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Rams vs. Atlanta Falcons: Betting odds, lines, picks and predictions

Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp warms up on the field.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp warms up before the team’s season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8. Will the Rams fare better against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday?
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)
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The Rams were part of history in Week 1, but not the kind they wanted. The Rams joined forces with the Bengals to be the first Super Bowl teams to both sit 0-1 since 1999. It was an ugly “Thursday Night Football” affair with a 31-10 loss to the Bills that featured three Matthew Stafford interceptions.

Stafford and the Rams are in a good bounce back spot in Week 2 against the Atlanta Falcons. Here’s a closer look at the matchup and where the smart money is on the game:

Atlanta Falcons at Rams (-10.5, 46.5)

By the time this game kicks off, it will have been a long week-and-a-half for the Rams. They looked uncompetitive against the Bills, who are the Super Bowl favorite but also turned the ball over four times. The Rams did nothing with the gifts that they were given and failed to protect Stafford. He was sacked seven times and the Bills recorded 16 quarterback hits.

Can all of that be fixed in 10 days? Is the drop-off between the Falcons and Bills big enough for those mistakes to be corrected? It certainly could be, but Atlanta was up for the task against the Saints and 19 seconds away from a victory. It was a strong showing for Art Smith’s offense with 5.9 yards per play and 26 first downs, but the Falcons faltered on two of their four red-zone trips and that wound up the difference in the game.

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Atlanta’s pass rush was effective against New Orleans, recording four sacks and eight quarterback hits. The easiest way for an inferior team to hang around is to get to the passer and create negative plays. The Rams have no semblance of a running game right now, as Cam Akers sits in the doghouse and Darrell Henderson Jr. managed three yards on a cloud of dust on the majority of his 13 carries.

This is a major step down in class for the Rams, but they needed to go to a remedial class after that showing in Week 1. If they show out and cover, it won’t be terribly surprising, but it’s hard to ignore just how poorly the offensive line played.

Pick: Falcons +10.5

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