NFLbets’ early pick for week 5: Seahawks -1½ vs Rams (Yes, we know betting TNF is folly…)

NFLbets knows that betting Thursday Night Football can be a mug’s game. Typically far too many more X-factors muddy the waters, incidence of injury (and thus randomness) increases and, let’s be honest here, often the matchup itself isn’t intensely interesting.

But NFLbets is temporarily changing our tune for this week’s TNF game, a proverbial clash of division rivals that could prove quite lucrative thanks to a certain quarterback who’s overly generous with the turnovers. We’re talking…

Los Angeles Rams +1½ at Seattle Seahawks

The line on this game opened at Rams -1½, moved to Seahwaks -2 by Tuesday night and had fallen back down to Seahawks -1½ on Thursday afternoon. No matter; we’re considering it a “pick ’em.”

In short, time is not on the Rams’ side here, as they’ve traveled from Florida on the south East Coast to Seattle on the north West Coast in time for a Thursday night meetup with the divisional rival Seahawks. And whereas the Seahawks got to take the foot off the pedal for much of a 27-10 win over the hapless Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix, the Los Angeles offense was on the field for 68 pass attempts alone in a 95-point scoreboard-spinner – there’s a reason NFL bettors hastily swung this line 3½ points in rapid fashion.

Certain trends could also flip on the Rams this week as well. For what is certainly the first time in years, perhaps even in the 21st century, Seattle has started the season 0-2 ATS at home – and even more oddly, the Los Angeles Rams are 2-0 ATS on the road. Now, four games is hardly a huge sample size … unless we’re talking about the famed homefield advantage of the Seahawks and the “12th Man” up there.

And finally, there is the elephant (or perhaps more appropriately, the mouse) in the room, namely Jared Goff and his incredible ability for turnovers at the costliest possible moments. How does a QB pass for 500+ yards and lead his team to 40 points and still look bad? When it’s part of a greater trend! To wit:

•  Goff’s last 12 games: 276-of-459 passing (a 60.1% completion rate) for 3,107 yards for 6.78 yards per attempt plus 13 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and 12 (!) fumbles lost.

•  Goff’s previous 12 games: 282-of-426 passing (66.2%) for 3,806 yards (8.93 YPA), 27 TDs, 6 INTs and 6 fumbles lost.

And after another week of consistently missed wide-open wide receivers, NFLbets believes that, if Goff’s teammates aren’t yet losing confidence in his competence, this game against a top-10 side in takeaways just might shake things up. We’re even willing to overlook the biggest mismatch on the field this week, namely Aaron Donald and a ridiculous Rams pass rush versus a weak-albeit-improving Seattle offensive line.

As good as nearly every single other aspect of the Rams’ game is, Goff is becoming an albatross. The truth is that the Rams haven’t enjoyed a quality regular-season win since the 105-point game against the Chiefs last season, and their last good win was due in no small part to a referee’s call egregious enough so as to call for rule changes.

Sure, maybe the Rams defense can carry this team again, but after seeing 71 offensive snaps themselves four days ago in Tampa, how sharp can they be? The more one considers the circumstances aligning against L.A., the longer the odds feel on a Rams win. Take the Seattle Seahawks money line (ML) at -125, and figure that we’ll be getting a “classic” low-scoring TNF game, too: Take the under on an O/U of 49.

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