Saints vs. Rams prediction: ‘Thursday Night Football’ player props picks
Two teams in the thick of a playoff push square off on Thursday night as the New Orleans Saints head west to take on Matt Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams.
Both teams enter at 7-7, tied with four other teams in a tight NFC wild-card race.
The Saints enter winners of two straight while the Rams have won four of their last five.
This looks like a completely different Rams team from earlier in the season, with Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Kyren Williams all back at full health.
As a small favorite, LA is the side I lean toward backing here.
Saints vs. Rams prediction
Following the narrative that the Rams will win at home, there is a prop I have circled for Thursday night.
Im looking toward Alvin Kamara going over his receiving yards line of 29.5 at FanDuel.
Its no secret Kamara is a weapon in the receiving game.
In fact, with Jamaal Williams as his direct backup, there really isnt another receiving back to spoil Kamaras workload.
Williams averages about a target per game. Kamara? Oh, just 7.1!
BetMGM is at 31.5 and other books are as high as 32.5 for Kamara, which are still good lines.
When looking at Kamaras game log, he has hauled in at least 33 receiving yards in nine of 11 games (82 percent). In losses, he is a perfect 100 percent.
While the Saints should be getting Chris Olave (ankle) back for Thursday, it is a quick turnaround for a receiver who did not suit up last week.
Stream the game live on Thursday night on Amazon Prime Video
Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints. Getty ImagesDerek Carr has a tendency to rely on his checkdowns often, so Kamaras workload should be minimally affected. If anything, itll lead to more drop-backs.
As for the matchup, the Rams are about league average in DVOA on passes to running backs. They have been able to limit explosiveness, though they give up plenty of checkdowns (4.3 receptions per game).
In general, the Rams play zone at the sixth-highest rate in the NFL (81.7 percent). Against both man and zone coverage, Kamara is the second-best Saints receiver when it comes to yards per route run.
He is more effective against man but sees a significant boost in target percentage against zone.
In fact, hes been targeted just 10 times when running a route against man coverage. Zone? Hes racked up 60 targets!
The numbers are staggering, and his 1.77 Y/RR remains excellent. For reference, Olave is barely ahead at 1.84.
The Saints offense often funnels through Kamara, especially in the short game. He isnt a workhorse on the ground and sees about 12-15 carries per game on average.
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Tack on the fact that New Orleans will likely find itself in a trailing game script, and we could see more targets funneled Kamaras way.
In the last nine games, Kamara has been targeted at least five times all but once.
Hes had doule-digit reception games twice before and with Olave possibly limited in snaps and Michael Thomas on injured reserve, there should be a greater emphasis on getting the ball to the Saints best playmaker.
Stafford and the Rams offense are in form, which could lead to a sneaky high-scoring Thursday night.
Weve seen Kamaras explosiveness in open space and his workload should remain at a constant.
Back ol reliable in the Saints offense to get the job done in the receiving game.
THE PICKS: Alvin Kamara over 4.5 receptions +123 (BetRivers Sportsbook) | Over 29.5 receiving yards -112
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