Most Surprising Team Against the Spread:
Los Angeles Rams
- Despite going 9-7 and missing the playoffs in 2019, the Los Angeles Rams were one of the best NFL picks against the spread, and were the second-best team (behind the Chiefs) against the spread, covering 66.7% of their games.
- The Rams were impressive last season when playing away from home last year, going 4-4. However, a couple of those losses were close enough to beat the spread.
- Los Angeles was wildly inconsistent in 2019, which is why they missed the playoffs. But the Rams still had enough talent to beat quality teams, blowout poor teams, and keep pace with any team in the league.
- Given the team’s consistency last season and a difficult schedule in 2020 that includes seven games with playoff teams from last year, don’t bet on the Rams covering 66.7% of their games this season.
Everybody knows that it’s not easy going on the road in the NFL, even for good teams. But the Rams were a solid 4-4 away from home in 2019, including three wins in the Eastern Time Zone. Granted, they were favored in those three games, but they covered all three of them. In their most difficult road games, the Rams lost by one point to the Seahawks and three points to the 49ers, beating the spread in both games. That led to a 6-2 ATS record on the road in 2019.
Any Given Day
The biggest reason why the Rams missed the playoffs last year was their inconsistency and propensity simply not showing up at times. They spoiled a 3-0 start with a 15-point home loss to the Buccaneers. They were blown out 45-6 at home against the Ravens. They also lost in Dallas 44-21 late in the season despite being slight road favorites. However, the Rams could go toe-to-toe with elite teams on any given day. As mentioned, they managed close road losses with the Seahawks and 49ers and beat Seattle at home. They also thrashed the Saints 27-9 in Week 2. On their good days, the Rams could take care of business against lesser teams, blowing out the Falcons, Bengals, and Cardinals while also beating the Browns and Bears by at least a touchdown.
Hold Your Bets
The level of inconsistency the Rams showcased last season makes them a poor candidate to repeat their 66.7% ATS winning percentage in 2020. With the 49ers winning the NFC last year and the Cardinals on the rise, the NFC West is a treacherous division. The Rams will play seven games against teams that made the playoffs last year with four of those games coming on the road. Los Angeles will also play five road games in the Eastern Time Zone, including games against the Eagles, Bills, and Buccaneers. Such a schedule will make it difficult for the Rams to find consistency and make it difficult for bettors to put their faith in L.A. to cover week after week.