The Los Angeles Rams head on the road to battle the Indianapolis Colts in an AFC bout on Sunday afternoon. The Rams walloped the Bears in their season opener. The Colts were clobbered by the Seahawks in their week one action. These foes last met in 2017 in a game the Rams won 46-9.
Line Movements & Weather
The Rams have gone from -1.5 to -3.5 or -4, depending on where you shop with LA snatching up 70% of the bets.
The OU line opened up at 49 and has gone down to 48 or 48.5, despite the Over grabbing 60% of the bets.
Gametime Weather: Domed Stadium
Stafford Dazzles in Rams Debut
The Los Angeles Rams take their show on the road after a dominating week one victory. Sean McVay's squad had no problem covering the large 8.5 points spread in a 34-14 home triumph against the Bears. L.A. is considered a Super Bowl contender once again and anything less will be considered a disappointment.
Matthew Stafford was stellar in his Rams’ debut. The 33-year old QB tallied 321 passing yards with three TD’s. Stafford posted big numbers with the Lions but never had a good running game or defense to help him win games. He eclipsed 4000 passing yards in 2020 and should do so again.
Darrell Henderson Jr. will be seeing a majority of the carries as #1 RB Cam Akers is on the IR. Henderson Jr. recorded over 600 yards in 2020 and 70 last week. The Rams have a stacked WR core led by Cooper Kupp. The 28-year old WR accumulated just under 1000 yards last year and 108 yards in the season opener. The Rams offense should be one of the best in the NFL.
A debut for the books. pic.twitter.com/yCHeIEBmWI— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 15, 2021
The Los Angeles defense has stars all over the field propelled by Aaron Donald who collected a sack last week. The Colts have a strong offensive line, so it will be interesting to see how Donald performs. The Rams have no real weaknesses on defense and especially have stingy cornerbacks led by Jalen Ramsey. L.A. ranked 23rd with 23.3 points in 2020. They limited opponents to 18.5 points which was the best in the league.
Out - OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr., LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and LB Chris Garrett
Wentz, Colts Sluggish in Week one Defeat
The Indianapolis Colts' challenging schedule continues. Indy was tabbed three-point dogs in a 28-16 home loss to the Seahawks last week. The Colts' next three games are on the road so this is already a game they need to win at home. Indy went 6-2 at home in 2020.
Carson Wentz is Indy's new #1 QB after he was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia. The 28-year old was decent in his Colts’ debut, amassing 251 yards with two touchdowns. Wentz was an interception machine in 2020, recording a poor 16:15 TD to INT ratio.
Watch for Jonathan Taylor in this one. The former Wisconsin star dazzled in his rookie season with a remarkable 1169 yards. The Colts' best chance against the Rams is on the ground and I expect Taylor to see plenty of action after rushing for 56 yards on 17 attempts last week. The Colts are playing without #1 WR T.Y. Hilton. Fortunately, Zach Pascal is also a threat. The 26-year old WR tallied 629 yards last year and 43 yards in last week’s defeat. The Indianapolis offense could potentially take a step back this year as Wentz is filling the shoes of the retired Philip Rivers.
Carson's first TD with the Horseshoe ☑️ pic.twitter.com/Lkl48k6bMf— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) September 14, 2021
The Colts' defense is their top strength. They ranked 20th against the pass and second against the run in 2020. Indy features one of the best linebackers in the NFL, Darius Leonard. He did not practice on Thursday and is questionable for this one. Indy has top outstanding corners in Kenny Moore II and Xavier Rhodes. Indianapolis averaged 28.2 points last year, good for ninth in the NFL. They held foes to only 22.6 points, landing them 11th overall.
Out - DB Xavier Rhodes, OT Braden Smith, OT Eric Fisher, QB Sam Ehlinger, DB Nick Nelson, WR Dezmon Patmon, and DE Dayo Odeyingbo
Questionable - WR Michael Pittman Jr., WR Parris Campbell, DT DeForest Buckner, DB Julian Blackmon, DE Kwity Paye, C Quenton Nelson, LB Darius Leonard, DB George Odum, DE Kemoko Turay, and OG Danny Pinter
The Los Angeles Rams are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a losing record.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after a straight-up win of more than 14 points.
The Indianapolis Colts are:
- 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 games following a double-digit home loss.
- 16-7 ATS in their last 23 games against a team with a winning record.
- 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Colts have another tough opponent in the Rams after losing to the Seahawks. I believe the matchup against Seattle in the season opener will help them for this one. Indy went 6-2 at home last season while the Rams went just 4-4 on the road. I expect a big game from Colts’ RB Jonathan Taylor. The Colts have the better RB in this matchup as Taylor rushed for over 1100 yards in 2020 and Los Angeles surrendered 134 rushing yards to the Bears last week.
Furthermore, the Colts have a good defense. While cornerback Xavier Rhodes is listed as questionable as of Friday, Indy also has Kenny Moore II who was ranked as the top slot CB by PFF. Indy’s pass defense held foes to an average of 241 yards in 2020 and they should contain Stafford.
Full-Game Total Pick
I anticipate a lower-scoring battle. The defense on both teams is outstanding. The Rams will pass more than run especially with Cam Akers out and as mentioned above, I like the Colts pass defense. Also, Indy ranked 2nd in fewest rushing yards allowed in 2020 and L.A. managed only 74 rushing yards for an average of 3.2 yards per attempt last week. The under is 5-0 in the Rams’ last five games against a team with a losing record.
In addition, the Colts' offense is mediocre. Carson Wentz was able to collect 251 passing yards last week, however, this is a much better defense that led the NFL in the fewest points allowed in 2020. The Colts are also without T.Y. Hilton. The under is 7-3 in the Colts’ last 10 home games.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The under on the Rams team total is a solid prop bet. Playing on the road is much different, especially in a loud building such as Lucas Oil Stadium. The Indianapolis defense settled in nicely in the second half last week, holding Seattle to only seven points. Colts star linebacker Darius Leonard’s status was in doubt but he will play in this one.
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I am going with the under on the first-quarter total. The Rams allowed an average of only 3.8 points in the opening quarter last season. This is the Rams' first road game and the offense might take some time to find a groove as a result. Also, consider Indy held Seattle to only seven points in the opening quarter last week.