MNF: Rams vs. Buccaneers odds, preview, and pick
The 6-3 Los Angeles Rams will travel to Tampa Bay on Monday night to face off against the 7-3 Buccaneers in a pivotal NFC matchup.
Tue, November 24 2020, 1:15 AM
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Rams
Can the Rams win consecutive games?
After a 4-1 start to the season, the Rams have alternated wins and losses over the last four weeks. They came up with a big win over Seattle in Week 10, putting them in a tie them atop the NFC West standings entering this week. However, with the Seahawks’ win on Thursday Night Football, it’s important that Los Angeles breaks its recent trend and finds a second consecutive victory to keep pace with Seattle.
The Rams' defense continues to be one of the nastiest in the NFL. Los Angeles ranks in the top five in total scoring, passing yards allow, rushing yards allowed, time of possession, and fewest yards per play. Aaron Donald hopes to make Tom Brady the 43rd different quarterback he has sacked in his career, as he leads a defense that sacked Russell Wilson six times last weekend. The Rams have also forced seven turnovers in their last three games.
Offensively, they will be missing a massive piece with LT Andrew Whitworth suffering a knee injury and being out for possibly the rest of the season. The lineman had missed fewer than 10 snaps over the last two seasons, and none this year prior to going down. This will make things very hard for Rams QB Jared Goff, whose decision-making in the pocket has been questionable at times this season.
Antonio Brown makes the Bucs even stronger
Can Brady stop getting all of the nice things? Seriously, he has a beautiful wife, multiple Super Bowl rings, and now he has a stable of weapons that any quarterback in the NFL envy. That was even before Antonio Brown joined the trio of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski.
Brown has racked up 10 catches and 100 yards thus far through two contests. His presence helped Brady throw for 341 yards last week in the Bucs' 46-23 win over the Carolina Panthers, and also opened up rushing lanes for Ronald Jones II, who ran for almost 200 yards.
Defensively, the Bucs have regressed as of late. In their first seven games, they allowed teams to score more than 20 points just twice. In their last three games, Tampa Bay has surrendered 84 points combined. The Bucs continue to have the best rushing defense in the league, but their last three opponents—including the lowly Giants—have shown they're vulnerable to aerial attacks.
Rams and Buccaneers statistics and rankings
|Team||Passing Yards||Rushing Yards||Passing Yards Allowed||Rushing Yards Allowed|
Los Angeles Rams
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles vs. Tampa Bay injury report
As mentioned earlier, the Rams will be without Whitworth at LT, and they also will be missing kicker Kai Forbath. Both players, along with S Taylor Rapp, were placed on injured reserve this week. Newly signed kicker Matt Gay is not eligible to play this week, as he has not yet cleared COVID-19 protocols, so their kicker situation is fully up in the air.
As for the Bucs, LB Jason Pierre-Paul and S Mike Edwards are both questionable for the game. LG Ali Marpet is still in concussion protocol, but was in practice this week and is expected to be ready for Monday night.
Will the Buccaneers cover the spread against the Rams on Monday Night Football?
Rams vs. Bucs betting trends
Los Angeles’ trend of alternating wins and losses carries over to the spread, as they have alternated covers in their last six contests including an ATS win last week. However, they have covered the spread in six of their last seven matchups against Tampa Bay. The total has gone Under in each of their last six games, dating back to the start of October.
Tampa Bay has won four of its last five games, covering the spread in three of those contests. The total has gone Over in all but six of the Bucs' last 20 games, and has gone Over in seven of their last 10 home contests.
While the Bucs have had a tendency of late to get off to slow starts, it might not matter given the loss of Whitworth. It cannot be stressed how huge of a challenge it will be for the Rams' offense to overcome missing such a key component. Given how difficult it is to run on Tampa Bay, the Rams will likely have to throw a bit more than they would prefer to.
In their defeat two weeks ago to the Dolphins, Goff threw two interceptions and fumbled on a sack, and you know Bruce Arians will have designed plays to target their replacement on his blind side. The kicker issues for the Rams also exacerbate problems for an offense that ranks 18th in goal-to-go efficiency this season.
While Los Angeles’ defense is outstanding, they have not had to cover this many targets at once with a quarterback as adept at getting the ball out quickly as Brady. I expect the Rams’ defense to slow the Bucs down, but Tampa Bay should be able to rely on their defense and win a low-scoring contest.
Score prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Los Angeles 20