- The L.A. Rams lost grip of the NFC West lead after losing to the Jets on Sunday.
- New York defeated L.A. as huge 17-point spread underdogs and picked up their first win of the season.
- The Rams can still win the NFC West if they win their last two games.
Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets stung the L.A. Rams in so many ways.
For one, it’s not good when you’re a 9-4 team and lose to an opponent that’s winless in its first 13 outings. Head coach Sean McVay called it embarrassing and says it made him sick to his stomach. The players on the Rams echoed the same feeling. But more than those, Sunday’s defeat felt much worse because it prevented the Rams from clinching a playoff spot and also clinching the NFC West division next week in Seattle. Despite those though, Los Angeles still controls its own destiny.
It’s much easier said than done but all the Rams have to do to win the NFC West crown again is to win out their remaining games against the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. Beating both is no easy task but if the Rams just take care of their own business, they won’t need any help from other teams in the next two weeks.
Their Week 16 game against the Seahawks is going to be the key. If the Rams lose that game, they will fall to 9-6 on the season while the Seattle will move to 11-4 and clinch the division title. However, if the Rams beat the Seahawks but lose the Cardinals, they will need the Seahawks to lose their season finale against the San Francisco 49ers.
How big was the Jets’ upset? We’ve only seen 4 other upsets like it, in terms of the point spread. @YahooSportsbook https://t.co/TSgd6wJIii
— Frank Schwab (@YahooSchwab) December 21, 2020
To call the Jets’ win over the Rams on Sunday big would be an understatement. Improbable seemed to be the better adjective. The Rams entered Sunday’s game as 17-point favorites to beat the winless Jets and clinch a playoff spot. But not only did the Jets cover the spread, they shocked the world by beating the Rams outright.
At 4-9 ATS heading to Sunday, it wasn’t impossible for the Jets to cover the 17-point spread. But beating the Rams straight up sent shockwaves not just in the NFL but also in the betting community. Per the Action Network’s Darren Rovell, the 88% of the betting money af Draft Kings were placed on the Rams to cover. Just imagine those losses.
New York’s outright win as 17-point underdogs is the biggest upset since the Miami Dolphins stunned the New England Patriots 27-24 as 17.5 point underdogs in last season’s finale. In the history of NFL betting, the Jets are only the fifth team ever to win a game outright as a betting underdog of at least 17 points.
Jets Won the Game But…
The Jets have lost pole position in the Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes following Sunday’s win over the Rams https://t.co/vLhVJkJ1hC
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 21, 2020
Okay so the Jets won the game but they may have lost out on something bigger. With the victory over the Rams, New York dropped in the race for the no. 1 overall pick of the next NFL Draft. Sure, the Jets are still the the NFC East bottom but they are now tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars at 1-13 for the worst record in the league. And if we take a look at the winning percentage of their remaining opponents, the Jaguars now have the inside track on the top pick.
But if you ask Sam Darnold and Adam Gase, picking Trevor Lawrence is not even on their minds. Winning games is and with this win, the Jets avoided the possibility of becoming the third team in the history of the league to go 0-16 in a season. And even if they lose out on the top pick, they will still have plenty of quarterback options available at number 2, if it plays out that way.
The Jets play the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 before closing out their regular season against the New England Patriots. Meanwhile, the Jaguars face the Chicago Bears next before closing out their 202 regular season against the Indianapolis Colts. Those four games will be interesting. But that’s not our concern here.
Rams Open As Road Underdogs
Rams open as road underdogs vs. Seahawks in Week 16 https://t.co/z5VNPcPy67
— Rams Wire (@TheRamsWire) December 21, 2020
Since Sean McVay took over in 2017, the Los Angeles Rams are 5-2 SU against the Seattle Seahawks and they have won their last two head to head meetings by an aggregate score of 51-28. Still, that record didn’t convince the oddsmakers about Week 16’s big matchup.
According to SportsBetting.ag as of 12/21/20, the Rams have opened as +2.5 road underdogs against the Seahawks in this pivotal NFC West showdown. Los Angeles defeated Seattle 23-16 in Week 10 but since that defeat, the Seahawks have posted a 4-1 SU record, although the streak has been against much weaker teams.
The Rams sit at +107 in the moneyline which means that a $100 bet is going to win $107. On the other hand, a $100 win on Seattle would need a $127 bet. The Seahawks can clinch the division title with a win over the Rams in Week 16. The Rams can stay alive in the division race if they beat the Seahawks. You can’t ask for better stakes than those.