Rams vs. Lions prediction: NFL Wild Card odds, best bets for Sunday
Its not a stretch to say that the game of the weekend comes on Sunday Night Football when the Los Angeles Rams head to Ford Field for a bout with the Detroit Lions.
Its Matthew Stafford returning to Detroit with fans all around trying to ban the No. 9 jersey he once donned in blue and gray. Jared Goff, the misfit that was shipped out of Los Angeles so Sean McVay could lift the Lombardi, gets a chance to send his former team home.
I like the idea of backing the red-hot Rams, who have torn up opposing defenses of late.
They are underdogs heading to a dome where Goff is best but Dan Campbells aggressiveness paired with McVays play-calling makes for a perfect recipe to back the underdog.
There should be a lot of points on Sunday night, so expect plenty of overs on player props.
Weve seen the Lions defense really struggle of late.
Theyve allowed Nick Mullens to throw for more than 800 yards over two games, and Dak Prescott 345.
Detroits defense despite its success against the run is susceptible, and the Rams hold plenty of advantages on the offensive end.
Tack on Stafford and McVays postseason experience, catching a field goal or more is a great buy for LA.
When it comes to props, there is one player in particular that I am looking to buy on, and thats Lions WR Jameson Williams.
He has slowly become a vital piece to Detroits passing attack, and with Kalif Raymond out and Sam LaPorta questionable, there are plenty of avenues and opportunities for Williams to soar over his total.
Williams has seen his production increase in the back half of the season.
He missed Week 18 due to an ankle injury but has returned to practice at full health.
In the three games prior, he averaged more than five targets per game and each time went over the 34.5 number that has been established for him for Sunday nights game.
Jameson Williams #9 of the Detroit Lions makes a catch against the Dallas Cowboys. Getty ImagesThis is also a Rams defense that runs zone at an 80 percent rate.
With Raymond officially out, Williams is the second-best receiver against zone.
His 1.62 yards per route run and 64.3 target percentage against this coverage is a positive.
The Rams are about league average in DVOA against the deep pass, which is where Williams excels.
His average depth of target in zone coverage is just over 17 yards.
With the potential of the Rams doubling Amon-Ra St. Brown and forcing Goff to beat them with complementary pieces, Williams could be looked upon early and often.
There are few players as explosive as Williams, especially in this game.
In games where he has caught at least one (10), the receiver has hauled in a 30-yard reception four times.
Deep shots should be taken against this Rams defense in an expected high-scoring affair (51.5 is the highest total in the wild-card round).
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Williams has had 40-plus receiving yards in five of his last seven games.
Hes not only a deep threat, but could be utilized in shuffle-pass situations as well.
Given his speed and ability to break away for big gains, I believe hes undervalued with a total above 50.
In the end, I believe the Rams are able to keep this game close, and given Dan Campbells aggressiveness on fourth down which leads to plenty of variance I prefer to side with LA.
But where there should be plenty of opportunities between high-octane offenses, backing a player like Williams to make an impact in the playoffs is my favorite way to go.
Pick: Jameson Williams over 34.5 receiving yards (-114, FanDuel)
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