Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-16, 38.5)
The Seattle Seahawks are trying to put the pieces together after a lopsided loss while the Los Angeles Rams are attempting to tackle a much bigger puzzle with an interim head coach at the helm during a short week. The first-place Seahawks look to capture the NFC West title for the third time in four years and remain perfect in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday night when they host John Fassel and the reeling Rams.
Seattle, which needs just a win or an Arizona loss to clinch the division crown, hardly looked like a playoff contender on Sunday as Russell Wilson threw a career-high five interceptions in a 38-10 setback in Green Bay. “I put that on me. That game was on me,” said the 28-year-old Wilson, who was hampered by an ailing ankle on Sept. 18 and threw for just 254 yards as the Seahawks suffered their third straight loss to the Rams with a 9-3 decision in Los Angeles. That was a happier time for the Rams, who parted ways with Jeff Fisher on Monday and temporarily handed the keys to special teams coach Fassel just hours after the club sustained its eighth loss in nine games with a 42-14 shellacking by Atlanta. Fassel’s task is a formidable one as Los Angeles ranks last in the NFL in points (14.9 per game) and total yards (286.2), and 30th overall in both rushing yards (81.1) and turnover differential (minus-11).
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, NBC, NFL Network.
COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Rams (+5.5) – Seahawks (-4.5) + home field (-3) = Seahawks -13
LINE HISTORY: The Seahawks opened as 13-point home favorites over the Rams. That -13 clearly wasn’t big enough for the betting public and was steadily bet up all week until it finally settled in at -16 on Wednesday evening. The total hit the board at 39.5 and came down a full point to 38.5. View complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: The forecast in Seattle for Thursday night is calling for clear skies, temperatures right around the freezing mark and no wind issues at all (2-3 mph).
Rams – WR B. Quick (Probable, shoulder), DE M. Longacre (Probable, heel), DE R. Quinn (Doubtful, concussion), CB E. Gaines (Doubtful, quadricep), RB B. Cunningham (Out, neck), S M. Alexander (Out, concussion), TE C. Harkey (I-R, tricep), LB J. Forrest (I-R, knee), WR N. Spruce (I-R, knee), DT L. Trinca-Pasat (I-R, knee), FB Z. Laskey (I-R, undisclosed), WR M. North (I-R, undisclosed), DB B. Randolph (I-R, knee), T D. Williams (I-R, undisclosed).
Seahawks – LB B. Coyle (Probable, foot), LB D. McDonald (Questionable, illness), DE D. Moore (Out, foot), RB C. Prosise (Out For Season, shoulder), FB W. Tukuafu (I-R, concussion), RB T. Pope (I-R, ankle), S E. Thomas (I-R, leg), DT Q. Jefferson (I-R, knee), DT G. Smith (I-R, undisclosed), TE J. Sommers (I-R, ankle), WR T. Slavin (I-R, undisclosed), DE T. Barnes (I-R, arm), CB S. Jean-Baptiste (I-R, shoulder).
ABOUT THE RAMS (4-9 SU, 4-8-1 ATS, 5-8 O/U): Todd Gurley didn’t help Fisher’s cause after blurting out that Los Angeles “looked like a middle-school offense out there,” with the running back being limited to 3.3 yards per carry and five touchdowns in 13 games this season after an impressive 4.8 average and 10 scores in his rookie campaign. Top overall pick Jared Goff is still getting his feet wet after sitting in favor of Case Keenum, throwing two interceptions on Sunday before finishing with respectable numbers (24-of-41 for 235 yards) due in part to the game being out of hand in a hurry. Both Goff and Gurley scored a rushing touchdown last week, with the former’s serving as his first of his career.
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (8-4-1 SU, 7-6 ATS, 7-6 O/U): Seattle entered Sunday’s game versus Green Bay as the league’s top defense but saw that designation shredded after surrendering a season high in points in the first contest without former All-Pro safety Earl Thomas (broken leg). Seattle limited Gurley to just 51 yards on 19 carries with linebacker K.J. Wright collecting a team-high nine tackles in Week 2 and 49 with two sacks and a forced fumble over his last six games at home. Wideout Doug Baldwin has 20 receptions in his last three contests, but was limited to season lows in catches (three) and yards (20) in the first meeting with the Rams.
* Rams are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
* Seahawks are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
* Under is 9-0 in Rams’ last 9 games after allowing more than 30 points in their previous game.
* Over is 4-1 in Seahawks’ last 5 home games.
* Home team is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 meetings.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 57 percent of the Covers picking public is grabbing the home favorite Seahawks and 56 percent are taking the Over. View full consensus data here.
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