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Sunday Night Football on Wild Card weekend is expected to be a thriller. The Los Angeles Rams will travel to Detroit to play the Lions. This is the first meeting between the two teams since 2021 when they swapped quarterbacks.
The Lions have been dominant since the start of the season, and it starts with Jared Goff. Goff has the second most passing yards and the fourth most total touchdowns in the NFL. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has made life much easier for the veteran quarterback.
Detroit enters the postseason with a surprising 12-5 record and won their division for the first time in 30 years. If the Lions can win against the Rams on Sunday night, they will face the second-lowest remaining seed in the conference.
Los Angeles had a very impressive 2023 season and snagged a wild card spot with their 10-7 record. Those ten wins never came easy, as the team was beaten up most of the year.
Rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua claimed the record for most receiving yards and receptions by a rookie in NFL history. With Cooper Kupp, Kyren Williams, and Nacua all healthy simultaneously, this is one of the most dangerous offenses in the league.
Detroit should have a Super Bowl-type atmosphere this weekend, and we expect the Lions to come out on fire. However, attacking this game from a prop perspective is our best bet. Let’s break down some of our favorite picks for the game.
The Lions have been a prominent run-first team this season. The two running backs for Detroit, David Montgomery and Jahmyr Gibbs, have gotten into the end zone 23 combined times this season. Montgomery has 13 touchdowns, while Gibbs has 10.
The 13 touchdowns for Montgomery are tied for the fifth most in the NFL. However, the Rams' run defense has been fairly stingy to running backs this season, only giving up fourteen scores and 106.8 rush yards per game.
When Detroit gets in the red zone, they always give Montgomery the first crack at a rushing touchdown because of his power.
If the Lions pull out a win against Los Angeles on Sunday, it will be because Montgomery and Gibbs played a massive role.
We expect the Lions to utilize both running backs and keep the pressure on this defensive line. Yet, Montgomery should be the lead back around the goal line, and that’s why we’re taking him to score.
The Lions have built a team with multiple options for Goff to choose from when he drops back to pass. If it’s not St. Brown or Gibbs getting the ball, it’s Josh Reynolds.
Reynolds has emerged as Goff’s second favorite target. Also, Sam LaPorta being sidelined due to knee hypertension and a bone bruise opens the door for a lot more looks from Goff.
Reynolds’ longest reception line is below compared to what he’s been doing for the past few weeks. He has gone over 16.5 yards in his last six games every time. In fact, he’s averaged 25.16 yards for his weekly longest reception.
The Rams' defense isn’t a very impressive one, either. On average, Los Angeles allows 231.1 passing yards per game to opposing teams. We expect this contest to be a shootout, meaning Reynold should continue to hit this over for his longest reception.
The Rams continue to find and develop incredible receiver talent. Since arriving in Los Angeles, Stafford has no problem finding an open receiver. Puka Nacua has been the latest addition to Los Angeles’ stacked receiver room.
As we mentioned earlier, in week 18, Nacua needed 29 receiving yards to break the single-season rookie receiving yard record, and he did that easily.
However, that game was pointless because regardless of a win or loss, the Rams could not improve their postseason seed.
Detroit’s defense is among the bottom five in the league regarding receiving yards allowed. The Lions allow 247.4 yards per game through the air. They also rank 26th in the league in passing touchdowns allowed.
Nacua has averaged over 87 yards per game and had seven performances where he surpassed 100 receiving yards. The duo of Kupp and Nacua is arguably the best in the NFL, and opposing teams have a tough time stopping the two talents.
|Over 51.5 (-110)
|Under 51.5 (-110)
Who: Los Angeles Rams vs Detroit Lions
Where: Ford Field. Detroit, MI
When: Sunday, January 14th, 8:20 p.m. ET
Streaming: NBC Sports App
Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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