On Sunday, two teams that are surprisingly battling for the lead in their divisions take the field in an intriguing matchup as the Los Angeles Rams travel to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Rams can pull back into first place in the NFC West with a win this week. The Jaguars can extend their AFC South lead with a home victory. Kickoff inside Ever Bank Field is at 4:05 PM ET.
The Rams (3-2) are coming off a tough loss against the Seattle Seahawks where they had plenty of chances to win, but ultimately fell 16-10. On the season, the Rams are 2-0 on the road. They actually seem to play better as the visiting team. The Rams will look to get their high scoring offense back on track after being held to 10 points last week. LA is 3-1 against the Jaguars all-time, and look to make it 4-1 this weekend.
The Jaguars (3-2) are coming off an impressive beatdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. The Jags won 30-9 and did it behind an aggressive defense and a smash mouth running game. The Rams are vulnerable to the run and the Jags will look to get their star running back Leonard Fournette going.
The spread opened at Even, but has since shifted to the Rams +2.5 points. The Over/Under opened at 44 points and has come down to 42.5 total points. Some books have it as low as 42 points, and that’s what we are going with.
This game features two great young running backs in Todd Gurley for the Rams and Fournette for the Jags. Both of these teams will look to establish their running games in this contest as there is plenty of opportunities to run the ball on these defenses. The Jags give up 146 rushing yards per game and the Rams give up 133 rushing yards per game. So, I expect both teams to give the opposing defenses heavy dosages of the run.
For the Rams, they have the advantage in the passing game as quarterback Jared Goff has outplayed Jags quarterback Blake Bortles on the season. Goff has thrown 500 more passing yards than Bortles and actually moves the offense, where Bortles is tasked to manage and not lose the game.
For the season, the Rams are scoring 30 points per game and the Jags are scoring 27 points per game. So, I really like the Over in this one. In their 2 road games so far, the Rams have averaged 38 points per game and are 2-0. In their only real home game of the season, the Jags gave up 37 points to the Titans. Bottom line, I expect both offenses to outplay the defenses in this one as we see a shootout in South Florida.
Look for Goff, Gurley and the Rams to put up close to 28 points in this game and the Jags to be close to that. I believe that these two teams will easily hit the Over. In fact, I see them nailing that Over in the 3rd quarter. Despite having two aggressive defenses in this game, I really like the opportunities that the offenses have in this one. Each team gives up roughly 350 total yards per game, so I can see both of them giving up yards and points in this one. Lastly, we don’t know which Jags team will show up this week. Will it be the one who rocked the Steelers last week or the one that lost to the Jets two weeks ago? That uncertainty is another reason why you go with the Over in this one.
The Over is 5-2 in the Rams last 7 games and 6-3 in the last 9 games for the Jags. It’s also 7-1 in the last 8 home games for Jacksonville.