Well, last week was a rather trying one for the Houston Texans, who had to deal with some internal issues after what they felt was a rather disagreeable statement by owner Bob McNair and then the season-ending the injury to rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson. Then they went out and lost to the Indianapolis Colts. So now they have to regroup against one of the surprise teams of the league, as they visit the Los Angeles Rams in a game that will begin at 4:05 PM ET on Sunday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. This will be televised by CBS on a regional basis, and VietBetcustomers will have the opportunity to get reduced juice before the game, and then stay in the action in real time with dynamic odds from Live Betting Ultra.
Watson suffered his injury in practice, and that’s a shame, because he looked like he might have been on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He was tied for the NFL lead in touchdown passes with 19, and he was averaging over eight yards an attempt, not to mention to 7.5 yards per carry. So he was quickly developing into one of the more dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL. The guy he replaced at halftime of the season opener was Tom Savage, who had been sacked six times by Jacksonville. Well, Savage had to make the start last weekend, and he completed just 19 out of 44 passes for 194 yards. However, there was still a chance to win the game, as he had the Texans in the red zone with time running out, but Houston was stopped on downs.
The Rams are not only a very balanced team, they leave the NFL in points on a per-drive basis. Obviously key to all this has been the development of Jared Goff, last year’s #1 overall draft pick, who has thrown 13 touchdown passes and averaged 8.3 yards per attempt. And Todd Gurley is having a monster season, already compiling 686 rushing yards and 338 more in receptions. Remember, we are only halfway through the season.
In the NFL betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, the Rams are favored by double digits:
Los Angeles Rams -11.5
Houston Texans +11.5
Over 45.5 points -110
Under 45.5 points -110
The offensive turnaround with the Rams has been nothing short of amazing, especially considering that they were the worst offense in the NFL last season. Now they have some imagination behind young head coach Sean McVay, and this renaissance has happened even without major contributions from Sammy Watkins, the wide receiver who was acquired from Buffalo during the pre-season but has caught only 19 passes. The Rams convert 49% of their third downs, and obviously one of the big factors there is that Gurley can run the ball and put them into favorable situations.
It is not insignificant either that Wade Phillips has appeared on the scene as McVay’s defensive coordinator. Phillips might be the best in the business, and he has taken a defense that was already pretty good and made it better. The Rams will put pressure on Savage, as they have 25 quarterback sacks, and they are stingy when it comes to giving up ground (only 6.2 yards per attempt).
What we worry about here with Houston is that even though we know they have some weapons – including DeAndre Hopkins, who has caught 51 passes already, and Will Fuller, who has seven touchdown receptions and 20.7 yards per catch – we have never really seen a lot of evidence that Savage is the guy who can pull the trigger on all of that. In other words, we don’t trust him. And with some of the injuries on defense, including JJ Watt and Whitney Mercilus, this is not the same stop unit. We’re going to go ahead and lay the points with the Rams in our NFL betting pick for Sunday.
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