The Los Angeles Rams are on course for one of the worst title defences in NFL history as they prepare to host the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night.
Having won the Super Bowl last season, few would have expected the Rams to go 3-9 and this campaign can’t finish soon enough for the soon-to-be former champions.
The Raiders, meanwhile, still hold hopes of reaching the playoffs and a win at the SoFi Stadium can give their chances a boost in the AFC West.
Raiders @ Rams Betting Tips
Starting with the hosts, the Rams were without defensive tackle Aaron Donald last time out due to a sprained ankle and it’s uncertain whether he will be fit to face the Raiders.
Quarterback John Wolford didn’t practice on Monday due to tightness in the neck and could be replaced by new arrival Baker Mayfield.
With Matthew Stafford out injured, the Rams have brought in Mayfield to be their starting quarterback for the remainder of the campaign.
As for the Raiders, Rock Ya-Sin is managing a knee issue, while Kendal Vickers has a minor back injury.
There are also doubts regarding Jayon Brown, Brandon Bolden and Andrew Billings for the trip to Inglewood.
Las Vegas Raiders -5.5 handicap @ 20/23
The Rams are in a sorry state right now as they try to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat this week.
LA have issues on both sides of the ball and it’s a big ask to have Mayfield make an impact from the off with his new franchise.
The former Carolina Panthers QB will have only had the playbook for a matter of days and will have the pressure on to get it covered before the arrival of Las Vegas.
With that in mind, even on the road, the Raiders should come out on top on Thursday night in LA and keep their hopes of playoff football in the New Year alive.
Over 44.5 total points @ 20/21
With the Rams’ issues in defence it’s hard to see the hosts keeping the scoreline down in this one.
Derek Carr appears to be growing in confidence, with the Raiders quarterback helping Las Vegas to three successive wins, against the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Chargers.
With just under 3,000 yards thrown this season and 20 touchdown passes, expect Carr to to cause the Rams’ defence serious problems at SoFi Stadium this week.
Mayfield might well land some touchdown passes as he looks to impress in his new surroundings in LA, which should make for a high-scoring encounter.
The 20/21 for over 44.5 points over the game looks to be the way to go in this one in California.