LA Rams (8-0) at New Orleans (6-1)
When: Sunday, November 4th 2018
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome,
New Orleans, Louisiana
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: FOX
Opening Odds: Pickem/60
The marquee matchup this Sunday afternoon in the NFL features two of the best teams in the NFC as the Los Angeles Rams visit the New Orleans Saints for what could be a preview of a monster playoff matchup down the road. This could also determine home field advantage in that future contest as well, as the undefeated Rams look to stay that way after taking down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers last week. They will once again face an elite quarterback in Drew Brees, who is having one of his best seasons of his career. Brees is on an MVP-type pace and has many weapons in an offense that ranks second in points scored with an average of 33.4. He has thrown 14 touchdowns passes to eight different targets, but his favorite is Michael Thomas, who has 58 receptions in seven games (averaging just over eight catches per game). After starting the season with a loss at home to the Bucs, the Saints have put together a six-game winning streak and are 5-2 ATS on the season. They started this five-game stretch with wins against the Ravens and Vikings, play the Rams this week, and then face the Bengals and Eagles. The Rams are the only undefeated team left in the NFL, but are just 4-4 ATS. Running back Todd Gurley continues to show the football world why he’s an MVP candidate with 15 touchdowns through the first eight games of the season. These teams have met twice in the last two years, with the Saints winning 49-21 in 2016, and the Rams returning the favor last year in Los Angeles with a 26-20 triumph. Head-to-head the home team in the series is 6-0 against the spread (ATS) in their last six meetings, and the Rams are 6-2 ATS in the last eight games against the Saints.
Gurley has rushed for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns – both league highs – and boasts 31 catches for 351 yards and four scores after accounting for 195 yards from scrimmage against Green Bay. Quarterback Jared Goff has 17 TD passes versus five interceptions and will get one of his top targets back in Cooper Kupp, who has a team-best five touchdown receptions despite missing the past two games with a sprained knee. The Rams received another pass rusher this week to go along with reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who has an NFL-high 10 sacks. Los Angeles grabbed linebacker Dante Fowler from Jacksonville at this week’s trade deadline.
New Orleans relied on its defense to avenge last season’s loss at Minnesota with an interception return for a score and a fumble return that set up a TD in last week’s victory despite being outgained by the Vikings. Brees tossed his first interception last week but has 14 touchdown passes and a league-leading 77.4 completion percentage. Alvin Kamara is getting less reps with the return of fellow running back Mark Ingram from a four-game suspension, but he had a rushing and receiving score last week to boost his season total to nine total touchdowns. Kamara is battling an illness but is expected to play.
This should be a terrific game, but I’m siding with the Rams in this one because of their top-ranked rushing attack. They should be able to control the ball and clock, and keep the Superdome noise level down. The return of Kupp also helps this offense. New Orleans is in the middle of a brutal part of their schedule and I can see a little bit of a letdown.
Pick: Rams -2.5
- Rams are 30-62-1 ATS in their last 93 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Rams are 9-19-1 ATS in their last 29 games on fieldturf.
- Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC.
- Rams are 8-21-1 ATS in their last 30 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Rams are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Rams are 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games in Week 9.
- Rams are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Rams are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Saints are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 vs. NFC.
- Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games on fieldturf.
- Saints are 24-5 ATS in their last 29 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Saints are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Saints are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games in Week 9.
- Saints are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up win.
- Saints are 20-8-1 ATS in their last 29 games following a ATS win.
- Saints are 46-20-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 5-1 in Rams last 6 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Under is 8-2 in Rams last 10 games in November.
- Under is 4-1 in Rams last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Over is 4-1 in Rams last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Over is 10-4 in Rams last 14 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2-1 in Rams last 8 games in Week 9.
- Over is 8-1-1 in Saints last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 4-1 in Saints last 5 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 6-2 in Saints last 8 vs. NFC.
- Over is 18-7-1 in Saints last 26 home games.
- Home team is 6-0 ATS in their last 6 meetings.
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in New Orleans.
- Rams are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 meetings.