Los Angeles Rams vs. Tennessee Titans Point Spread – Pick

Los Angeles Rams (10-4 SU, 9-5 ATS) vs. Tennessee Titans (8-6 SU, 6-7-1 ATS)
Week 16 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 24, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAR -6.5/TEN +6.5
Over/Under Total: 49

The Los Angeles Rams take on the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Nashville in a critical week 16 matchup. The Rams are coming off a big win, with a 42-7 hammering of divisional rival Seattle on the road on Sunday. The win gives them a stranglehold in the NFC West and gives them an outside chance at a higher seeding. For the Titans, a 25-23 loss to the 49ers on Sunday was a bad setback, as the Niners hit a last-second FG to win the game. They picked a bad time to go into a slump, with consecutive road-losses to sub-.500 teams Arizona and San Fran proving to be very costly. They are now left with two home games where they will try to salvage a playoff spot.

Tennessee has done well to go from a conference doormat to the ranks of a rising team the last few seasons, but it’s been hard to get over the hump. A few weeks ago, they were sitting at 8-4, with the schedule looking like it was going to cooperate. And while the Niners are playing better lately and the Cardinals can be tough at home, for them to not win either of those games is a tough setback for a team trying to make a playoff case. The Jaguars now lead the division by two games and the Titans have to have Jacksonville lose next week and then beat them in the final week of the season to win the division or hope for a spot in the wild-card.

Not helping the cause for Tennessee is the recent form of the offense. There is just something about them that seems stuck in the mud. Surprising in this latest run was the poor play of Marcus Mariota, who finally had a good game on Sunday, but to no avail. He was 23-for-33 with two touchdowns and more importantly, no interceptions. The run-game was pedestrian on Sunday. The return of Rishard Matthews was big, as the receiver had a TD catch and 95 yards through the air. Delanie Walker also caught a TD, but the offense has been flat in recent weeks and a big part of why they are 2-3 in their last five with two straight losses. On Sunday, the vaunted Tennessee run-game wasn’t very impactful.


The Titans’ defense has been strong, but their shaky coverage on pass-defense was a big contributing factor to the loss on Sunday. After scoring a late field goal for the lead, the defense couldn’t make a stop, with a big pass play helping set the Niners up for the go-ahead kick with time running out. This side of the ball hasn’t been very clutch in the last few weeks. On Sunday, Wesley Woodyard, Jayon Brown, and Avery Williamson all had sacks, but they had no turnovers and gave up 381 yards to Frisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo. They haven’t slipped to a point where they can’t recover, but Tennessee is not a team that can absorb a slip in form on either side of the ball. And that’s what they’ve had the last two weeks. If they don’t step it up, it could take a season that once had some much promise and make it a massive letdown. Look for them to play accordingly this week.

The Rams really made a strong statement on Sunday with a 42-7 hammering of Seattle. The fact that it was in Seattle makes it that much more impressive. It was the worst loss the Seahawks have absorbed in Pete Carroll’s eight seasons with the team. The schedule is still tough and playing a desperate Tennessee bunch is no picnic, but the Rams really did well in a five-game stretch where they played just about every contender in the NFC, going 3-2 in that span. And following a heartbreaking loss to the Eagles the previous week, going into enemy territory to dismantle their top divisional opponent was a big development for this Rams’ team. A win in either of their last two games will lock up the Rams’ first divisional title in 14 seasons.

The offense was big on Sunday for the Rams. Jared Goff was more in the role of game-manager, as he had just 120 yards passing, connecting with Robert Woods and Todd Gurley aerially with touchdowns. With 3 more touchdowns on the ground and 152 yards, Gurley was huge on the day and has been a gigantic weapon lately even more than normal. With Malcolm Brown and Tavon Austin adding some big runs, the Rams were near 250 yards on the ground against the Seahawks on Sunday. It was also big for Woods to return, as he was out for a month. Also helping the Rams score points this season has been K Greg Zuerlein, who has been automatic on field goals. On Sunday, this side of the ball didn’t get a lot wrong, scoring at will to open the game and quickly putting things out of range for the Seahawks.

The Rams’ defense deserves a lot of credit for holding a late-season home Seattle offense to a single touchdown, which didn’t count for a lot as the score was already 40-0. With Michael Brockers, Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, and Ethan Westbrooks, the Rams’ front-four is a real menace on opponents. Donald had three sacks, while Quinn had two. The secondary also kept Russell Wilson and his receivers in check, with Wilson competing just 14 of 30 passes for only 142 yards. The Seahawks were held to just 149 total yards on the day. More of that type of play from the Rams’ defense will make them an interesting X-factor in the playoffs.

This is time of the season where it’s hard to process the element of urgency. After all, those who took Seattle’s urgency into account this past week would have been led well off-course. In other words, the Titans are in a critical spot here, but teams cannot simply will themselves to wins at this level, against teams with the caliber of the 10-4 Rams. The season was critical the last two weeks for the Titans too and they still couldn’t beat the Cardinals or the 49ers. This is still a tricky road-spot for the Rams, against a team and in a venue they never really see. There are a lot of guys on that sideline seeing Nissan Stadium for the first time. I see a competitive game ensuing this week in Nashville and I’ll take the home-dog.

Loot’s Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Tennessee Titans plus 6.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up and betting the Rams vs. Titans game at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you’ll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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