Injured Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, left, stands next to quarterback John Wolford (9) before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Inglewood, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. Jared Goff is trying to return for the Los Angeles Rams’ playoff game at Seattle just 13 days after thumb surgery. If he can’t go, backup John Wolford will make his second NFL start. The Rams (10-6) are confident they can win with either man behind center. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
- The Seattle Seahawks are 3.5-point home favorites over the Los Angeles Rams in an NFC Wild Card Game slated for Saturday
- Saturday/Sunday betting record: 11-5; +4.95 units
- The home team has won the last five games played in this series
The Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams didn’t require a whole bunch of scouting reports to prep for their NFC Wild Card playoff game on Saturday. These two teams are quite familiar with each other.
The two NFC West rivals will meet for the third time this season and the second time at Lumen Field. That bodes well for the Seahawks, who beat the Rams 20-9 there just two weeks ago.
The home team has won five straight games in this series. Seattle is a 3.5-point home favorite this time.
The line opened at Seattle -4.5. The Seahawks are an impressive 6-2 against the spread as a home favorite this season. That’s the best home ATS record of any NFC team.
Rams vs Seahawks NFC Wild Card Odds
|Los Angeles Rams||+150||+3.5 (-117)||O 42 (-110)|
|Seattle Seahawks||-175||-3.5 (-105)||U 42 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 8th at DraftKings.
Kickoff is set for 4:45pm EST on Saturday. The forecast is calling for cloudy skies, 4 mph wind and a temperature of 44 degrees.
Who’s at QB for the Rams?
The most pressing question leading into this game is who will be under center for the Rams. LA quarterback Jared Goff suffered a dislocated and broken thumb in the loss to the Seahawks during Week 16.
If Goff can’t go, John Wolford gets the call at QB. He made his first NFL start in last week’s 18-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals that garnered the Rams their playoff spot.
Jared Goff to Cooper Kupp, who was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. pic.twitter.com/enzBFPakD3
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) January 6, 2021
Wolford was 22-of-38 through the air for 231 yards. He threw no touchdown passes and was picked off once.
He did add a mobility element not available to the LA offense when Goff is at QB. Wolford ran six times for 56 yards, an average of 9.3 yards per carry.
Rams head coach Sean McVay is refusing to reveal who his starting QB will be against Seattle. The sense is that Goff is good to go, though.
Defenses That Never Rest
Everything points to a low-scoring game on Saturday. The Rams are the NFL’s #1 defensive unit, allowing 281.9 yards per game.
LA is also #1 at stopping the pass (190.7 YPG) and third-best in the NFL at shutting down the run (91.3 YPG).
What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained!! 🤟🏾 @Seahawks #GangGang #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/x4VdkhiTM0
— Shaquill Griffin (@ShaquillG) January 4, 2021
Seattle’s defense is suddenly playing effectively as well. The league’s 22nd-best unit over 16 games, things are trending upward of late for the Seahawks defenders.
Seattle finished the season on a 6-1 run, much of it sparked by improved performance from the defense. The Seahawks have allowed just 15 points per game over the past seven games.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
Goff’s status is the biggest injury factor entering this game. He’s currently listed as questionable.
Rams left guard David Edwards (ankle) is also questionable. Inside linebacker Micah Kiser (knee) is out. LA activated left tackle Andrew Whitworth (knee) from IR and wide receiver Cooper Kupp (COVID-19).
Pete Carroll expects CB Shaquill Griffin to play Saturday, saying he was a little tight and that he just needed a day off. Carroll said it looks like DT Jarran Reed is ready to go as well.
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) January 7, 2021
For the Seahawks, left guard Mike Lupati (neck) and running back Carlos Hyde (illness) are out. Cornerback Shaquill Griffin (hamstring) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (abdominal) are questionable.
The Rams are just 2-2 ATS this season as a road underdog. A big key for the Seahawks will be ball security. Seattle is 0-4 this season when turning the ball over multiple times.
The Seahawks are exactly who the Rams wanted, according to Aaron Donald 😈 pic.twitter.com/yyQ6tKfM4g
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 4, 2021
The last three Seattle-Rams games have all gone under 42 points. The only time the Seahawks have topped 23 points in their last six games was against the woeful New York Jets. The Rams are averaging 17.7 points per game over their past four games.
Best Bet: Under 42 points (-110).
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.