Los Angeles Rams (2-1; 2-1 ATS; 1-2 O/U) vs. Green Bay Packers (2-1; 2-0-1 ATS; 0-3 O/U)
NFL Preseason: Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 7:00pm EST
Line: Green Bay -3.5
The Green Bay Packers will host the Los Angeles Rams in the final preseason contest Thursday night from Lambeau Field. The Rams were edged 21-19 by the Chargers in week three, and the Packers were toppled 20-17 by the Broncos last week.
Goff Shaky After Strong Performance in Week Two
The Los Angeles Rams almost battled back from a 21-0 deficit but came up short in a 21-19 loss last week. Jared Goff was not sharp after his best effort in a Rams uniform in week two, throwing for 56 yards on eight five completions, and also threw an interception. The 22-year old quarterback has yet to live up to the hype of a first overall pick and he will be under the spotlight this season. Backup quarterback Sean Mannion was decent, completing 16 of 29 passes for 214 yards with one touchdown. Mannion is having a solid preseason and could get a chance as the number one quarterback if Goff falters at any point this season. Robert Woods brought in two catches for 23 yards last week. The 25-year old wide receiver collected 613 receiving yards with the Bills last season but is below Tavon Austin and Sammy Watkins on the depth chart. Todd Gurley sat out last week and will not play in this contest either.
The Rams were awful offensively last season, averaging only 14 points per game, ranking them last in the NFL. The L.A. defense conceded an average of 24.6 points per game last year, placing them 23rd overall.
Rodgers Sees Little Action in Loss to Broncos
The Green Bay Packers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead but when quiet offensively the rest of the way in their 20-17 loss to the Broncos last week. Aaron Rodgers only led his offense on two drives before exiting and converted on 3 of 5 passes for 12 yards with no touchdowns. The 33-year old star quarterback has played very little in the preseason, throwing for a total of 49 yards and one touchdown. Brett Hundley connected on 20 of 30 passes for 186 yards with no TD’s or picks in the loss. The promising young backup quarterback could see a good chunk of playing time again in this one. Hundley has tallied 383 passing yards with two touchdowns to go with one interception through three preseason games. Ty Montgomery made the most of his three carries last week, rushing for 31 yards and found the end zone. The 24-year old running back started his career as a wide receiver however he took over on the ground after injuries hit the Packers running game last year. Montgomery will be the starter ahead of the promising young rookie Jamaal Williams who rushed for only four yards last week.
The Packers averaged 27 points per game last season, good for fourth in the NFL. The Green Bay defense conceded an average of 24.3 points, positioning them 21st overall.
The Los Angeles Rams are:
- 1-10-1 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- 0-7-1 ATS in their last 8 games against the NFC.
The Green Bay Packers are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games.
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games on grass.
I am siding with the Packers in this matchup. The final preseason game will primarily see second and third string players battle it out, so I am more confident taking the team with the deeper offense in the Packers. Brett Hundley has looked very strong in preseason play and third string QB Joe Callahan also looked good in his preseason contest. The Packers running game has also been strong the last two weeks, rushing for a combined 223 yards, so I am confident they can move the ball on the ground with success.
Pick: Green Bay Packers -3.5
The Packers’ quarterbacks have played well throughout the preseason and Rams backup quarterback Sean Mannion has also been very productive. Green Bay does not feature a ton of depth in their secondary, so in a game with few starters playing, the Rams should move the ball offensively plus the over is 4-1 in the Rams last five games against the NFC. The Rams did allow 21 points in two straight weeks and the over is 4-0 in the Packers last four home games.