The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams had high expectations coming into this season and so did New Orleans. Neither has worked out as both clubs had far more problems than anticipated.
With both coming off multiple losses, the idea presently of either finishing above .500 is looking more remote each week. What will both have to offer as this might be their last chance to salvage their seasons?
Los Angeles Rams vs. New Orleans Saints
Sunday, November 20, 2022 – 01:00 PM EST at Caesars Superdome
What to Expect From the Rams
The Los Angeles offense has been one of the worst in the NFL all season long. Take Cooper Kupp off the Rams and they look almost the same as the impotent Indianapolis Colts.
Matthew Stafford has taken a step backward this season, though it is not entirely his fault. Other than Kupp, the cupboard is close to empty as Allen Robinson II or Ben Skowronek have not come close to filling the role of Odell Beckham Jr.
The offensive line couldn’t push a baby stroller in the run game and is a sieve for pass protection, with Stafford getting punished weekly. With little blocking to balance the offense and the running back position thoroughly unsettled, the Rams’ offense is a mess.
By the numbers, the L.A. defense is not bad, yet frequently this season when they have needed the big stop, Aaron Donald and company have not come through, lacking that extra spark of a year ago.
What to Expect From the Saints
The old adage "when you have two quarterbacks you actually have none" is true down in the Bayou.
The combination of Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston has not done the job in New Orleans, as their 12 combined turnovers of the 17 the Saints have in all, help lead to them having a -10 turnover margin.
Like the Rams, the New Orleans O-Line is worse than expected. Though Taysom Hill is listed as a tight end by position, he’s really a hybrid RB/QB/TE package and without his rushing yards, the Saints would easily be in the bottom third in running the pigskin this season.
Almost identical to the Rams, the Saints' defense statistically looks fine but the truth is they cannot get off the field in crucial situations and are part of the problem not the solution for New Orleans.
Who Covers the Spread?
Remember when Saints head coach Dennis Allen said he was going with Dalton because he makes fewer negative plays? Toss that out the window, as the redhead had 2 interceptions last week and 6 for New Orleans in the past 4 games.
To a small degree, Los Angeles receives a small pass on offense, having backup John Wolford being the starting quarterback last week with Matthew Stafford out, sidelined in concussion protocol. Based on reports last weekend, the Rams believe Stafford is trending in the right direction, but we will have to see.
The opening betting odds have New Orleans as a 2-point favorite (new up to -3) and frankly, who to trust is a dilemma.
Because New Orleans is home and Los Angeles is playing like they are in disbelief, this is how they are defending their title: the Saints feel ever so slightly like the right side for NFL picks.
We’ll say New Orleans makes fewer errors in execution to cover the spread.
What Is the Right Side for Totals?
The correct play should be the Under at 39, even though that is a rather low number even with the vast number of lower scores we’ve had this season.
Where this total is tricky is turnovers, as both offenses turn the ball over, and frequently the opposing team of both clubs has been set up for scoring unexpected points.
That’s a difficult aspect of making selections of turnover-prone clubs, what way can it affect the totals for an Over or Under?
With 2 anemic offenses scuffling to score, we will side with the lower score and L.A. is 12-3 Under versus losing teams.
Following the best sportsbooks, make it the Saints 20-16 for the Under with a turnover giving the home team the winning margin.
What Prop Bets Appear Safe?
Editor's note: At press time, it was announced that Cooper Kupp will be placed in IR and won't play this game.
Cooper Kupp was our top choice, but the word was Sunday night his ankle injury was “serious”, so we will have to wait and see if he's even a candidate for an anytime touchdown or receiving yards.
Otherwise, whoever the starting quarterbacks are for either club, you have to look at interceptions for Over bets at 0.5.
It is fairly safe to say no matter what Rams running back has odds for rushing yards, given their offensive line and production, the Under on yards should be the correct choice.
NFL Prop Pick: Darrell Henderson (Rams) Under 34.5 Rushing Yards (-115) at Bovada
NFL Prop Pick: Andy Dalton (Saints) Over 0.5 Interceptions (-160) at Bovada
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.