Welcome to the Thursday Night Football betting breakdown, where I’ll provide a betting overview of the upcoming Thursday Night Football game utilizing moneyline, points spread and projected total odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook. Additionally, I’ll hone in on at least one player or game prop each week that I feel has profit potential at one of those three sportsbooks.
All betting takes will be classified as either a “lean” or a “pick”. A lean is a wager that we have a certain degree of certainty in. However, it’s one that still falls somewhere short of a high-confidence selection. A pick carries an additional degree of confidence based on a variety of factors. These include relevant injuries; past track record of each team in those bet types and under the specific conditions that apply; and recent performances of each team leading up to the game.
For more detailed information on this week’s matchup – including further game analysis, betting trends breakdown, betting tips specific to TNF, and a synopsis of the history of the line movement for the game, please see our Thursday Night Football Betting Preview over at TheLines.
The Rams have a very good track record in this series over the last several seasons. They’ve won six of the last eight meetings, including three straight. It may not matter Thursday. Los Angeles is facing some unique circumstances with respect to its energy level. The Rams were involved in a four-quarter track meet against the Buccaneers on Sunday afternoon and ultimately dropped a 55-40 decision. Their secondary spent a good part of three hours chasing down Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, who combined for 16 receptions, 261 yards and three touchdowns. On the other side, no one would blame Jared Goff if he had a bit of a dead arm Thursday. He just put up two games’ worth of pass attempts — 68 in all — in the losing cause.
The Seahawks come in refreshed in comparison. They didn’t break too much of a sweat against the Cardinals, which they toppled by a 27-10 margin in Arizona. Russell Wilson nearly had a bye week when compared to Goff. He put the ball up only 28 times against the Cards, completing 22 for an efficient 240 yards. Chris Carson did see a 22-carry workload but didn’t have to grind things out too much. He gained 4.7 yards per carry on his way to 104 yards on the ground overall. Even though the Rams are a relatively tough squad against the run (91.8 rush yards per game allowed), Carson was able to gain 116 rushing yards on 6.1 yards per carry in two games against them last season.
Ultimately, this game likely comes down to the Seahawks secondary managing to reasonably contain the Rams’ highly dangerous trio of Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Seattle has been excellent against some solid running backs early, yielding just the sixth-fewest rushing yards per game (79.5). Plus, Todd Gurley has not looked like himself despite the proclamations he’s fully healthy. If the Seahawks make the Rams mostly one-dimesional, they have a legitimate home-field advantage and a balanced offense in their own right they can rely on to squeeze out a close victory.
TNF Point Spread
The betting public is down on the defending NFC champions. The Rams opened as 1.5-point favorites early last week. The pendulum has swung completely back the other way, with the Seahawks now enjoying that projected advantage. The aforementioned Week 4 results apparently did plenty to move the needle. This, despite the Rams’ distinct edge in the series over the last several seasons.
The Rams are 3-1 (75.0 percent) against the spread this season and will be playing their first game as an away underdog.
The Seahawks are 2-2 against the spread this season but 0-2 as a home favorite.
Seattle has been middling (3-4-1) against the spread as home favorites since the beginning of last season. However, this year’s team seems to be meshing well, and that’s with high-upside rookie D.K. Metcalf not even really hitting his stride yet. The Seahawks have plenty of speed on offense and a tough defensive front that can both make life difficult on a tired team like the Rams.
While Los Angeles will be competitive until the final whistle, I see the home squad doing enough to cover.
The Pick: Seahawks -1.5 at FanDuel Sportsbook
TNF Over/Under Total
The projected total is one that allows for both teams to garner their fair share of points while still potentially underperforming a bit due to just having played four days prior. As already mentioned multiple times, the Rams are likely to be the team most affected. Their legs may not have quite the same spring as usual given how physically taxing their loss to the Buccaneers was.
In terms of track record this season, the Over is 2-2 in the Rams’ games this season, including 1-1 in their away games. Then, the Over is 2-2 in the Seahawks’ games this season, including 1-1 in their games as a home favorite.
As far as the series is concerned, both of last season’s games between the two exceeded 60 combined points. But for what it’s worth, the five prior contests finished under Thursday’s projected number.
The Lean: Under 49.5 points at FanDuel Sportsbook
Best TNF Prop Bet
Home Team To Win By 1-6 Points: (+335 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
As already mentioned, I’m of the belief we’ll see a close Seahawks victory in this game. I don’t see Seattle being a touchdown or more better than the Rams, even in L.A.’s depleted state. The Rams’ two 2018 victories in the series came by just a combined seven points. The Seahawks arguably have a deeper personnel group on offense this season and have the ability to turn those close losses into wins. However, their 17-point win over the Cardinals aside, Seattle has lived on the edge during the young season. They toppled the Bengals by one in the opener, the Steelers by two in Week 2 and then lost by six to the Saints in Week 3. Consequently, a razor-thin victory here is certainly within the realm of possibility.