Rams vs Buccaneers Week 9 Picks and Predictions: Brady Burns Leaky LA Secondary

Tampa and L.A. are running out of time to turn their seasons around, and now the two recent champions clash in Week 9. Both the Buccaneers and Rams are mixed bags but our NFL picks highlight why we can count on Tom Brady on Sunday.

Nov 6, 2022 • 08:20 ET • 4 min read

The last two Super Bowl champions will face off on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Both teams are under .500 this season and desperately looking for wins as they attempt to stay in the playoff race. The Rams have lost three of four, while the Buccaneers have dropped five of their past six games.

One of these teams will give itself a chance to turn its season around on Sunday, while the other will find itself in real danger of falling out of the postseason conversation. We’ll break down who has the edge in this important matchup in our NFL picks and predictions for Rams vs. Buccaneers, and check out our Rams vs. Buccaneers player props for more.

Rams vs Buccaneers best odds

Rams vs Buccaneers picks and predictions

You really have to wonder whether Tom Brady is regretting his un-retirement and decision to play another season with Tampa Bay this year. The Buccaneers are just 3-5 on the season and aren’t producing much on offense, averaging just 18.3 points per game.

Even at age 45, however, Brady isn’t the problem. He’s not dominating games on a regular basis anymore, but he has been reasonably efficient for Tampa Bay. He is still completing 65.9% of his passes, has thrown nine touchdowns, and has given up only a single interception in eight games.

He’s also racking up yardage this season. Brady is throwing for 283.4 yards a game and is second in total passing yards (2,267) behind only Joe Burrow (2,329). The Bucs are airing the ball out, and while they aren’t finding much success on offense, they are padding Brady’s stat line.

It doesn’t seem like Tampa Bay has any other option. The Buccaneers are averaging only 3.0 yards per carry, the worst rushing average in the NFL. They’re second-to-last in rushing yards per game (68.4), and leading rusher Leonard Fournette hasn’t run for more than 65 yards since his 21-carry, 127-yard performance in the season opener against the Cowboys.

Even if Tampa Bay wants to balance its approach somewhat, it won’t be doing it against the Rams. Los Angeles isn’t dominant against the run, but it has held opponents to 4.3 yards per carry, which ranks 13th in the NFL. The Rams are also seventh in total rushing defense, giving up 105.1 yards per game. That should be more than sufficient to clamp down on the Buccaneers’ tepid running game.

All of this points to Brady throwing the ball as much or more than usual. Opposing quarterbacks have been able to exploit the Los Angeles secondary, which has been giving up seven yards per attempt this year. The Rams aren’t pressuring quarterbacks particularly well, generating just 15 sacks in seven games, and have only forced five interceptions.

At 277.5, Brady’s passing yardage prop is pretty high. Yet, that number falls below his season average, and everything about this game suggests that he’ll be throwing more than normal against the Rams. 

Let’s hammer the Over here, counting on Brady to toss the ball around for 60 minutes and rack up yardage, even if the Buccaneers can’t convert that into points.

My best bet: Tom Brady Over 277.5 passing yards (-103)

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Rams vs Buccaneers spread analysis

The Buccaneers opened as a field-goal favorite in this matchup, and most sportsbooks still have Tampa Bay -3 as their primary spread. Neither team has been good against the spread this season, with Los Angeles 2-5 ATS, while the Bucs are 2-6 ATS.

The Rams have struggled on offense this year, and they’ve had a very similar problem to the Bucs. Los Angeles is among the worst rushing teams in the NFL, ranking just ahead of Tampa Bay in both yards per game on the ground (68.4) and yards per carry (3.3). 

That has put a lot of pressure on quarterback Matthew Stafford and superstar wide receiver Cooper Kupp to power the Rams’ offense. While Kupp and fellow receiver Van Jefferson are both likely to play on Sunday, both are recovering from minor injuries this week, adding another question mark to Los Angeles’ only effective means of generating offense.

In a game where both teams are going to be one-dimensional, I have a bit more confidence in Brady to generate points than Stafford. I don’t love this line, but with Tampa Bay playing at home, I’m taking the Bucs and laying the points.

Rams vs Buccaneers Over/Under analysis

Betting sites have been pretty consistent this entire week, setting the total for this game at 42.5 and leaving it there for the most part. A few sportsbooks are now offering 43 as their default Over/Under, but that’s about the only change we’ve seen.

As I’ve hammered throughout this analysis, both of these teams will be relying on a one-dimensional passing attack, and neither has been able to pile on the points that way. While both teams played above a 43 total last week, they didn’t do it by much, as both games stayed Under 50.

Looking back a bit further shows what kinds of slogs these teams have been playing in recent weeks. Prior to last week, the Rams played four straight games with totals of 34 or less. Tampa Bay isn’t exactly getting into shootouts on a regular basis either, as six of its eight games have finished with totals of 38 or less.

Given those numbers, this total looks like a bit of an overreaction to one week of data. Let’s target the Under here, and bank on the fact that even if one team puts up some points, it’s highly unlikely that both teams will get to 20+ points this week.

Rams vs Buccaneers betting trend to know

The Under is 6-2 in Buccaneers games this season. Find more NFL betting trends for Rams vs. Buccaneers.

Rams vs Buccaneers game info

Location: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Date: Sunday, November 6, 2022
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Buccaneers -2.5, 42.5 O/U

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