Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
Date and Time: Sunday, November 27, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Week 12 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Saints -7, 46
Rams vs. Saints TV Coverage: FOX
The Rams were going absolutely nowhere with Case Keenum at the helm. Finally, Jeff Fisher, or one of the higher ups, made the call to turn the offense over to Jared Goff. Last year’s No. 1 draft pick made his 2016 debut at home last week against the Miami Dolphins. While he didn’t do anything to hurt the team, he didn’t do much to put the team in a position to see the win all the way through either completing 17 of 31 passes for just 134 yards without an interception or touchdown thrown.
In all, the Rams totaled 227 yards of combined offense and coughed the game up in the last four minutes allowing Miami to reach the end zone twice to pull out the 14-10 comeback win. The loss was the teams fifth in its last six games and kept it in third place of a division currently owned by the Seattle Seahawks. Winning the division is now nothing more than a pipe dream after sitting on top of the standings through the first month. The main goal now might just be attaining a .500 record.
The Saints almost pulled a rabbit out of their hat last week in Carolina where they trailed 23-3 entering the fourth quarter, but made the game real interesting by rattling off the game’s final 17 points. The defense really stepped it up limiting Cam Newton and company to just 223 total yards of offense, but allowed the Panthers to get that one first down that pretty much allowed them to milk the clock the rest of the way to hold on for the 23-20 win.
Even in defeat, New Orleans remained pointspread gold with it covering the closing 3.5 point spread. The win against the linemakers moved Sean Payton’s squad to a money-making 6-1 ATS in their last seven games, but they return home for this one having gone just 2-3 ATS in their own house for the season. The Saints defense has played a major role in the recent pointspread success with it allowing just 23.7 points per game over its last three; nearly five points fewer than its seasonal average.
Player to Watch
Todd Gurley has been a major disappointment in his sophomore campaign rushing for a total of just 591 yards and four touchdowns. Figures dramatically down from last year’s 1100+ yard and 10 touchdown effort. While the Saints run defense has had its issues with it allowing better than 102 yards for the season, it’s actually done a pretty darn good job of containing opposing ground games the last three weeks in allowing just 82 yards per game; a mark that ranks it No. 8 during that stretch.
Should Gurley once again be taken out of the equation, it will put loads of pressure on a rookie quarterback making the first road start of his career in one of the tougher stadiums to go into and succeed. Not a recipe for success for the visiting Rams.
Rams vs. Saints Free Picks
Goff’s first road start has no doubt been built into the odds at BookMaker.eu for this game. Seeing the Saints installed such a heavy home favorite takes me back to 2013-14 when Brees and company were routinely installed large chalks in front of their frenetic fan base. This isn’t 2013 or 2014 for that matter.
The Saints have failed to cover as prohibitive favorites of this magnitude each of the last three times, and I don’t foresee them getting over the hump in this spot either. LA still possesses one heck of a defense that will make it tough for New Orleans to hang a crooked number. I won’t call for the upset, but New Orleans isn’t covering the touchdown spread.
Rams vs. Saints ATS Pick: Rams +7 at BookMaker.eu
Rams vs. Saints Score Prediction: Saints 26 – Rams 23