It’s reunion week for the Los Angeles Rams and new franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford, hosting his former club the Detroit Lions for the first time since the two teams swapped QBs as part of a trade this past winter.
Stafford and the Rams are big NFL betting favorites taking the fumbling Lions and former L.A. passer Jared Goff, laying anywhere between -14.5 and -16. Detroit’s fortunes are not as bright as its California counterpart’s, lugging an 0-6 record with it to Los Angeles in Week 7.
Here are our NFL free picks and predictions for Lions at Rams on October 24.
Lions vs Rams odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
Books opened Los Angeles between -14.5 and -16 and that sizable spread has evened out to -15 at most books. However, L.A. is as big as -16 at some online shops and has dropped as low as -14.5 at other major brands. The total opened at 49.5 points and climbed to 51 before coming back to 50.5. Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until kickoff and be sure to check out the full NFL odds before placing your bets.
Lions vs Rams picks
Picks made on 10/20/2021 at 11:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Lions vs Rams game info
• Location: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
• Date: Sunday, October 24, 2021
• Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
• TV: FOX
Lions at Rams betting preview
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Lions: Jason Cabinda FB (Out).
Rams: None to report.
Find our latest NFL injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Under is 12-3 in Rams’ last 15 games as home favorites. Find more NFL betting trends for Lions vs. Rams.
Lions vs Rams predictions
L.A. Rams -14.5 (-110)
Let’s forget for a second that the Rams own the fourth-ranked Defensive DVOA in the league and have allowed a total of just 28 points the past two games. And let’s also block out the fact that L.A. head coach Sean McVay knows his opposing quarterback perhaps better than Jared Goff knows himself.
With those truths off the table and focusing just on these two offenses, it feels like the Lions are bringing a spork to a bazooka duel in Week 7. Detroit has failed to crack 20 points in each of its last five outings, most recently producing a piddly 11 points on just 228 yards in a 34-11 beat down by the Bengals at home last Sunday.
Detroit’s ex-QB looks like he was poured into those blue and gold unis and has super charged this L.A. offense in a way Goff never could. The Rams are averaging just under 30 points per contest, fueled by Stafford and the passing game, which boasts an EPA per dropback of +0.373 – head and shoulders above all other air attacks in the NFL.
Detroit’s pass defense ranks dead last in yards per completion allowed (13.5), average depth of target against (10.6) and EPA per dropback (+0.364), as well as a bunch of other fine-tuned metrics that would seem like piling on if I listed them here. OK, one more: the Lions have also given up 27 passing plays of 20 yards or more, including six of 40-plus.
Why does that stat stand out? Well, Stafford’s big arm has been jacking home run balls like Barry Bonds circa 2001*, with 26 passes for 20-plus, seven for 40 or more, and a grand total of 1,031 completed air yards. Not only are those big plays the quick route to the end zone, but they’re back-breakers and this deflated Lions team has the backbone of a breadstick right now.
A couple early big shots from Stafford and the Rams will lay waste to that lumber pile of points in front of them in Week 7.
Under 50.5 (-110)
So, all that stuff about the Los Angeles defense that we told you to forget, let’s put that back into the mix.
The Rams’ defense is not where it was last year but is starting to find its form. They have 18 sacks on the season despite owning a pressure rating of just 24 percent and scoring a mere 14 QB knockdowns (fourth lowest) through six games.
Los Angeles is missing some bodies in the secondary but didn’t skip a beat against New York last week, holding the Giants to 201 yards passing with three interceptions on the day. The Rams went up early and forced the G-Men into a one-dimensional playbook – something we’ll likely see again this Sunday, which is bad news for Goff.
To Detroit’s credit, head coach Dan Campbell plays out every minute of the game, regardless of what the scoreboard says. The Lions have been the kings of garbage time tallies so far in 2021, scoring more than half of their total points in the fourth quarter, including all 11 of their Week 6 scores.
That’s something that makes Rams bettors and Under backers nervous, but how much fight will be left with this team staring down a 0-7 record and Campbell calling out Goff? On the other side, I don’t see McVay or Stafford being dicks and running up the score if – and when – they get up big in the final 30 minutes.
Cooper Kupp longest reception Over 27.5 yards (-115)
As mentioned above, the Lions have served up plenty of dingers to opposing QBs this season and Stafford would love nothing more than to hit a couple of quick bombs and put this game in the bag.
Kupp has quickly emerged as his top target, reeling in 46 balls for an average of more than 14 yards per reception, with 8.4 of those yards coming before the catch. Through six games, he has 11 receptions for 20-plus yards and three for 40 or more.
Detroit is 23rd in defensive DVOA versus No. 1 receivers this year, giving up an average of 88.1 yards on just 6.2 passes per game – 14.2 yards per pass. The Lions allowed a 53-yard strike to Cincinnati WR Ja’Marr Chase last weekend and a 37-yard play to Minnesota wideout Justin Jefferson in Week 5.
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