Rams vs. Bucs: L.A. will shut down Tom Brady on MNF
After having to stomach some dreadful Monday Night Football fixtures this season, we are served up a feast this week as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Los Angeles Rams.
The 7-3 Bucs bounced back from an embarrassing effort against the New Orleans Saints by hammering the hapless Carolina Panthers last week. The Rams, meanwhile, improved to 6-3 after limiting Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks to just 16 points.
The Rams give up the second-fewest points per game in the league, while the Bucs put up the fifth-highest tally. The question is, who will crack first on Monday? This fixture last year gave us an incredible 95-point game, with Tampa Bay coming out on top 55-40. This may not be the high-scoring affair we saw 12 months ago, but there are still plenty of juicy betting props to consider.
Tue, November 24 2020, 1:15 AM
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Rams
Tom Brady passing yards
Six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady threw for more than 340 yards and three touchdowns to help erase the memories of that embarrassing defeat to the Saints. But don’t let a dominant showing against Carolina blur your judgement here, because the Rams are going to bring the heat to Brady.
The Rams defense has been quietly effective this year and the job they did on Russell Wilson last week was testament to that. They’ve allowed just 6.3 yards per pass attempt, which is an NFL low this year, and boast the fourth-highest sack rate in the league.
Those numbers don’t bode well for Brady, who can expect plenty of pressure coming his way on Monday. I expected to see the line open closer to 275, so while there’s no doubting Brady’s legendary status, when I saw this prop I was immediately backing the Under.
Pick: Under 293.5 passing yards (-115)
Cooper Kupp receiving yards
Cooper Kupp caught nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown when these teams met last year, and while I don’t envision that same level of production on Monday, I still expect Kupp to see plenty of joy.
Kupp got 20, yes 20 targets in Week 8 against Miami, and although that is an obvious outlier, we can still expect between seven and nine heading his way from Jared Goff. Kupp will be in the slot, which offers an opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Sean Murphy-Bunting. The Bucs corner has given up 437 yards in his coverage this season at a rate of 10.4 yards per attempt.
That is a tasty little matchup for Kupp who has gone for 50 yards or more in six of his last eight games.
Pick: Over 57.5 receiving yards (-115)
Darrell Henderson rushing yards
The Bucs' rush defense is the best in the league, so you can imagine how I feel about Henderson considering he’s part of a three-way committee in the Rams backfield. In Week 10, Henderson got eight touches, while Malcolm Brown got eight and Cam Akers got 10.
But that mess in the Rams' running back world isn’t even the main sticking point here. It’s Tampa Bay's defense! They are unreal. The Bucs have seen the opposition run an average of just 19 times per game against them this season, and they’ve allowed just three yards per carry, which is by far the best rush defense in the NFL.
It’s tough to run against the Bucs, and when you’re only getting a third of the backfield carries it makes this line even harder to beat.
Pick: Under 32.5 rushing yards (-120)
Chris Godwin receptions
A lot like Cooper Kupp, Chris Godwin had an explosive game when these teams met last year. He hauled in 12 catches on 14 targets for a whopping 172 yards and two touchdowns. While I don’t see that kind of game for Godwin on Monday, he should see plenty of looks from Brady.
Godwin has had at least six targets per game this year and that doesn’t seem to have been impacted much by the arrival of Antonio Brown. In the six games he has played, Godwin has had at least five receptions in five of them, with his disaster against New Orleans being the only exception.
Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams have been phenomenal on the perimeter for the Rams this year, so the good news for Godwin is he’s likely to see more of Troy Hill in the slot. While I am low on the passing yards for the Bucs in this match, I can see Antonio Brown and Mike Evans having their hands full, which might force Brady to go to Godwin more than he has been. With that potential uptick in targets the odds on Godwin receptions looks promising.