The Rams finished the season with the best offense in the NFC but the Cowboys’ defense has shown they can stop the best of them after downing the Saints in a shocking upset. Though the Rams are favored by a touchdown, there is a lot to like about the Cowboys’ chances in this one.
Los Angeles has only beaten one team over .500 by seven or more points, in a win over the Chargers all the way back in Week 3. The only other teams the Rams beat by more than seven points were the Lions, 49ers, and Cardinals.
The matchups appear to favor Dallas too. The Rams finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing but Dallas finished with a top-5 rushing defense that allowed under 95 yards per game. On the flip side, Dallas’ offense is focused on running back Ezekiel Elliott, going up against a Rams defense that ranked 28th against the run.
The Rams also lost two of their last four games, getting stifled by the Chicago and Philly defenses, while Dallas won 7 of their last 8 before upsetting the Seahawks in the wild card round.
Pick and prediction:
Dallas +7: There is a lot to like about the Cowboys, who have played as well as anyone in the second half of the season and are coming off a big win over Seattle. Los Angeles ran the ball a ton, averaging 139.4 yards per game. Dallas finished with the 5th best rushing defense, allowing just 94.6 yards per game.
Last week, they held Chris Carson, the best back on Seattle’s top-ranked rushing offense, to just 20 yards on 13 carries. If Dallas can stop Todd Gurley, they might not just beat the spread but win the game.
Under 49: If Dallas is in fact capable of stopping the run against Gurley, it’s hard to see these two teams putting up a ton of points. The much-heralded Rams offense has only seen the over hit in 7 of their 16 games this year and had trouble against elite defenses, most recently scoring just 6 points in a shocking week 14 loss to the Bears.