The Los Angeles Rams (12-5, 7-2 away) battle the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4, 7-1 home) in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Los Angeles took care of the Arizona Cardinals Monday night, 34-11, while the Buccaneers had no problem disposing of the Philadephia Eagles, 31-15, on Sunday. The Rams defeated the Bucs, 34-24, in their lone regular-season matchup.
Sunday’s kickoff is at 3 p.m. EST inside Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Tampa Bay is a 2.5-point favorite, and the over-under total in the game is set at 48.0 points.
What to Know – Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles returns to the Divisional Round for the second season in a row and first with quarterback Matthew Stafford under center. The Rams are the four-seed in the NFC.
During the regular season, the Rams averaged 27.1 points and 386.8 yards of total offense per game. On defense, Los Angeles surrendered 21.9 points and 366.5 yards of total offense to opposing teams.
Stafford completed 13-of-17 passes for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the blowout victory over the Cardinals. Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. each hauled a touchdown score from Stafford and Sony Michel and Cam Akers split carries in the backfield to combine for 113 yards rushing. The Rams defense forced two interceptions and held the Cardinals to only 183 yards of offense.
Los Angeles is 9-9 against the spread and 4-5 ATS on the road. The Rams have an impressive 8-1 record ATS over their previous nine games against Tampa Bay.
What to Know – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers made a statement in their Wild Card triumph over the Eagles, making it known that they planned to repeat as the Super Bowl champs. Tom Brady and his teammates are the two-seed in the NFC.
Tampa Bay was third in the league scoring 28.2 points per game and second in the NFL, averaging 405.9 yards of total offense. The Bucs defense ranked fifth, allowing 20.8 points, and held teams to 331.5 yards of offense.
Brady tossed a pair of touchdown passes, and backup running backs Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovani Bernard both found the endzone in the Bucs 16-point victory over the Eagles. Mike Evans led TB in receiving, catching nine passes for 117 yards and a score. Tampa Bay’s defense held the Eagles scoreless for three quarters and forced three turnovers.
The Bucs are 10-8 ATS and 7-2 ATS at home. Tampa Bay is 7-2 ATS over its previous nine contests, but 0-5 ATS in its recent games at home against the Rams.
The Pick is In
Tampa Bay has been unbeatable at home this season and very good at home ATS. However, the Rams have had the Bucs number recently and closed out the season, winning five of their last six games.
Brady and the Bucs will try and avenge their loss to the Rams from earlier this year, and we think they do that in a tight contest down to the wire. Tampa Bay wins it on a field goal.
Betting Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5