Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams
January 12, 2019, at 8:15 PM EST (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum)
Line: Over/Under 49.5
Free ESPN NFL Pick Dallas Cowboys vs. Los Angeles Rams
The Cowboys are coming off the game of the weekend. They defeated the Seattle Seahawks 24-22 in Jerry Land. All three of their offensive studs, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper, played excellently. The defense held up against Russell Wilson and the three-headed rushing attack. The Cowboys now head to Los Angeles, who may have the worst home field advantage ever. There will be more Cowboys fans than Rams fans.
The Cowboys looked formidable against the Seahawks. They have turned into a well-rounded team on both sides of the ball, and their kicker can make 55+ yard field goals. The Cowboys surprised a lot of people when they won the division this season. Their trade for Amari Cooper has given them a number one receiver for Dak. Speaking of Dak, he quietly put together a great season for Dallas. He threw for close to 4,000 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. This is what the Cowboys should expect from Dak. He’s 25, and will most likely get better with more time. The offense is carried, literally and figuratively, by Ezekiel Elliott. During the beginning part of the season, Elliott ranked fourth overall amongst fantasy running backs, behind Saquon Barkley, David Johnson, and Todd Gurley. Now, after this season, it will be impossible to not put Elliott at the top. He led the league in rushing by over 100 yards and was tops in attempts, which shows that this guy doesn’t miss plays. He is the catalyst behind the offense.
The Cowboys defense has rounded out as well, led by rookie sensation, Leighton Vander Esch. The Dallas DVOA was ninth in the NFL this season and fifth against the run. They struggle more against the pass. With Todd Gurley coming off an injury, I would expect Los Angeles to angle more towards an aerial attack
Los Angeles Rams
For the first half of the season, the Rams were the premium team in the NFL. They dazzled on Red Zone each week with creative play calls, and so many different weapons showing up week in and out. The second half of the season was a different story. The Rams lost all three of their games in an eight-game span. All of those teams went on to make the playoffs, but the Rams looked adequate at best during that stretch. Every single unit struggled during their skid, with a few noteworthy collapses. Marcus Peters comes to min. Coming in with Taqib Alib, the two corners were set to lock down opposing receivers. When Alib went down, Peters was thrust into the first spot on the depth chart. He certainly couldn’t handle it, getting torched almost every Sunday. The Rams also struggled from the offensive side of the ball. Opposing defensive units were sagging off, allowing the short passes to be completed. The units would blitz often, not giving Jared Goff a clean pocket, and he also couldn’t handle stepping up and delivering passes. Very hard to watch.
With Gurley back, and C.J. Anderson providing a spark off the bench, the Rams offense should hum along. The defense needs to step up against a Cowboys unit that looks extremely potent right now.
Los Angeles Rams
The Over hit on 6 of the 8 games the Rams played at home
The average total of all Rams games was 56.9
The Rams were 7-1 at home this season
The Over hit on 2 out of 8 games the Cowboys played on the road
The average total of all Cowboys games was 41.4
The Over hit 1 out of 4 games when the Cowboys played on Grass (LA Coliseum is Grass)
ESPN NFL SCORES Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys
Off the bat, the money seems to be flooding toward the Cowboys to cover seven points. I do think that is a huge spread for a playoff game, let alone how the Rams and Cowboys have been playing. On paper, the Rams are the much better team. They possess the best player on the field, and future Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald. They also have the best coach on the field, who is the most creative play caller we have seen. The Rams have enough firepower to put 30+ points on any team, and their defense doesn’t specialize in making stops. Have to go over on this one
Pick: Over 49.5