Jaguars vs. Rams Week 13 Picks: Can L.A. Cover Big Spread?
The Los Angeles Rams will look to win their first game since Halloween when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Can they cover a massive spread? Find out in our Jaguars-Rams picks.
The Rams spent most of the year regarded as a legitimate Super Bowl contender, racing out to a 7-1 record. Los Angeles combined an explosive offense with a strong pass defense backing All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Yet, after three consecutive losses to Tennessee, San Francisco, and Green Bay, fans have started to wonder if this Rams team was overvalued all season.
The Rams now host a Jaguars team that has returned to its losing ways after a shocking Week 9 home win over Buffalo. Despite the Rams' struggles, they are a hefty 12.5-point favorite at home against Jacksonville.
Here are my picks and predictions for the NFL Week 13 matchup between the Jaguars and Rams (Odds via DraftKings; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5 star scale).
Jaguars vs. Rams Game Info
Date/Time: Sunday, Dec. 5, 4:05 p.m. ETTV: FOXLocation: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CAWeather: 61 degrees, sunny
Jaguars vs. Rams Odds Analysis
The Rams opened as 9.5-point favorites, with the spread gradually increasing to 13.5 before settling at the current level of 12.5 points.
Both teams have struggled against the spread, holding identical 4-7 records. Los Angeles has failed to cover in its three consecutive losses. The Jaguars have covered the two games they won outright (against Buffalo and Atlanta) while also covering two games they failed to win (Cincinnati and Indianapolis).
The Rams are 2-3 against the spread at home while the Jaguars are 2-2 ATS on the road.
Jaguars vs. Rams Picks
Rams -12.5 (-115) ????Over 47.5 (-110) ???
SEE ALSO: 49ers vs. Seahawks Week 13 Picks
Jaguars vs. Rams Predictions
Rams -12.5 (-115)
The Rams offense actually looked much better last week, posting 28 points behind more than 300 yards passing from QB Matthew Stafford. Los Angeles lost the turnover battle, losing two fumbles with one interception. That performance, however, gives me the confidence to lay the points with the Rams this week.
Los Angeles ranks third-best in the NFL with 2.7 sacks per game, increasing that to 2.8 sacks per game at home. The addition of LB Von Miller in early November makes this pass rush even more dangerous.
The Jaguars bring an offense and defense that ranks among the league's worst units. Jacksonville ranks 29th overall in team DVOA, while the Rams rank sixth-best, per Football Outsiders. The Jaguars have much more success on the ground, but are unlikely to control the tempo in a road game against the Rams. Jacksonville will have to pass to stay competitive, but when they do, it will be against the NFL's fifth-most efficient pass defense.
The Jaguars provide their opponents with a myriad of extra opportunities, ranking second-worst in turnover differential. Jacksonville sits at -13, with 19 total offensive turnovers through 11 games.
Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey is the second-highest graded cornerback per PFF and ranks second overall in coverage rating. The Jaguars don't possess the offensive efficiency with a rookie quarterback to handle the Los Angeles pass rush while also avoiding Ramsey. It's a bad matchup against a superior opponent that needs a win desperately.
I don't see Jacksonville keeping this game close and therefore will lay the big spread and risk the backdoor cover.
Over 47.5 (-110)
Jacksonville has allowed an average of 27 points per game on the road, while the Rams have allowed their opponents to score 24.4 points per game at SoFi Stadium.
Both teams play at an extremely fast pace. Los Angeles averages just 27.6 seconds per play in neutral game script situations, best in the NFL. The Jaguars rank 13th in the same metric and are first overall in average seconds per play, with the Rams ranking second. These are the two fastest teams in the league in 2021.
Los Angeles needs a big offensive performance to bury its three-game losing streak, and Jacksonville plays fast regardless of game script. If the Jaguars trail most of the game, their passing game will continue to provide turnover opportunities for the Rams.
I'm taking the Over in a game between an explosive Rams offense, a poor Jacksonville defense, and two teams that play at the quickest pace in the NFL.
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Jaguars-Rams picks made 12/2/2021 at 7:27 p.m. ET