In the final week of the regular season, the Seattle Seahawks are hosting the Los Angeles Rams in what amounts to a must-win for the Hawks if they want to breathe postseason air. Even then, the Lions still need to beat the Packers, so their destiny isn’t totally in their own hands. Dropping games to teams like Carolina and Atlanta earlier on in the year suddenly became much more relevant down the stretch.
Bobby Wagner and company will look to spoil Seattle’s chances in Wagner’s first appearance at Lumen Field since being released last year. These two squared off in Week 13 and battled it out for a close 27-23 game in the Seahawks favor, though Wagner put the Hawks on notice with a pair of sacks and an interception.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Betting Odds
Most sportsbooks have the Hawks as 6 to 6.5-point home favorites entering this matchup. This line saw a fair amount of movement following Week 17 where the Rams fell to the Chargers 31-10 and the Seahawks had a convincing 23-6 win over the Jets to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Seahawks moved from 3-point favorites to 6-point favorites.
The Seahawks failed to cover the spread as 6 to 7-point road favorites when they played the Rams in Week 13 (1-5 ATS since then). This is a testament to the nature of the NFC West which seem to always have close games regardless of the discrepancies that may exist between teams. That being said, playoffs are on the line and Seattle should come out strong at home.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks Prediction
Geno Smith and company looked solid last week after a couple of rocky weeks prior. He has a chance this week to continue to write the greatest comeback story ever and break several franchise records in the process. The Rams have been particularly vulnerable against the pass on the road – they forfeit the fourth-most pass yards per road contest (258.1) – so Smith should be able to connect with DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and his tight ends.
Kenneth Walker racked up 133 yards against the Jets last week, marking his fourth 100+ yard game this year. He hasn’t got in the endzone since Week 14 and this may be his week – the Rams run defense got gashed for 192 yards and two rushing touchdowns last week. Austin Ekeler tacked up 122 rushing yards on only 10 carries.
Seattle’s run defense – which has been the biggest cause for concern this year – has tightened up over their last three games, allowing just 107.3 yards per contest. Last week, they held the Jets to 75 total rushing yards. However, the seven-man unit lost Jordyn Brooks to an ACL tear last week which is a hole they do not need in that area of the field. This run defense conceded 171 total rushing yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns to Cam Akers in Week 13; I’d expect Los Angeles to try and exploit this weakness again.
Cam Akers has been a surprising spark in this Rams offense lately – he has recorded six touchdowns in his last five games (two vs. Seattle) and is ranked second in terms of production over the last four weeks, behind only Derrick Henry. The Seahawks give up the fourth-most rushing touchdowns per game so there is definitely an avenue to continue his production.
Baker Mayfield has yet to face Seattle this year as he was picked up the week after. Coming off an incredible Christmas Day win over Denver, Mayfield struggled last week, completing just under 58% of his passes and no touchdowns passes. It’s hard to project what he will bring this week, but their offense in general is likely safer through the hands of Akers right now.
These two teams always keep the game pretty close, and if Bobby Wagner plays half as good as he did last time, this trend should continue. It is hard to count on the Seahawks to cover with a 1-6 ATS record in the last seven games, but they should win at home with the playoffs on the line. Then, they’ll pray for a Detroit win.
Prediction: Seahawks win, Rams cover, over 41.5 points
- Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- Seahawks are 1-6 ATS in last seven games.
- Seahawks are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. NFC.
- Over is 5-0 in Seahawks last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
Los Angeles Rams Injuries: Ben Skowronek (O)
Seattle Seahawks Injuries: Jordyn Brooks (O)
Kenneth Walker vs. Rams Run Defense
The Offensive Rookie Of The Year candidate is on a two-game 100+ rushing yard streak heading into this matchup. With Aaron Donald now listed as doubtful to play this week, I’d expect Walker to keep his production level high. In the last five games without Donald, the Rams run defense has allowed 137.8 rush yards per game. The Rams were able to contain Walker last game without Donald, so it’s not a given, but this should be a good matchup to watch.