometimes, in the process of fixing the shortcomings, a blowout occurs and it would be a welcome sight for a team that is far too good to be playing this poorly.
The Jaguars have won only two games and a lot of their games have been low-scoring, as Trevor Lawrence has gone through growing pains and been forced to try and overcome bad play design and a first-year head coach who has found out that the NFL is not as easy as college football. Urban Meyer reaffirmed his commitment to the Jaguars this week, even though his “dream job” opened up in South Bend.
Newly acquired Von Miller says there is no need to worry about the defense as long as the Rams stop making mistakes to put themselves way behind early.
For some teams, maybe that would be a rallying cry. For the Jags, the statement was probably met with an eye roll and a chuckle. This is a bad football team and one making a long trip against long odds. These are the types of teams that the Rams should crush.
If Stafford was healthier, it would make sense to lay it with the Rams. Because he isn’t, I’d look to the under. The Jaguars are limited offensively and Stafford’s health may end up limiting the explosive potential of the Rams, who may use John Wolford at some point or just lean on the running game to avoid putting Stafford in harm’s way with bigger fish to fry in the future.
Pick: Under 48
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