Featured Video from Scott Reichel
For another look at this playoff game, check out our brief video:
Where: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles California
When: Saturday, January 12, 2018 8:15 pm Eastern
The Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Rams face each other on Saturday night in the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs. Dallas reached this round of the playoffs by defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 22-20, in the NFC Wild Card playoff and the Rams won the NFC West with a 13-3 record. This game is going to be electric on Saturday night.
Solid Dallas Victory over the Seahawks
Dallas has had a up and down season. After a disappointing 3-5 start to their season, the Cowboys finished 7-1 to end their season as NFC East Champions and a divisional round date with the Rams. In their victory over the Seahawks, Dak Prescott threw for 226 yards, one touchdown and one interception and running back Ezekiel Elliot scampered for 137 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cowboys. The Cowboys dominated the clock in this one, keeping the ball for 34:50 minutes.
Jason Garrett provides updates on #DallasCowboys injuries as the team gets ready for Saturday night in Los Angeles.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 7, 2019
Wide receiver Allen Hurns has been ruled out and wide receiver Cole Beasley is listed as questionable for Saturday night’s contest. Beasley is the Cowboys second-leading receiver and is second in targets. Hurns has 235 receiving yards and two touchdowns this season.
The Cowboys average a score 21 points and 343 yards of offense per game. The 221 passing yards per game are mostly on the arm of Prescott, who has thrown for 3,885 yards, 22 touchdowns, eight interceptions and has been sacked a whopping 56 times this season. Prescott has rushed for an additional 305 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Dallas averages a total of 122 rushing yards per game and we need to look no further than to Elliott; Elliott has rambled his way to 1,434 rushing yards, six touchdowns and an additional 567 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Ten Cowboys have at least 100 receiving yards this season; Dallas is led by wide receiver Amari Cooper and his 725 yards and six touchdowns, Beasley has 672 receiving yards and three touchdowns and wide receiver Michael Gallup has 537 yards and two touchdowns for Dallas this season.
The Cowboys rank sixth in the NFL in points allowed (20.3) and seventh in yards allowed per game (329). The Cowboys 234 passing yards allowed per game is thirteenth in the NFL and their 94 rushing yards allowed per game is fifth in the NFL this season. Dallas has recorded 39 sacks and nine interceptions this season.
Rams Offense Purrs Like a Kitten
The Rams have had an outstanding season, going 13-3 with a first-place finish in the NFC West and a second-place finish in the National Football Conference this season. The only blemishes on their 2018 season were to playoff teams New Orleans, Chicago and Philadelphia, with the loss to the Eagles being the only home loss of the three this season.
McVay’s first take on facing Dallas: “We know it's going to be a great challenge.”
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 7, 2019
Running back Todd Gurley is the only player listed on the Rams injury report for this game. Gurley is their leading rusher and he’s been playing through all sorts of injuries this season. If he can walk, he most likely will play on Saturday night.
Los Angeles is averaging a total of 32 points and 421 yards of offense per game this season. The Rams rank fourth with 281 passing yards per game and quarterback Jared Goff has thrown for 4,668 yards, 32 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and has been sacked 33 times this season. Goff has rushed for an additional 108 yards and two touchdowns this season.
The Rams and their 139 rushing yards per game are third in the NFL and leading the way is running back Todd Gurley. Gurley has rushed for 1251 yards and 17 touchdowns and an additional 580 receiving yards and four touchdowns this season. C.J. Anderson was signed just in case Gurley can’t go and he has 299 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the two games he’s played in Gurley’s absence.
Head coach Sean McVay knows Dallas will be a tough challenge for his defense.
“I think, first of all when you look at (Ezekiel Elliot) Zeke, I think he’s similar to Todd (Gurley) one of the most complete backs in the league, extremely productive,” said McVay. “I think he’s got the ability to go through you or go around you with speed,” McVay said. “He’s gotten a lot more involved in the pass game this year. I think he’s truly a complete back and you could see that a lot of what they do is predicated on just him getting a bunch of touches.”
Seven Rams players have at least 100 receiving yards this season; wide receiver Robert Woods has 86 receptions for 1,219 yards and six touchdowns and wide receiver Brandin Cooks has 80 receptions for 1,204 yards and five touchdowns this season. Wide receiver Josh Reynolds has also put in some work, with 29 receptions for 402 yards and five touchdowns this season.
The Rams are twentieth this season in points allowed (24) and their 358 yards allowed per game is nineteenth in the NFL this season. Los Angeles allows 236 passing yards per game and their 123 rushing yards allowed per game is twenty-third in the National Football League this season. The Rams are fifteenth in the NFL in sacks (41) and their 18 interceptions are third this season. The Rams defense returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns this season.
- Over is 4-0 in Rams last 4 Divisional Playoffs games.
- Over is 7-1 in Cowboys last 8 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
Updated on Jan 11 at 10:35pm EST
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Rams opened as a 7-point favorite and moved to 7.5 at Pinnacle and 8.5 at 5Dimes. The total opened at 49.5 and remained there. The public is betting Dallas at 60% on the spread and betting the Rams at 52% on the money line.
Injury / Weather Report
The weather in Los Angeles is expected to be 61 and clear.
WR Allen Hurns (ankle) is out for the season. DT Maliek Collins (ankle) and WR Cole Beasley (ankle) are questionable.
RB Todd Gurley (knee) is probable. DB Blake Countess (concussion) is questionable.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Cowboys defense has done a terrific job this season limiting points and yards, but they are going to have a difficult time keeping the Rams off the scoreboard on Saturday night. The Rams beat teams in so many ways that I don’t think the Dallas offense will be able to keep up. Dallas will score points, but not enough to cover the spread. Throw in the fact the Rams have lost just once at home this season and you can understand why I’m rolling with the Rams on Saturday night.
Prediction: Rams -7
Full-Game Total Pick
Two of the best running backs in the NFL and the second best passing offense and point scorers this season, are battling on Saturday night. Dallas has a stout defense on paper, but they won’t be able to hang with the Rams and I don’t see the Cowboys having that many difficulties with the Rams average defense. I see a shootout and I’m rolling with the over in this game on Saturday night.
Prediction: Over 49