Rams (+5.5) to cover vs. Broncos Alternate Spread
Broncos total: Under 19.5 points Team Total
By Lawrence Smelser
Denver Broncos vs. Los Angeles Rams Week 16 matchup preview and current betting lines
The Broncos will head to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to take on the Rams on Christmas Day. Kickoff is slated for 4:25 p.m. ET and the matchup can be seen on CBS.
Both franchises have struggled this season and are eliminated from having a chance at the playoffs. In most scenarios, teams with poor records can bolster their rosters during the draft but the two teams won’t have first-round picks for the foreseeable future.
The Rams’ gamble to go all in paid off with a Super Bowl ring last season. The Broncos’ gamble has been a disaster this season and Russell Wilson, the player traded for, has statistically been one of the worst quarterbacks in the league.
Los Angeles (4-10) is coming off a 24-12 loss to Green Bay. It was the second-ever start for Baker Mayfield who joined the team two weeks ago.
Denver (4-10) enters the game after a 24-15 victory over Arizona. Brett Rypien led the team while Wilson sat out with an injury. Wilson is healthy and will start against LA.
Oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook give the Broncos a 3-point edge over the Rams. On the moneyline, Denver is -162 and Los Angeles is +136.
Bettors have put 64% of their bets on the Broncos to cover and 62% of the money on them to win outright. The game total is set at 36.5 points.
Players to watch in the Broncos vs. Rams contest
Jerry Jeudy: The former first-round pick recorded a career day (three touchdown catches) the last time he stepped foot on the gridiron with Wilson. Jeudy has 49 receptions for 663 yards and six touchdowns this season while averaging 13.5 yards per catch. He’s earned 17 targets in his last two outings and aims to continue his excellent form against the Rams.
Baker Mayfield: The former Heisman Trophy winner has had a tumultuous season and is now on his second team. The 27-year-old has thrown for 1,654 yards, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’s now paired with a great coach and will try and make a new name for himself in the three remaining games on the schedule.
Our NFL bet of the week for the Broncos vs. Rams
ESTNN is providing bettors with two free selections for this game.
Denver vs. Los Angeles Alternate Spread: Rams +5.5 @ -158 (FanDuel)
Quarterback and offensive play has been extremely putrid for the Rams and Broncos. Matthew Stafford entered the season dealing with an injury and was eventually shut down a few weeks ago with multiple health issues.
John Wolford filled in and play woefully but also found his name on the injury list. Mayfield has been healthy and is 1-1 as the starter. He completed a miraculous 17-16 comeback win in his debut over the Raiders.
The Broncos signed Super Bowl winner Russell Wilson to a 5-year, $242,588,236 contract. The deal included a $50,000,000 signing bonus, $161,000,000 guaranteed, and a yearly salary of $48,517,647.
Forget setting sights on a Super Bowl, it’s been difficult for Wilson to even throw a touchdown pass or put more than 14 points on the board this season for his team.
Russell Wilson Stats (12 games started)
Passing yards: 2,805 (15th)
Touchdown passes:11 (26th)
Interceptions: 6 (T-6th)
Quarterback rating: 37.2 (29th)
Wilson and company rank dead last in the NFL in points per game (15.6) and feature 27th-ranked total offense (316.1 yards per game). The unit is also worst in the NFL in 3rd-down efficiency at 28.6%.
The Rams are about equally as bad and rank 31st in points per game (16.4) and last in total offense (273.9 YPG). McVay’s offense has been better on third down, converting 39.2% of the time (18th).
If Denver didn’t have an elite defense, the team would likely be winless. The unit ranks 3rd in points per game (18.1) and 4th in yards allowed (309). Los Angeles has a middle-of-the-road defense that ranks 13th in total defense (331.6 YPG) and 19th in points allowed (22.9).
ESPN’s analytical index gives the Rams a 55.5% chance to win straight up. Los Angeles is 5-0 in its last five home games against Denver.
The Broncos are 6-8 against the spread in 2022 and have lost five of their last six games. The Rams have covered six of their previous seven games in December.
At ESTNN we believe this contest will be close and advise taking McVay’s team to cover an alternate 5.5-point spread. FanDuel Sportsbook is offering -158 odds for the wager.
Broncos vs. Rams odds: Broncos under 19.5 points @ -114 (BetRivers)
The total for the match is set at an extremely low 36.5 points. A line we see as even more valuable is Denver under 19.5 points.
Nathaniel Hackett’s team has only scored more than 19 points in four of the team’s last 14 contests. The 15.6 points per game average for Denver is 4.4 points below the 20 points offered by the sportsbook.
The Rams make life difficult for AFC opponents and the total has gone under the last seven times they’ve faced one. The Broncos have also hit the team total under in 12 of their last 17 games.
Our pick is to take the Broncos to fail at reaching 20 points at -114 odds on BetRivers Sportsbook. If you’re interested in learning about more prop bets for week 16, read our NFL player props page.
Frequently asked questions regarding Denver vs. Los Angeles in Week 16
The Broncos received Wilson from Seattle and gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round pick, quarterback Drew Lock, defensive lineman Shelby Harris and tight end Noah Fant. Denver also received a fourth-round selection.
If you’re interested in seeing other game lines, read our NFL odds for this week page for more information.
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