Los Angeles Rams vs. Miami Dolphins Matchup Preview (11/1/2020): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
The 5-2 Los Angeles Rams will travel to Hard Rock Stadium to take on the 3-3 Miami Dolphins. After losing a divisional game against San Francisco in week six, Los Angeles returned in week seven with a decisive victory over the 5-1 Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. Despite a two-game win streak, one of which was an impressive 43-17 victory over San Francisco, a second-place standing in the division, and solid play from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Miami Dolphins are making the change to rookie Tua Tagovailoa. While it will be an important game for both teams in regards to the midseason playoff picture, the narrative will focus entirely on the rookie quarterback making his first career start. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Los Angeles Rams vs. Miami Dolphins Matchup Page.
Date: Sunday, November 1st, 2020
Time: 12:00 PM CT
Location: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
TV Coverage: FOX
Rams vs. Dolphins Live Stream
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Los Angeles Rams: Available Wednesday
Miami Dolphins: Available Wednesday
Los Angeles Rams Analysis
After a disappointing 2019 season following the embarrassing loss to New England in the Super Bowl, Sean McVay’s Rams have bounced back nicely in 2020. Currently, they’re 5-2 and chasing Seattle, alongside Arizona and San Francisco, in the league’s toughest division. After opening the season 2-0 against Dallas and Philadelphia, they fell to the Bills in week three. They followed the Bills game with wins against the Giants and the Football Team to complete the sweep of the NFC East. In week six, Los Angeles lost a divisional game to the 49ers, and just recently beat Chicago 24-10 on Monday Night Football in week seven. After Miami in week eight, the Rams will have their bye week, followed by an incredibly tough, yet vital four-week stretch in their schedule from weeks 10 through 13: vs Seattle, at Tampa Bay, vs San Francisco, at Arizona.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Rams are right around average in terms of points per game. While they’re roughly average in passing yards per game, Sean McVay’s offense is seventh in the league in rushing yards per game. These rushing yards are largely split up in a running back by committee, a far cry from the workhorse role formerly held by Todd Gurley. Darrell Henderson Jr. leads the team with 412 yards on 87 carries, followed by 65 carries for 274 yards by Malcolm Brown and 113 yards on 26 carries from rookie Cam Akers. Both Henderson and Brown have three rushing touchdowns a piece. Jared Goff has rebounded nicely from heavy amounts of criticism in 2019. He has completed just shy of 68-percent of his passes for 1789 yards and 12 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions. Cooper Kupp is the team’s leading receiver with 37 receptions, 417 yards, and two touchdowns on 51 targets. One of the biggest differences between last year and this year in Los Angeles is the offensive line play. They’re dominating in the running game and keeping Goff on his feet, as he’s only been sacked eight times in seven games.
Los Angeles’ defense has been one of the best in the league. Their 17.7 points allowed per game is second to only Baltimore for lowest in the league. They’re giving up just over 300 yards of offense per game, a remarkably impressive number in today’s NFL. One of the reasons they’ve been so effective is their ability to generate low-yardage plays, sack the quarterback, and get off the field on third down. They have the third-lowest yards-per-play allowed, the third-highest sacks-per-game generated, and have the NFL’s fifth-lowest opponent conversion percentage on third downs. Up front, Leonard Floyd and Aaron Donald have been remarkable at generating negative plays, as both of them have six tackles for a loss on the season. In addition, their secondary is still led by Pro-Bowler Jalen Ramsey. After an impressive victory over the stagnant Bears offense, looks for this stout defensive unit to spoil Tagovailoa’s big day.
Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart
IT’S TUA TIME! Prior to season, nobody would have looked at you funny had you argued that Tagovailoa would be taking over in week eight. However, the NFL community was a bit surprised to find out during Miami’s bye week that they were moving on from Ryan Fitzpatrick and handing over the reigns to fifth-overall-pick, University of Alabama legend Tua Tagovailoa. It was surprising because not only has Miami been much more competitive than was anticipated, putting together a 3-3 record, a second-place standing in the AFC East, and being just a game back of the seventh wildcard spot, but Ryan Fitzpatrick was playing fairly well. Nonetheless, all eyes will be on the Dolphins’ future at quarterback making his first career start against a tough Rams defense.
If you throw out Miami’s week one dud against New England, they’re averaging 29.8 points per game, which would be near the elite level in the NFL. They’re in the middle-third of the league in both passing and rushing yards per game, and below average in both third down and red zone conversion percentage. Through six games, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 1535 yards, 10 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while completing 70.1-percent of his passes. On the ground, Myles Gaskin has taken over as the team’s leading running back. He has 340 yards on 82 carries, good enough for just over four yards-per-carry. He’s also hauled in 27 catches for 182 yards as well. DeVante Parker leads the team in receiving with 29 receptions, 364 yards, and two touchdowns on 40 targets. Another impressive stat about this offense has been the offensive line’s ability to both generate running gaps and prevent sacks, two important components to an NFL rookie getting comfortable making his first career start. It remains to be seen if Tagovailoa can pick up where Fitzpatrick left off and keep Miami in the hunt for a playoff spot.
The Dolphins’ defense has arguably been better than their offense. Only Baltimore, and this week’s opponent, the Rams, have allowed fewer points-per-game than the Dolphins have at 18.8. That clip was lowered largely from their last two games, of which they held San Francisco to 17 and shut out the Jets. During those two games, they collected eight sacks, four takeaways, and nine three-and-out possessions. Considering they allowed 31 points to both the Bills and the Seahawks, the Rams will be a good test of where this defense truly stacks up. In addition to being the eighth-most sack-prolific team in the NFL, they also have the league’s lowest opponent third-down conversion percentage. Not only do they have a stout secondary led by Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, the front seven is limiting the run and getting heavy pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If the defense can slow down the Rams offense and keep the score close, it would go a long way towards taking the pressure off of Tagovailoa and the need for him to make plays to come from behind.
Miami Dolphins Depth Chart
Betting Corner Rams -4
Spread: Rams -4
Moneyline: Los Angeles -205, Miami +180
The Rams open as four point road favorites over the Miami Dolphins, who are making the change to rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, despite an impressive 3-3 start. The over-under of 45.4 implies a final score of 25-21 Los Angeles. Overall, Miami is 5-1 against the spread this year and 3-0 at home. Los Angeles is 4-3 against the spread and 2-2 on the road. Keep an eye on the weather, as the forecast currently says there is a 40-percent chance of rain.
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Daily Fantasy Picks
This entire matchup figures to be relatively chalk-free for good reason. With two stingy defenses, an uninspiring 46 over/under, and a rookie making their first career start, possibly in the rain, many DFS players are likely to be scared away. However, the Rams are only ranked 22 against the RB position on DraftKings, and Myles Gaskin could be in for a healthy dose of touches to take pressure off of Tagovailoa. Over the past four games, Gaskin has averaged 16.5 carries and 4.25 receptions per game. While he has only found the end zone once, touchdown regression is likely to come for a player that sees this many opportunities. $5200 is a steal for a running back that is likely to touch the ball at least twenty times on Sunday.
While similarly priced tight ends might be more enticing (Darren Waller at $5600, Rob Gronkowski at $4900, Jimmy Graham at $4600), they’re much more likely to be chalked than Mike Gesicki will be at $4900. While Gesicki’s numbers are not head-turning through six games, keep in mind he will play with a new quarterback on Sunday. While it remains to be seen how much Miami allows Tua to open up the passing game, there’s a decent chance many of the plays drawn up will be short-yardage, high-percentage plays, which could lead to a high number of opportunities for Gesicki. His athleticism also always gives him the chance for a high-scoring play down the field as well. It’s a risky play, but it could be your contrarian pick that separates you from the pack.
Darrell Henderson Jr.
After watching Malcolm Brown get a goal-line touchdown on Monday Night Football against the Bears, Darrell Henderson Jr. is a scary play for fantasy. Keep in mind though that at just $5900, you’re getting a player that over the past three weeks, has averaged 16 touches per game. Currently, there are a few other running backs in Henderson’s range with similar matchups and a potential bigger timeshare of the backfield, such Jamaal Williams at $6100 and Giovani Bernard at $5800. However, if Aaron Jones and Joe Mixon return, Henderson will look plenty appealing as a flex option after you have filled out the rest of your roster. While he’s likely never giving you a milly-maker type of week in tournaments, he can provide a safe floor as a lesser-owned player in 50/50 games.
This pick is contingent upon Tyler Higbee being inactive again. If he is, consider Gerald Everett at the tight end position. Everett, who saw five targets and a touchdown on a 76-percent snap share in Higbee’s absence is just $3700 on DraftKings. Keep in mind that Sean McVay drew up a play inside the 10 yard line designed to get Everett a look in the end zone, and it worked. Taking a player this cheap would allow you to bump up a tier in one or two other spots in your lineup while also maintaining a decent floor from the tight end position. The uncertainty of Higbee, and the tough matchup on paper will likely make Everett a low-owned player. However, if Higbee were to be declared out earlier in the week, expect Everett’s ownership percentage to increase, making him a less enticing play.