Are the Red-Hot Los Angeles Rams About to Ruin the Detroit Lions’ NFL Playoff Return?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Apr 9, 2024 08:00 PM
Are the Red-Hot Los Angeles Rams About to Ruin the Detroit Lions’ NFL Playoff Return?

The Detroit Lions are returning to the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2016 after an impressive 12-5 regular season. Will they advance past the 2024 NFL Wild Card Round? Or do they have to worry about the red-hot Los Angeles Rams this Sunday, January 14?

  • What: Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Rams
  • Date: Sunday, January 14, 2024
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. eastern standard time
  • Where: Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan
  • Point Spread: Lions (-3), Rams (+3)

The records for both of these teams only tell part of the story. Though the Lions have the more consistent body of work from this past season, the Rams enter having won seven of eight games. However, according to the latest NFL online betting odds, their recent stretch wasn’t enough to earn them status as favorites:

Detroit Lions-168+142Los Angeles Rams

Please make sure that you are double-checking these online NFL playoff betting odds until you actually submit your wager. Our Lions vs. Rams betting odds are accurate entering Wednesday, January 10. That gives the best NFL online betting sites plenty of time to make adjustments leading into opening kick-off on January 14.

This Sunday Night Football matchup is intriguing for a litany of reasons, obviously. These are the NFL playoffs, after all. But this head-to-head also features a reunion of sorts. Rams quarterback Matthews Stafford and Lions quarterback Jason were traded for one another back in 2021. The move was widely considered a coup by Los Angeles. And to their credit, they won the Super Bowl in Stafford’s first season. But they have never been able to sniff that level in the couple of seasons since. This year, in particular, it looked like they were finished—destined to be the subject of 2024 NFL draft betting odds rather than Super Bowl 58 betting odds.

And yet, one midseason hot streak later, the Rams might be back. The Lions, however, are far from pushovers. They are also playing at home, hosting their first playoff game since 1994. Who will win? Let’s get to some Rams vs. Lions picks!

The Los Angeles Rams are on Fire, and the Detroit Lions May Not Have the Resources to Put Them Out

Entering Sunday, the Rams are eighth in points scored per game. And that may tell only part of the story. They have been even better for roughly half the season. Ever since falling 20-3 to the Green Bay Packers in Week 9, Los Angeles is averaging a whopping 28.3 points per contest.

During this stretch, Stafford has once again looked like an All-Pro. The Rams can still be a little turnover-prone for drives at a time, but they are now seventh in net yards gained per passing attempt and registering a score on 41 percent of their offensive possessions—one of the NFL’s seven best marks.

This is a problem for any defense. But it’s a bigger one for the Lions, who have holes in the secondary. As FanSided’s Iain McMillan wrote:

The Lions are stumbling into the playoffs, having a Net Yards per Play of -0.7 in their last three games. Their defense has also been bad all year. Entering the postseason, they rank 26th in opponent yards per play, which is the worst mark amongst all playoff teams. More importantly, their secondary has been horrific. They're 30th in opponent yards per pass attempt and 25th in both opponent drop-back EPA and opponent drop-back success rate. That's bad news considering they now need to face a Rams air attack that features Stafford, Cooper Kupper, and Puka Nacua.

To be fair, Detroit’s defense has turned in a fair share of bright moments. They didn’t play out the easiest schedule, and they have allowed under 25 points in each of their final four games. We also cannot forget about the Lions’ offense itself. They are in the top five of both net yards per pass attempt and net yards per rush attempt. Though Los Angeles’ defense has improved, especially against the run, this is not the same ultra-stingy Super Bowl-winning outfit from 2021. This game will be close. Ultimately, however, we trust the Rams’ offense to do a better job exploiting the Lions’ defense.

OSB Prediction: Los Angeles Rams (+142)

Los Angeles Rams To beat the Detroit Lions

Rams vs. Lions Could be an All-Time Wild Card Matchup

The vitals for both the Rams and Lions suggest this could be an incredibly close game. So, too, do the latest NFL playoff point spread betting odds:

  • Detroit Lions, -3 (-116)
  • Los Angeles Rams, +3 (-104)

Action has so far favored the Lions point spread. That’s probably because they’re playing at home, and because they have the more dynamic rushing attack.

But the Rams do a great job controlling the pace of play. Even if they wind up losing, they could take this matchup down to the final drive. We’re picking them to win outright, so this isn’t really a decision. Even if we weren’t, though, we’d consider taking them to cover.

OSB Prediction: Los Angeles Rams, +3 (-104)

Los Angeles Rams To cover the point spread against the Detroit Lions

NFL Playoff Oddsmakers Expect Offense to Shine When Detroit and Los Angeles Meet

It initially looked like the highest NFL Wild Card over/under betting odds would belong to the Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys matchup. After some movement, though, the honor now belongs to Lions-Rams:

  • Over 51.5 (-110)
  • Under 51.5 (-110)

Betting the “over” on 50-point totals always makes us a little nervous during the NFL playoffs. Teams change the way they play. They are more conservative on offense, especially after building leads. And bad defenses can ratchet up the intensity.

For this matchup, however, we have no choice. The secondaries of both the Rams and Lions are nothing to write home about. And when you consider both of their struggles when guarding in the red zone, it wouldn’t shock us if we see dual-30-point outings.

OSB Prediction: Over 51.5 (-110)

Rams and Lions To score over 51.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can find one that works for all of your 2024 NFL betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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