“‘Thursday Night Football’ odds, pick”
The Rams and Raiders both entered 2022 with high hopes for a potential playoff run or, in Los Angeles’ case, a potential trip back to the Super Bowl. Those plans have comically failed through the first 13 weeks, setting up what oddsmakers expect to be a blowout.
The Raiders are dealing as 6.5-point favorites at BetMGM as of Thursday, a product of consistent and overwhelming action on the road chalk. Are we sure they’re worth the price, though, after losing over half of their games to this point?
Here’s how we’re betting Thursday night’s contest, which kicks off at 8:15 p.m. ET on Amazon Prime Video.
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Rams vs. Raiders odds (via BetMGM)
- Raiders -6.5 (-115), moneyline -275
- Rams +6.5 (-105), moneyline +220
- O/U 43.5 (-110)
Rams vs. Raiders prediction and analysis
In quintessential Thursday night fashion, the biggest question about this game isn’t which of these teams is the better bet. It’s whether either is a worthwhile bet at all.
Sure, the Rams are a disaster. Starting quarterback Matthew Stafford (neck) is likely out for the season; top receivers Cooper Kupp (ankle) and Allen Robinson (foot) are out, too; and Aaron Donald (ankle), the fulcrum of this defense, will also watch from the sidelines. That’s a lot of firepower missing for one of the worst defending champions in NFL history.
And yet, I can’t bring myself to lay the points on the Raiders. It’s generally a bad idea to pay such a steep price on a road favorite that hasn’t established itself as one of the best teams in the league. Las Vegas certainly isn’t that, ranking 23rd in DVOA – just four spots ahead of Los Angeles – with a negative scoring differential (-4) through 13 weeks.
Here’s what we do know: this Rams offense is in trouble for all the reasons mentioned before. The reigning champs will be without almost 50% of their production this year from a unit that already ranked 29th in scoring offense (16.8 PPG) and 31st in total offense (283.1 YPG), and it’s anyone’s guess who will start at quarterback after the team claimed Baker Mayfield earlier this week.
As of Thursday morning, there was still a chance he might start just a few days’ turnaround. Even if he doesn’t, just the fact that the Rams claimed Mayfield – who ranked dead last in QBR (18.3) before the Panthers cut him – speaks volumes about how they feel about their other options: Brycen Perkins threw two interceptions in his lone start and was replaced by John Wolford, who promptly threw two picks in his last start, too.
Betting on the NFL?
Los Angeles’ defense has been bad enough that I’m nervous about betting the outright game under here, especially with Donald out, but I just don’t have confidence in this team’s offense on short rest with one of those three under center. The Rams have scored 17 or fewer points in four of their last six games, including two of three without Stafford, and there’s just too much injury and ineptitude to expect a better showing here.
Rams vs. Raiders pick
- Rams team total under 19.5 (-135 BetMGM)
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