In what is perhaps the NFL game with the most on the line this weekend, the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks will square off in Seattle. The 10-4 Seahawks can clinch the NFC West with a win at home, while the 9-5 Rams would move into first with a win after beating Seattle already this season.

Here is a closer look at both teams, along with betting trends and a free pick. Seattle is currently a 1.5-point favorite in this heavyweight division rivalry.

Rams Outlook

The Rams have been fairly steady all season, never losing more than once in a row but also never winning more than twice in a row. But with a chance to secure its first three-game winning streak, Los Angeles fell at home to the then-winless Jets in perhaps the biggest upset of the season.

Now behind by a game in the division, the Rams are hoping to avoid their first losing streak and move into the driver's seat for another NFC West title.

Quarterback Jared Goff, joined by receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, leads an offense that is just 17th in points per game with 24.6. However, the Rams are top 10 with 393 yards per game, including a top 10 rushing offense. They're also converting 43 percent of their third downs, 10th in the NFL.

Although its offense has been hit or miss, Los Angeles' defense is one of the two or three best in the league. The Rams allow a league-low 307 yards per game and 192 passing yards per game while also ranking second in rushing yards allowed and third with 19.2 points allowed per game.

The Rams also have the second-most sacks as a team with 44, while also accruing 13 interceptions.

Seahawks Outlook

After a strong 5-0 start, the Seahawks were in strong contention for the top seed in the NFC. Although they've gone 5-4 since, including a loss in Los Angeles to the Rams, Seattle is still in control of one of the tougher divisions in football.

Now the Seahawks are a win away from their first NFC West title since 2016, but a loss would lead to them not controlling their own destiny heading into Week 17 at the 49ers.

With a dynamic offense that includes All-Pro quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receivers D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, the Seahawks are averaging 29.5 points per game, fourth in the NFL. They're also sixth with just under 400 yards per game, while also ranking 11th and 12th in passing and rushing yards, respectively.

On the flip side, Seattle is 14th with 24 points allowed but ranks close to the bottom five with 402 yards allowed per game, including the league's worst pass defense. However, the Seahawks are third with just under 95 rushing yards per game.

Seattle also has a modest 40 sacks to go along with 13 picks as well.

Betting Trends

Starting with the Rams, the visitors are 8-6 ATS compared to a 9-5 overall record. That includes a 4-3 record both ATS and straight up.

Los Angeles has covered in four of its last six games and also covered in four of its last six against Seattle. The Rams have gone 12-5 ATS in their last 17 road games. However, they've won just three of their last 15 games in Seattle.

The Seahawks are just 7-7 ATS compared to their 10-4 overall record. They're better at home, though, going 6-1 and 5-2 overall and ATS, respectively.

Seattle has only covered in two of its last seven games, as well as two of its last seven divisional matchups. However, the Seahawks have won four of their last five games heading into Sunday.

Betting Pick

This game will feature an elite quarterback in Wilson going up against an elite defense led by All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. But the difference may be in the running game, where Seattle was without Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde in the teams' first meeting back in November.

I expect the Seahawks to have a balanced offense, finding a way to gain on the ground while Wilson improves on his two-pick performance from last month. I'll take the Seahawks in a close one to lock up the NFC West with a win.

Pick: Seahawks -1.5

Posted 
Dec 25, 2020
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