Saints vs. Rams Spread Prediction
The Rams are one win away from advancing to the Super Bowl for the first time since moving back to L.A. from St. Louis. Standing in their way are the Saints, who went 7-2 at home this year and feature one of the best homefield advantages in football. Will the Rams pull off the upset or will the Saints punch their ticket to Atlanta?
311 Los Angeles Rams at 312 New Orleans Saints
3:05 p.m. ET, Sunday, January 20, 2019
Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Public Betting Trends
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetNow.eu, the Saints are 3-point favorites to beat the Rams. The total, meanwhile, sits at 56.5 points. As of this writing, 54% of the public betting tickets are on the Rams to cover the point spread.
Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff completed 15-of-28 passes for 186 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions in the Rams' 30-22, Divisional Round win over the Cowboys. Goff's primary task was handing the ball off, as the Rams dialed up a whopping 48 runs, unveiling a two-headed attack between Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson. When he was called on to throw, Goff uncorked some beauties but also some unsightly duds. FOX commentator Troy Aikman at one point called back-to-back throws "horrendous." Goff is going to be needed for more in the NFC Championship Game, especially if the Rams have to make the daunting trek to New Orleans.
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees completed 28-of-38 passes for 301 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception in the Saints' 20-14, Divisional Round win over the Eagles. Brees threw an interception of the first play of the game, a horribly underthrown deep ball to Ted Ginn that should have been a long touchdown. Brees later underthrew Taysom Hill on a deep ball again. The entire offense, including Brees, was off for the entire first quarter, not showing up until a converted fake punt seemed to give the team a jolt after the Eagles got a 14-0 lead. Brees threw short touchdowns to both Keith Kirkwood and Michael Thomas. New Orleans will host the Rams in the NFC Championship next week. Brees had 346 yards and four touchdowns against the Rams in Week 9.
NFL Betting Trends
The Rams are just 2-5 against the spread in their last seven playoff games and are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five playoff road games.
The Saints are 0-4 against the number in their last four games overall and are just 1-4 ATS in their last five conference games.
There’s a point to be made that at least from a talent standpoint, the Rams have a better team. It helps when your quarterback is counting for less than $8 million against your cap, because then you can pay for guys like Brandin Cooks, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. The Rams also put together a dominant performance versus the Cowboys last week while the Saints had plenty of issues with defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, to the point that they needed a late turnover deep in their own territory to seal a win.
That said, it’s extremely difficult to beat Brees and Sean Payton in that dome. The Rams seemingly won’t be able to run the ball as effectively this week as they did against Dallas a) because they won’t know when the Saints will stunt like they did the Cowboys, who were tipping their hand and b) New Orleans run defense has been stout all season. That means they’ll need more from Goff, who has struggled since that epic Monday night performance versus the Chiefs. In fact, it largely went unnoticed that Goff struggled early in that game last week versus Dallas and then once Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson got going, Goff wasn’t even needed. That won’t be the case today and I like New Orleans underrated defense to force another key turnover to seal the win today.
NFC Championship Game Predictions: New Orleans Saints -3