The Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will lock horns for a Monday night showdown at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, beginning at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Currently, the Buccaneers are favored by four points for this contest, up from three points at the opening, while the total in stands at 48.5 points.
Each of these teams are coming off victories in their last contest as the Rams were able to pick up a huge 23 - 16 home division victory over the Seattle Seahawks while covering as three-point favorites. Despite covering in this contest, the Rams are 3 - 4 against the number and their last seven games, overall. Tampa Bay was able to atone for a division lost to the New Orleans Saints by beating up on yet another division opponent in the Carolina Panthers on the road last weekend while covering the spread as six-point favorites. Like the rims, the Buccaneers have not been very effective versus the spread and recent games as they are 3-4 against the number and their last seven games.
I want the Rams have dominated this matchup as of late, Tampa Bay was able to pick up a 55-40 road win over Los Angeles in September of last year while also covering as 9 point underdogs. Nonetheless, the Rams have gone 6-1 against the number in their last seven meetings versus the Buccaneers , including going 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings at Raymond James Stadium. Important to note that the underdog has prevailed in five of the last eight matchups amongst these two teams.
Rams seek 2nd straight win versus BuccaneersQuarterback Jared Goff atoned for a very inefficient day versus the Miami Dolphins on the road post 300 plus yards while completing 73% of his passes in a huge division win versus the Seattle Seahawks last weekend. Now, Goff will look to find some opportunities within the passing game versus a Tampa Bay defense that ranks in the top ten in all major defensive categories; Yet, Tampa Bay was hit for more than a total of 900 yards in their last two games versus the New Orleans Saints along with the Carolina Panthers. Important to note that the Rams racked up 518 total yards versus Tampa Bay in their last matchup in September of 2019, with Goff going 45 - 68 for 517 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
Goff's favorite targets are Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, along with Brandin Cooks, who combined for a total of just 16 receptions for just under 120 yards and no TD's versus the Seahawks; Yet, the three receivers have accounted for a total of 11 touchdown passes this season along with over 1,500 receiving yards amongst themselves. Again, the Rams will certainly have to show and prove in this contest as Tampa Bay has certainly proven themselves to be a solid team within their secondary as they are only allowing 224 yards per game, good for 9th in the league. Important to note, however, that defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul, who leads the team with 7.5 sacks on the year, is questionable with a knee injury for this contest.
Success for the Rams does not lie solely in their 11th rank passing attack, however, despite the team cranking out 261 yards per game in the air, but due in large part to a rushing attack that ranks 8th in the NFL in accumulating 134 yards per game led by running back Darrell Henderson Jr., who has five TD’s on the season along with 611 yards while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. However, the running back had only seven rushes for 28 yards and a score versus the Seattle Seahawks and has not recorded a 100-yard rushing night in his last six starts. Tampa Bay ranks first in stopping the run in 2020 in giving up just 77 yards per game . In fact, the Buccaneers gave up just 28 yards rushing to the Rams in September of last year.
The defense for the Rams also enters this game ranked within the top five in most major defensive categories, aside from takeaways which they have a total of 13 on the season, ranking them 12th in the NFL. Furthermore, aside from allowing 28 points to the Miami Dolphins, the Seahawks defense has only given up a total of 26 points in their last three outings. However, it should be mentioned that Brady and the Buccaneers offense is coming off of a 46 point night versus the Carolina Panthers, their third game in five outings in which the offense posted 35 points or more. A critical piece from within the Rams secondary has been declared out for this contest as safety Taylor Rapp is out indefinitely due to a knee injury. Nonetheless, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who leads the team with nine sacks on the year, will certainly be ready for the challenge versus a Buccaneers offense that posted a total of 464 total yards in their last outing, with 376 being in the air.
Bucs must continue to stack winsThe Buccaneers will take a break from division play to take on Los Angeles in this week's contest. Their last two outings were night and day as they struggled offensively versus the Saints defense to rack up just a total of 194 yards in a blowout loss November 8th; Yet, they rebounded on the road versus Carolina in posting 544 total yards, including 210 yards rushing. And while Tom Brady and the passing offense has been very consistent this year as they enter this contest ranked 9th in the league in accumulating 265 yards per game, it has been the rushing attack that has struggled a bit for Tampa Bay in 2020 and remains a cause for concern, especially with the team trailing the New Orleans Saints for 1st place in the NFC South.
Running back Ronald Jones II, is coming off a 192 yard performance versus Carolina; However, it should be mentioned that the running back had a total of 66 yards on 23 carries in his prior three contests . Nonetheless, Jones II has been Tampa Bay's best option as he has not only accumulated 854 yards on the season along with five touchdown runs, but has 100-plus rushing yards in four of his last seven games, overall. Leonard Fournette is also an option in the backfield, however, has been dealing with injuries throughout the year as he has recorded just two touchdowns on the season along with 396 yards rushing .
Nonetheless, despite the Rams ranking 3rd in stopping the pass and allowing just under 200 yards passing per game, expect the Buccaneers to enter this matchup with confidence as their two most productive wide receivers in Mike Evans, along with Chris Godwin, are each coming off productive games versus Carolina as they combined for a total of 12 receptions for 170 yards along with a TD. Furthermore, the Buccaneers also have weapons in receiver Antonio Brown, who had seven receptions for 69 yards versus Carolina, along with tight end Rob Gronkowski , who has four TDS on the year.
Again, Pierre-Paul has certainly been a stalwart on the defense end for Tampa Bay this season as he recorded an interception, a sack, while recording two tackles versus Carolina; However, as stated, his status for this game is uncertain due to a knee injury. Nonetheless, Tampa Bay enters this contest allowing just 22 points per game to opponents, including just 77 yards on the ground. Most importantly, the Buccaneers’ defense has been very opportunistic in 2020 in garnering up 17 takeaways, ranking them first in the NFL. Cornerback Carlton Davis is responsible for four of these turnovers while having a total of 32 solo tackles on the year . Important to note that the Tampa Bay defense has allowed 30 points or more in two of their last three home games while going 1 - 2 against the spread during this time .
Stats & Trends
- Rams are 3-4 ATS in last 7 games
- Buccaneers are 12-2-2 ATS in their last 16 games in week 11
While the Buccaneers are just 5 - 5 against the spread in 2020, the fact is that they have had above-average success versus the NFC West this season in covering in two of their last three contests, including taking out the Las Vegas Raiders as 3.5 point favorites in late October . Important to note that Brady and the passing attack racked up 350+ yards or more in each of their last two contests versus NFC West teams. Furthermore, the defensive secondary for the Rams will certainly be an issue due to the loss of safety Rapp, who is out with a knee injury.
In all, I will certainly bank on the Buccaneers to have a huge advantage in this contest as their passing attack will certainly be the difference. Look for Tampa Bay to cover the points in this showdown, while dropping the Rams to 1 - 4 ATS in their last five road games.