Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints - 1/20/19 NFL NFC Championship Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams
Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 3:05 PM (Mercedes-Benz Superdome)
New Orleans Saints -3 -- Over/Under: 56.5
The Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints meet in the NFC Championship game in NFL action from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday afternoon.
The Los Angeles Rams come into this game looking to reach the franchise’s first Super Bowl since 2001, and the first as the Los Angeles Rams since 1979 after picking up a 30-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the divisional round. Jared Goff threw for 186 yards on 15 of 28 passing while the tandem of C.J. Anderson and Todd Gurley combined for 238 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns. Anderson rushed for 123 yards and 2 TDs on 23 carries while Gurley II had 115 rushing yards and a score on 16 carries. Robert Woods led the Rams with 6 grabs for 69 receiving yards while Brandin Cooks hauled in 4 balls for 65 yards. Defensively, Dante Fowler Jr. logged L.A.’s lone sack while Aqib Talib forced a fumble in addition to putting up a team-high 5 tackles, the same amount as Cory Littleton for the team tackling lead in the win. As a team, Los Angeles is averaging the 2nd-most total offense and the 2nd-highest scoring offense in the NFL with 421.1 yards of total offense and 32.9 points per game this season.
The New Orleans Saints will be looking for their first Super Bowl berth since winning the Lombardi Trophy back in 2009 after a 20-14 win over Philadelphia in their divisional round matchup. Drew Brees threw for 301 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception on 28 of 38 passing while Alvin Kamara led the Saints with 16 carries for 71 rushing yards and Mark Ingram chipper in 53 rushing yards on 9 carries. Michael Thomas led the Saints with 12 catches for 171 yards and a touchdown while Ted Ginn Jr. had 3 grabs for 44 yards and the aforementioned Kamara had 4 grabs for 35 yards out of the backfield while Keith Kirkwood logged a touchdown grab in the win. Defensively, Marshon Lattimore led the Saints with a pair of interceptions including the game-clinching pick in the late stages of the 4th quarter to seal the deal for New Orleans while Demario Davis led New Orleans with 5 tackles. As a team, New Orleans is averaging 379.2 yards of total offense and 31.5 points per game. The Saints are also the 2nd-toughest defense in the NFL against the run, holding opponents to just 80.2 rushing yards per game this season.
Los Angeles is 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff road games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 playoff games while the over is 6-2 in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record. New Orleans is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 48-23-1 ATS in their last 72 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 6-1 in their last 7 playoff home games. The home team is 7-0 ATS in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.
I remember sitting in a hotel room in November when these two teams met, ending in a 45-35 Saints win handing L.A. their first loss of the season, thinking that this was probably the matchup we would see in the NFC title game, and here we are. You have two solid offenses in this game, so obviously the over would be worth a look, considering it’s a common trend when these two meet. However, this game boils down to two things in my opinion. First, it’s huge that the Saints won home field as the home team has had all of the success over the years between these two teams. Second, we get to really see how the run-stopping ability of the Saints fares against a true playoff test against the Rams as the Eagles sat 28th in the NFL in rushing and didn’t pose much of a ground threat last week. The Saints held the Rams to 91 rushing yards in their previous matchup this season, and while many have this game being decided on a field goal late, I think this game is decided by a touchdown and going back to home field, I think the Saints get the job done at home and cover in the process so I’ll lay the points in this one.