NFL Betting Free Pick: Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons
NFL FREE PICK: Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta Falcons
#463 LA Rams -3 (Sunday, October 20th @ 1 pm EST)
The Super Bowl loser’s curse has long been debated as to whether it’s something to believe in or not. The fact is, since 2000, eight teams have failed to even make the playoffs after losing the biggest game of the NFL season the previous year. This year’s candidate: the Los Angeles Rams.
To start the season, the Rams caught a few breaks, namely the teams they played had quarterbacks that were either injured (Drew Brees) or significantly limited (Cam Newton). While taking advantage of those three games is what good teams do, it wasn’t until the next three games were played where some of the flaws in the Rams manifested. The offensive line has issues with above league-average defensive fronts and protecting quarterback Jared Goff. When Goff gets pressured, he struggles significantly at the most important position in football (2018 DVOA without pressure – 5th in the league; 2018 DVOA with pressure – 30th in the league). Luckily, Goff won’t have to worry about pressure during the Rams Week 7 game, as his opponent is the Atlanta Falcons.
To call the Falcons defense an abomination would be an understatement. The home team this Sunday has lost four games in a row, and has allowed 34.5 points per game in those losses. Two of those defeats were against teams that have nowhere near the offensive talent and depth the Rams have on their roster (Colts and Titans). As mentioned above, Goff’s kryptonite is pressure in the pocket. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they rank 32nd in the league in sack percentage (2.5%).
The Falcons won’t be able to score enough points to keep up with a Rams team who figures to work out their recent offensive issues against a terrible defensive football team. If Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn thinks his coaching seat is hot now, it will be even hotter this time next week. His mission to not be the first head coach fired may in fact be coming to an abrupt end.
Lay the three points on Sunday, as head coach Sean McVay will get his Rams team back on track in their mission to make the playoffs, and not become the ninth team referenced in this often referenced curse.