Denver Broncos (4-10) at Los Angeles Rams (4-10)
Opening Spread: Rams +1
Opening Game Total: 35.5
Opening Team Totals: Rams (17.25) Broncos (18.25)
Weather: Hybrid stadium, no concerns
The Line Report
- This line opened as Rams +1.
- This line has moved to Rams +3.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Rams +2.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Rams +3.
- This total opened at 35.5 points.
- This total remains at 35.5.
Rams: Out: C Brian Allen, DL Aaron Donald
Broncos: Out: WR Kendall Hinton; Questionable: RB Latavius Murray, WR Courtland Sutton, LT Calvin Anderson, LG Dalton Risner, Edge Randy Gregory
The Rams Offense vs. Broncos Defense
The Rams have a bottom-tier offensive line. With Randy Gregory back in the mix, the Broncos have a top-ten level front. Denver has a potentially game-derailing trench matchup in this contest.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Rams are 4-9-1 against the spread this season.
- The Rams are 5-9 on overs this season.
- Baker Mayfield is 25-40-1 against the spread in his career.
- Baker Mayfield is 32-33-1 on overs in his career.
- Sean McVay is 47-45-3 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Sean McVay is 44-50-1 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Rams are scoring 16.4 points per game, which is 31st in the league.
- Los Angeles is 25th in the league in yards passing per game and 30th in yards rushing.
- The Rams are passing on 64% of their plays and running on 36% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- After his late comeback heroics against the Raiders in Week 14, Mayfield was held to 111 yards passing by the Packers last week.
- Per the Edge, Cam Akers has double-digit carries in four of his last five games. Akers has at least 60 yards rushing in three of those contests. Akers only has five targets over that span.
- Van Jefferson has a 13.1% target share with a 25.7% air yards share.
- Tutu Atwell has 13 total targets over Mayfield’s two games.
- Tyler Higbee has eight total targets over Mayfield’s two games. Considering the Broncos’ trench advantage in this contest, it would be no surprise if Higbee was forced to be more involved in pass protection than normal.
- The Broncos have allowed 18.1 points per game, which is third in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Broncos have allowed the 13th-most yards rushing per game and the 11th-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Denver has given up the fewest yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Broncos have allowed the seventh-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
The Broncos Offense vs. Rams Defense
The Broncos have a below average offensive line. The Rams have a below average defensive front with Aaron Donald sidelined. Neither side has a significant advantage in the trenches.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Broncos are 6-8 against the spread this season.
- The Broncos are 3-11 on overs this season.
- Russell Wilson is 88-76-6 against the spread in his career.
- Russell Wilson is 77-92-1 on overs in his career.
- Nathaniel Hackett is 6-8 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Nathaniel Hackett is 3-11 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Broncos are scoring 15.6 points per game, which is last in the league.
- Denver is 19th in the league in yards passing per game and 23rd in yards rushing.
- The Broncos are passing on 63% of their plays and running on 37% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- After missing a game due to injury, Russell Wilson is back at quarterback for the Broncos.
- Per the Edge, Latavius Murray had 130 yards rushing on 24 carries against the Cardinals last week. Murray has double-digit carries in six of his nine games as a Bronco.
- Marlon Mack has eight carries and seven targets over his last two games.
- Courtland Sutton has a 23.5% target share and a 33.1% air yards share.
- Jerry Jeudy has a 19.6% target share and a 25.2% air yards share.
- Greg Dulcich has a 16.6% target share and a 21.6% air yards share.
- Per TruMedia, Courtland Sutton has played 586 snaps on the perimeter and 81 in the slot.
- Jerry Jeudy has played 235 snaps on the perimeter and 269 in the slot.
- The Rams have allowed 22.9 points per game, which is 19th in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Rams have allowed the 22nd-most yards rushing per game and the ninth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Los Angeles has given up the ninth-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- Los Angeles has given up the second-most PPR points per game to perimeter receivers.
- The Rams have allowed the 23rd-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting on in Rams vs. Broncos
This is a Christmas Day matchup between the league’s two lowest-scoring offenses.
A bet on the Rams is almost entirely built around the strategic advantage Sean McVay and his staff have over Nathaniel Hackett’s Broncos. Offensively the Rams have a bottom-tier offensive line, possibly the league’s worst collection of pass catchers with Cooper Kupp sidelined, a razor thin running back room, and Baker Mayfield made his Rams debut two weeks ago, just days after he was claimed off waivers. That rag tag group squares off against Denver’s high-level defense. The Rams will have to manage a significant disadvantage in the trenches in this matchup, which is your primary concern as a Rams bettor. Your second is that Denver’s offense has been among the most disappointing units in the league this season, but they have a considerably higher ceiling than the current Rams offense does. Russell Wilson’s offense squares off against a Rams’ defense that will once again be without Aaron Donald. From a macro sense, Denver has a better matchup in both phases than the Rams do. That’s why a Rams bet has to be built around coaching.
If you are betting on the Broncos you are building that bet around their defense. Not only does Denver have a potentially game-derailing trench advantage, but its secondary can consistently force tight windows against the Rams’ injury-reduced wide receiver room. This contest has an outrageously low game total considering that there are no weather issues in this game, but the Broncos have a realistic path to holding the Rams below their 17-point game total. The Rams will be without Aaron Donald, which makes this a decent matchup for Russell Wilson’s underperforming offense. If you’re betting on the Broncos, you are getting a better matchup on both sides of the ball. Your biggest concern as a Broncos bettor is that Nathaniel Hackett has been a strategic liability this season, and he squares off with Sean McVay’s staff on the road.
Awards Market Ramifications: None
Winner/Confidence Pool: I will take the Broncos in winner pools, and I expect to be slightly higher than consensus on this contest in confidence pools.
Spread Pool: I will take Denver -2.5 or better in tournaments. I’m going to pass on Denver -3.5.
Survivor Pool: This contest should be avoided in survivor pools.
Ryan’s recent betting record:
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 46-24
Props 2022: 51-31