Los Angeles Rams (3-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS)
Week 6 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 1PM EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: LA +3.5/DET -3.5
Over/Under Total: 43.5
The Los Angeles Rams make the trip to Ford Field to face the Detroit Lions on Sunday in NFC action in week 6. Both teams ended patterns this past Sunday, which was bad for the Rams, who saw their three-game win streak end at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, 30-19. But it was good for the Lions, who put an end to a three-game losing streak with a 24-23 win over the unbeaten Philadelphia Eagles. Detroit looks to put together a run as they are home for three games, with this being the second one. Los Angeles, meanwhile looks to not fall to .500 and give away all the good momentum they built up over the three games before last week's loss.
The LA Rams has their issues on Sunday on both sides of the ball. Offensively, QB Case Keenum was off-target, throwing two picks, one of which was returned for a TD in a go-ahead score that was critical. Todd Gurley scored a TD, but through five games, the second-year back has markedly under-performed according to expectations. When the defense isn't able to effectively shut down the opposing offense, the shortcomings of this offense are more apparent. They go into slumbers at times and they have a big problem closing escrow once they get into the red-zone, which happened a lot on Sunday.
This offense is not going to be great in the foreseeable future. And that's especially the case if Gurley doesn't at some point manifest into the game-changing back he was supposed to be. Still, the aerial attack isn't as bone-dry as it was last year. They lack a number-one receiver and there aren't many teams where any of their receivers would even be number-two guys. But Brian Quick, Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Lance Kendricks, and even Gurley offer Keenum some halfway-reliable targets and he's been able to make some things happen, though it wasn't evident on Sunday. In two home games at the Coliseum, the Rams have scored one touchdown. Ouch.
The Rams' defense was without a lot of its venom with the whole line save for Aaron Donald out with injuries. Otherwise, it's unlikely that the Bills' LeSean McCoy would have run for 150 yards on this group. Tyrod Taylor was held to 124 yards, but did throw two TD passes. All in all it was not a vintage performance from the Rams' "D." They just didn't make much on an impact. They had no turnovers and other than Aaron Donald, no one on this side of the ball really stood out. And that's not part of the Rams' recipe for success.
The Lions really were able to save their season from spiraling on Sunday. In beating an undefeated and rested Eagles team at home, they were able to avoid the 1-4 start and put themselves one home win away from getting to .500. The season opened nicely, with a shootout road win over Indy, before consecutive losses to Tennessee, Green Bay, and Chicago sent them sprawling. Against Philly, it looked dire yet again, with the Eagles erasing a double-digit lead and looking to run out clock late. That's when the big money they gave corner Darius Slay finally paid off. A forced fumble led to the go-ahead Matt Prater FG, before Slay picked off Wentz as the Eagles looked to make something happen late.
Sunday's win was a key moment for Detroit, as they were able to find answers and not just dutifully take another "L," as they had in their previous three games. One could see how the turnaround late pumped life into the Detroit sideline. It's the type of win that could propel them. They're by no means a complete team or even a marginally-bankable one, but they showed some moxie on Sunday with a win that was as critical as it gets.
On Sunday, Detroit QB Matthew Stafford wasn't electric with a below-average 180 yards through the air, but he did toss three TDs and no picks on an efficient 19-for-25 passing. Theo Reddick ran for 49 yards, while hauling in two TD receptions. Golden Tate got involved late with some key grabs. Marvin Jones was quiet, but caught a TD pass. The Lions missed TE Eric Ebron and the run-game is not really delivering anything substantial. They were still able to manufacture a solid win.
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Detroit's defense played a big role in Sunday's win and that's a solid development as it was looking like injuries and inconsistent play threatened to make this unit a detriment. There are more key pieces to this unit on the injured list than on the actual field. With key pieces like Ziggy Ansah, DeAndre Levy, Haloti Ngata, and others sidelined, the Detroit defense was able to put it together and make things happen late. As some of these guys start filing back into the rotation, things could get better. Up until the win over the Eagles, the defense had sort of just been "there."
Every game is critical in this league, but it appears that a fork-in-the-road moment has developed for both teams heading into this week. A loss is always bad, but it would really sting for the loser this week. After getting run ragged at home against a surging Buffalo bunch, the Rams face a tough road test, with the Lions nice and dug-in at home. I see the Lions posting a somewhat conclusive win on Sunday and getting the cover at home.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Detroit Lions minus 3.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting on the L.A. Rams vs. Detroit Lions Game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 100% sign-up bonus!