One of the most intriguing matchups for Divisional Round betting will feature the Dallas Cowboys traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Rams.
Being the No. 2 seed, the Rams have to be thrilled that Dallas is coming to town, rather than the Bears, who were just a field goal away from advancing out of the Wild-Card round. Chicago had already beaten Los Angeles once this season and they appeared to have the recipe for shutting down their offense.
By all accounts, the Rams would much rather play the Cowboys than the Bears for a second time.
For most of the season, you could have made the case that the Rams were the best team in football. They started the season 8-0 with impressive wins against the Chargers, Vikings and Seahawks. They fell to the Saints in New Orleans but bounced back with an epic victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.
But the Rams have struggled in the last month of the season, going 2-2 with their only wins coming against the Arizona Cardinals and the San Francisco 49ers. Against the Bears and the Eagles in Weeks 14 and 15, the team managed to score just 29 total points.
While they appear to be somewhat slumping entering the tournament, the Rams still have all the pieces in place to make a Super Bowl due to all of their firepower on both sides of the ball.
While Dallas is likely the "better" matchup for the Rams, the Cowboys certainly shouldn't be overlooked. They have won eight of their last nine games, and they are one of the hottest teams left in the playoffs.
With a dominant rushing attack and a defensive to lean on, the Cowboys can keep games close into the fourth quarter. For a Rams’ team that has struggled to stop the run all season (allowing 5.1 yards per carry), the Cowboys could be a tough out for the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Keep an eye out for a few injuries on the Cowboys side of the ball before betting on this contest. Slot receiver extraordinaire Cole Beasley injured his ankle in the Wild-Card round and missed practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. If he can’t go, Dallas will be severely limited in the passing game as they have already lost Allen Hurns for the rest of the playoffs.
Tight end Blake Jarwin, who led Cowboys tight ends in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, also is dealing with an ankle injury and doesn't appear that he will be able to go on Saturday night. If Dallas is missing both of those players, the Rams should be able to load up against the run and stop Ezekiel Elliott.
The line hasn’t moved much all week long as we have seen equal action on both sides. The Rams have been fantastic at home this season, winning seven of their eight games. However, they haven't done so well against the spread, going just 1-3-2 in the team's last six games and 4-7-2 in their last 13.
On the flip side, the Cowboys have done well as underdogs of this season, going 6-1 against the spread. Due to their run game and their defense, they have the right recipe to hang around in games against superior opponents.
Considering Dallas is getting a full seven points in this one, bet on the Cowboys to cover with 888Sport, though he Rams to win the game and advance to the NFC Championship game.
The over/under for this matchup is the second-lowest of the week. For a game that features the Cowboys' somewhat lackluster offense, that seems high. In Dallas' last 12 games, the under has hit 10 times, as the average point total has been just 36.
In this contest, expect both teams to try to establish the run in the first half, leading to a lower-scoring game. I fully expect the scoring to pick up in the second half, but for the under to hit in Los Angeles. Take the under with Karamba.
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