What doesn’t look like a great matchup on paper, has led some to call a “Goff Revenge Game”, may very well be more like a “McVay Revenge Game”. The two teams are at least 2 scores apart from each other, yet if there is any actual subjective motivation that will come in to play here, you’d have to think that the “genius coach”, who is trying to prove “it was the QB, not my system” wins in in the wash of two QBs playing their old teams that traded them away last season.
Ryan’s Season Totals
Assigned Games: 6-5 (with 2 Underdogs winning outright)
Best Bets: 13-4, Up 1058%
- Opening Line: Los Angeles -15.5
- Current Line: Los Angeles -15.5
- Over/Under: 50.5
- Location: SoFi Stadium Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
- Start Time: 1:00 PM EST, SUN 10/24
- Last Meeting: Rams 30, Lions 16 in Detroit Week 13, 2018
The Rams came into the season hoping that any of their offensive futility the last couple seasons was caused by the QB position, and not the coach/system. Thus far in 2021, that does seem to be the case. One specific datapoint that captures this effect is deep passing. Last season, with Jared Goff at QB, the Rams completed deep passes (> 15 yards downfield) at a 15% rate, or 15th in the NFL. This season that number is upto 21% and leads the league. So its very fair to assume an offense, and its OC who is fantastic at scheming space and separation for his targets horizontally throughout the field, only needed a QB with the arm, guts to open it up vertically.
Stafford really has been the key for the Rams offense. Even coming into the season many could point to the fact that Stafford had won 56% of his games when coached by an “offensive HC”, yet only 38% of his games when coached by a “defensive HC”. It really is an ideal match.
As for the Lions, it’s very difficult to see Goff having any success in this offense. If you really study the Rams from the last 3 years, its very clear that OC McVay had to do everything in his power to scheme WRs open, and keep plays within structure for Goff to succeed. Some joked that Goff was essentially a pitching machine, that if untouched, and pointed in the right direction will get the ball there, but any tightness in coverage, pressure or being forced to move at all and the pass will fail. Given his new team and new OC has ran offenses VERY different schematically than the Rams, its was hard to envision Goff coming in and doing anything besides what we’ve seen the first 6 weeks: mediocrity.
Additionally, one interesting matchup split is how often/better Goff throws to the left side (something that has carried over from the past 2 years). According to Football Outsiders the Rams have one of the highest “Field Zone Pass Defensive splits”, coming in ranked by pass DVOA at 17th vs passes to the (offense’s) right, yet 3rd vs passes to the left. This only strengthens the case that this will be a long day for Goff.
- Detroit is 3-3-0 against the spread this season.
- The Lions are winless ATS (0-1) when playing as at least 10.5-point favorites this season.
- Los Angeles has four wins in six games against the spread this year.
There’s very little in the data to suggest the Lions have a chance here. When you couple that with a strong motivational incentive (in the favorite’s direction), these are the games that usually end up as blowouts. This really will not be much of a game, or even an entertaining one, except for McVay.
Prediction: Los Angeles 42, Detroit 17
The Picks: Rams -15.5 / OVER 50.5
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Ryan Newman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Ryan, check out his archive.