LA Rams at TB Buccaneers
Time: 7:15 PM (EST), ESPN
Spread: TB -4.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The 7-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the visiting LA Rams as 4.5-point favorites in Monday night football on ESPN. The game will kick off at 7:15 PM (EST) and it has an over-under set at 48 total points according to NFL oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Tampa Bay has become Tom Brady’s team, and the Buccaneers are starting to look more and more like the Patriots, coming off its fourth win in its last five games. Brady is looking more and more comfortable, and he is comfortably shattering the notion that his career success was “System-based.”
Tampa Bay has been a decent pass offense at 264.6 yards per game, but it boasts a mediocre rushing attack, good for just 103.9 yards per game. Overall, the offense is still strong at 29.6 points per game and ranking No. 5 in the NFL. Its defense is strong enough, too, limiting opponents to just 22.6 per game, and giving TB a win-differential of +7 points per game.
Brady has thrown for 2,739 yards at a 66 percent clip with 23 touchdowns and seven picks. He has been sacked six times in the last three games, but he still boasts a passer rating of 99.0. Brady has benefitted from his own tight end, bringing Rob Gronkowski along with him to Tampa Bay to rank No. 3 receiving yards, and his three touchdowns rank No. 2 among receiving options. Mike Evans and Scott Miller each have over 400 yards receiving and Evans has a team-best seven touchdowns. But the trio will need to find ways to produce against Carolina.
The Bucs have 23 passing touchdowns and just 10 via the rush, meaning this receiving corp will be counted on heavily for its red-zone production, even with a pretty productive backfield. The Bucs averaged 4.2 yards-per-carry, but its main two options are both efficient and consistent. Ronald Jones II has rushed for 37 first downs and 730 yards, along with five touchdowns, which is pretty productive for someone accused of not being a big playmaker.
Leonard Fournette is producing roughly the same levels but in half the carries (59 for 244 yards).
The LA Rams are 6-3 and are just one-half game behind 7-3 Seattle for the lead in the NFC West. The Rams get it done with a powerful offense that generates almost 400 yards per game, ranking No. 11 in passing yardage and No.7 in rushing yardage. Amazingly, it amounts to just 24 points per game, as red zone efficiency has been a problem for the Rams. That said, it has one of the stingiest defensive units in the NFL, allowing just 18.7 points per game. The Rams thus have a win differential of +5.3 points to go with its .667 winning percentage.
Quarterback Jared Goff has been consistently good this season with his 66.4 percent completion ratio and his 13 touchdowns, off-set somewhat by six picks and 13 sacks for 95 yards lost. Even so, Goff has a 94.9 passer rating and he has also benefitted from having a strong core of running backs. Darrell Henderson Jr., Malcolm Brown, and Cam Akers have all been productive.
Henderson leads the way with 486 yards on 102 carries, while Brown leads in Touchdowns (5). Wide receiver Robert Woods has rushed 17 times for 111 yards, and he leads the team in yards-per-carry at 6.5 (Excluding Cooper Kupp’s four attempts).
Cooper Kupp has done most of his damage as a wide receiver, but he is an effective rusher when given opportunities. Kupp has caught 53 of 78 targeted passes, both team highs, while also leading in yardage (577) and first downs (25).
Rams kickers Samuel Sloman and Kai Forth have combined to hit 10 of 14 field goals, with Sloman having missed one from within-30 yards. The duo is just 1-4 from beyond the 40-yard line.