2018 NFL Season: Los Angeles Rams Betting Recap
Year two under head coach Sean McVay and year three with quarterback Jared Goff was supposed to a big one for the Los Angeles Rams. And it was. The Rams may have fallen at the final hurdle (an uninspiring 13-3 loss to New England in Super Bowl LIIII), but not before they captured the NFC West title with a 13-3 record and pulled off a dramatic conference championship victory at New Orleans. Let’s dive into the Los Angeles Rams Betting Recap for the season.
Great offense, good enough defense
Perhaps only one team featured a better balance on both sides of the ball than the Rams. Unsurprisingly, that team (the Patriots) win the Super Bowl. Led by Goff, running back Todd Gurley, and receiver Brandin Cooks, Los Angeles finished second in the NFL in both total offense and scoring offense—trailing only Kansas City in those two departments. With Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh manning the interior defensive front, L.A.’s defense at least managed to be decent (19th overall and 20th in scoring). Not unlike the Chiefs, the Rams came out like gangbusters (both SU and ATS)—to the extent that they had realistic designs of an undefeated season until the midway point. But tight end Cooper Kupp was lost for the year after Week 10, Gurley fizzled down the stretch, and Goff’s MVP candidacy ended with a whimper. Los Angeles did well to get back on track for two playoff wins, but was it really ever the same as in the first half of the 2018 campaign? As bettors learned the hard way, the answer to that question is “no.”
Rams Against the Spread
Included in the Rams’ blistering 8-0 start was a quick 3-0 ATS mark through three outings. Goff, Gurley, and company put up 33 points in Week 1, 34 in Week 2, and 35 in Week 3 while winning all three of those games by double-digits. As expectations that were already high became even loftier, so did the spreads. The offense poured in 38 points in Week 4 and 33 in Week 5 but with the defense struggling and the team giving more than a touchdown on each of those occasions, the Rams failed to cover against both Minnesota and Seattle. Once Kupp got hurt and Gurley dealt with a knee injury, the story for L.A. was an occasional loss mixed in with competitive wins. As such, McVay’s crew endured a 1-6-1 ATS stretch before wrapping up the 16-game slate by going 2-0 SU and 2-0 ATS in most meaningless contests against Arizona and San Francisco. The end result was a nondescript 7-8-1 ATS effort.
In the two most traditional forms of betting (ATS and O/U), only the Colts made people less money than the Rams (Indianapolis was an even 8-8 ATS and also 8-8 O/U). In addition to its 7-8-1 ATS record, Los Angeles went 8-8 O/U. In other words, there was just about no value of any kind on either side with this team. It was especially tough to get a read on the Rams for over/under betting. Sometimes the offense could not be stopped; on other occasions it would borderline disappear. Every now and then Donald and the defense would dominate; other times that unit couldn’t tackle a soul. Such streakiness could be seen in the Under starting 2-0 before the Over went 3-0, the Over went 3-0, and the Under went 2-0 before more some minor fluctuation during the final three weeks. The Under was a modest 3-2 in the last five with Gurley either less than 100 percent of not playing at all (missed two games) during that stretch.
Looking for redemption
There is no reason why the Rams can’t make it back to the Super Bowl and make amends in Miami for their offensive futility in Atlanta. Their key pieces will be back and the core—the head coach and the offensive stars—is young. Los Angeles is tied with Kansas City as +700 second choices to win Super Bowl LIV, trailing only the Patriots (+650).