Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Matchup Preview (1/9/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)
The Rams and Seahawks will play this weekend in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs in a rubber match for the two NFC West teams. Each team won their home matchup to split the season series. The Rams have had the Seahawks’ number recently, though, as they had won 5 of 6 games against Seattle entering their most recent matchup in Week 16. Both of these teams have made Super Bowl runs in recent years, although neither capped off their season with a Lombardi Trophy the last time they reached that milestone. With both West Coast teams setting their eyes on another deep playoff run, this should be a fun game to watch between two bitter rivals. For odds movement and full matchup history, visit the Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks Matchup Page.
Date: Saturday, January 9th, 2021
Time: 1:40 PM ET
Location: CenturyLink Field – Seattle, WA
TV Coverage: FOX
Rams vs. Seahawks Live Stream
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Los Angeles Rams: QB Jared Goff (thumb) Q, LB Micah Kiser (knee) Q, RB Cam Akers (ankle) Q, OG Joe Noteboom (back) Q, OG David Edwards (ankle) Q, LB Natrez Patrick (groin) Q, S Taylor Rapp (knee) IR eligible to return, OT Andrew Whitworth (MCL) IR eligible to return, WR Cooper Kupp (COVID-19) IR, DE Michael Brockers (COVID-19) IR
Seattle Seahawks: S Jamal Adams (shoulder) Q, OT Duane Brown (knee) Q, DT Jarran Reed (oblique) Q, RB Chris Carson (foot) Q, OG Mike Iupati (neck) Q, DB Jayson Stanley (hamstring) Q, RB DeeJay Dallas (ankle) Q, RB Travis Homer (knee) IR eligible to return, S Lano Hill (back) IR eligible to return, CB Neiko Thorpe (abdomen) IR eligible to return, S Damarious Randall (COVID-19) IR
Los Angeles Rams Analysis
Head coach Sean McVay led the Rams to a 10-6 record this season, their fourth-straight with a winning record under the young coach. It was an up-and-down season for the team with COVID-19, injuries, and several east coast road trips, making things tough for LA. However, they head into a playoff game for the first time since losing in the Super Bowl a couple of years ago.
The Rams’ offense had taken a step back since a couple of seasons ago when they were the #2 scoring offense in football. This year they have scored just 23.3 points per game, the 10th-fewest in the NFL. The pass-catching weapons are virtually the same for LA – Cooper Kupp (92-974-3) and Robert Woods (90-936-6) have paved the way as the team’s top receivers. Kupp missed last week’s game with COVID-19, but he’s expected to play this week.
Jared Goff is not expected to play, however, as he’s dealing with a broken thumb. John Wolford made his first career start last week and completed just 57.9% of his passes for 231 yards and one interception. He did add 6 carries for 56 yards, and his mobility could come as a major strength for the Rams. With Darrell Henderson out this week, Wolford’s rushing ability could end up being important. Wolford also showed a willingness to push the ball downfield aggressively.
Los Angeles will be hoping to get veteran stalwart left tackle Andrew Whitworth back this week, which would make their offensive line whole again. Joe Noteboom had been filling in on the left side, but he’s injured this week. The rest of the offensive line features Rob Havenstein, Austin Corbett, Austin Blythe, and David Edwards, and is one of the more consistent lines in football.
The Rams’ defense has arguably been the best in the NFL as they rank first in football with just 18.5 points per game allowed and just 190.7 yards per game allowed. Aaron Donald is arguably the best defensive talent in football, and he racked up 45 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 20 tackles for a loss this season, making him a DPOY candidate. Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, and Troy Hill make up a talented group of cornerbacks. Brandon Staley has done an excellent job as the coordinator for this defense and will be on a lot of teams’ shortlists for a head coach.
Los Angeles Rams Depth Chart
Seattle Seahawks Analysis
The Seahawks finished with a 12-4 record and won the NFC West for the first time since 2016. Russell Wilson was the team MVP, and he finished with 4,212 passing yards, 40 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, along with 513 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He’s arguably the best quarterback in football and will need to be at his best to take down this fearsome Rams’ defense.
Wilson has plenty of help in the form of some elite receiving play. D.K. Metcalf finished with 83 catches for 1,303 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Tyler Lockett caught 100 balls for 1,054 yards and 10 touchdowns. David Moore has provided some big plays as the third wideout, while Jacob Hollister, Will Dissly, and Greg Olsen all have 200+ receiving yards.
Chris Carson leads the team with 141 carries for 681 yards and 5 touchdowns, and he will be an important piece of the offense to keep the Rams’ pass rush honest. Carson’s status is uncertain for this week, and Carlos Hyde’s status is also up in the air so that we could see more of DeeJay Dallas or Travis Homer this week. Seattle’s offensive line will have its work cut out for it against LA’s front seven, regardless.
This week, Seattle could be without Duane Brown, their top-notch left tackle, as he’s dealing with a knee injury. The Seattle offensive line has been a problem this season, particularly on the interior, as Wilson has often had to venture outside the pocket to find times to make throws. Seattle has allowed 3.0 sacks per game, the fifth-most in the NFL, and the Rams’ front seven will be licking their chops at this matchup.
Defensively, the Seahawks have had problems all year. They allowed the second-most passing yards during the regular season, and their secondary has been a problem spot. Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright have locked down the middle of the field, particularly in the run game, but the Rams’ receivers should be able to win one-on-one battles on the outside.
Seattle Seahawks Depth Chart
Spread: Seahawks -3.5, Rams +3.5
Moneyline: Seahawks -190, Rams +165
Over/Under: 42 points
The Rams will likely be without Jared Goff this week, but bettors seem to be hitting LA early this week. The line opened at Seattle -5 and is now down to -3.5. The Rams’ defense will smother the Seahawks’ offensive line, and that has me tempted to bet on LA to win this game. I wouldn’t recommend betting on John Wolford to win a playoff game on the road against Russell Wilson – there are too many variables involved in Wolford’s second career start. However, I like the under in this game since both of these teams’ earlier meetings went under this point total. I’ll roll with the Seahawks to win by a small margin here, but I picked the Rams to win by a field goal in my weekly picks article, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Sean McVay pull a rabbit out of a hat.
My predictions: Seahawks win 20-19, Rams cover, under 42 points
- Michigan Sports Betting
- Illinois Sports Betting
- New York Sports Betting
- Tennessee Sports Betting
- DraftKings Illinois
- BetMGM Michigan
- FanDuel Michigan
- DraftKings Michigan
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Daily Fantasy Picks
The Seahawks’ secondary has been overmatched all season, so I’m tempted to roll with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods in DFS this week. However, the Rams’ offense’s limited nature with John Wolford has me nervous about the team’s upside. Cam Akers provides many upside, assuming he plays, as I’m assuming he’ll be the top rusher for the team. On the Seattle side, Russell Wilson provides a solid baseline, but I don’t love D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett against Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams. With Chris Carson’s injury, the situation in the backfield is murky as well. I’m mostly avoiding this game for DFS purposes as I see it being the lowest-scoring contest on the week.