Rams vs Seahawks Week 18 Picks and Predictions: Walker III Hits the Ground Running

Los Angeles is put in a unique spot where it can play spoiler to Seattle's playoff hopes. However, with his season on the line, our NFL betting picks are all in on Kenneth Walker having a massive game for the Seahawks.

Last Updated: Jan 8, 2023 8:14 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Kenneth Walker III Seattle Seahawks NFL
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The Los Angeles Rams will be looking to play the role of spoiler on Sunday afternoon as they travel to take on the Seattle Seahawks, who will be fighting for their playoff lives. 

Los Angeles is 5-11 and has nothing to play for, but it certainly wouldn't mind taking down its division rivals on the road and ending their season. Seattle is 8-8 and can still make the playoffs with a win and a Green Bay Packers loss on Sunday night. Will L.A. send home Seattle fans drowning in their own tears?

Find out in our free NFL betting picks and predictions for the Rams vs. Seahawks on Sunday, January 8. 

Rams vs Seahawks best odds

Rams vs Seahawks picks and predictions

When these two teams met in Week 13 in Los Angeles, the Rams were in a midst of a free fall after their huge injuries and were starting John Wolford at quarterback. However, L.A. did play hard and only lost on a Seahawks' touchdown with 36 second left. That was also the start of Cam Akers’ resurgence into being a top running back — running for 60 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

The Seahawks rank 30th in the league in rushing defense, allowing 150.5 yards per game on the ground. The numbers make it seem like Seattle has improved in this area the last two weeks, but that was much more because its last two opponents abandoned the run game. The Jets only had 17 rush attempts while the Chiefs had 22. 

On the other end, Kenneth Walker was injured early in the first matchup. However, he was primed for a big game, as he had 36 yards on only three attempts. Walker has been hot or cold based on injury and usage, but he has certainly been hot recently. He had 107 yards two weeks ago against the Chiefs and 133 yards last week against the Jets. 

The Rams have a solid run defense, allowing 109.9 yards per game, but many of their shutdown performances came early in the season with Aaron Donald active. In the last five games without Donald, L.A. has allowed 137.8 yards per game on the ground. Last week, Austin Ekeler tacked up 122 rushing yards on only 10 carries. 

I like both running backs to hit their Over, but I especially like Walker given that he is on the team that is likely to be ahead in the game and has more to play for. Walker has missed multiple practices but is still expected to play here given the importance. Give me the Over on his rushing total, as he could rack up another 100-yard performance. 

My best bet: Kenneth Walker III Over 75.5 rushing yards (-115)

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Rams vs Seahawks spread analysis

The conventional wisdom in this game would lead you to take the Seahawks because they are fighting for a playoff spot and the Rams have nothing to play for. Not so fast my friend.

Since 1990, when an eliminated team is playing against a team fighting for a playoff spot in the final two weeks of the regular season, the eliminated team is an amazing 96-59-4 against the spread. 

Cam Akers is going to be able to get his against this bad Seahawks run defense, and the Rams are smart enough to exploit it. Baker Mayfield has also rejuvenated his career since joining L.A. in Week 14. He is 2-2 as a starter on a team that was 3-9 without many of its All-Pro players. 

The Rams have covered four consecutive games following a straight up loss and have covered four consecutive games over the Seahawks. Seattle is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against a team with a losing record, and 1-6 ATS in its last seven games overall.

This spread is just a little too big here. Both teams will have success in the run game, but Los Angeles may be able to have a little more success with the play-action short passing game. This game should come down to the wire and I would not be surprised if the Rams pulled off the upset. Take the points here. 

Rams vs Seahawks Over/Under analysis

This is currently the third-lowest total of the season for a Seahawks game at 41.5 points. The previous matchup was set at 41 points, and it went Over with 50. This may be a similar situation, where it is relatively low scoring, but the close nature of the game caused some big points to be scored late. 

The Over is 5-2 in the Rams' last seven games played on FieldTurf, a perfect 5-0 in the Seahawks' last five home games against a team with a losing road record, and 5-1 in Seattle's last six January games.

While both teams will be pounding the rock on the ground early in the game with some success, the close nature of the game will lead to more aggressive play-calling late. I can see this game getting a pair of touchdowns in the final minutes of the game and coming down to a game-winning field goal. I'll lean towards the Over.

Rams vs Seahawks betting trend to know

The Seahawks are 0-4 ATS in their last four games against an NFC opponent. Find more NFL betting trends for Rams vs. Seahawks.

Rams vs Seahawks game info

Location: Lumen Field, Seattle, WA
Date: Sunday, January 8, 2023
Kickoff: 4:25 p.m. ET
Opening odds: Seahawks -6.5, 41

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