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Rested Packers Host Banged-Up Rams

Adrian Amos celebrates with his Green Bay Packers teammates after an interception against the Chicago Bears.

Following an opening-round bye, Green Bay (13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS) returns to action seeking its fourth straight playoff win at Lambeau Field. The Packers have covered their last six meetings with the Rams (11-6, 10-7), who are dealing with injury issues on both sides of the ball.

Los Angeles Rams vs Green Bay Packers
  • Date/Time: January 16, 4:35 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Lambeau Field
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Packers -7 | O/U 46.5 (Line History)
  • Rams vs Packers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Green Bay has been favored by at least a touchdown in six of its 16 games this season, going 6-0 SU and 3-3 ATS. It’s much more rare to see the Rams as underdogs in this point-spread range, however. LA has been dogged by a touchdown or more just once in the last three years.

Los Angeles News & Notes

Injuries were a huge storyline going into LA’s wild-card game last weekend against Seattle, and bettors will once again have to pay close attention to the injury report this week.

This time, the big name to watch is two-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who left the Rams’ 30-20 win over the Seahawks with an apparent rib injury. X-rays on Donald’s ribs came back negative and head coach Sean McVay told reporters Sunday that he’s optimistic he will have his all-world defensive tackle available against the Packers.

The status of star wide receiver Cooper Kupp and quarterback John Wolford was also up in the air at the time of writing. Kupp, who missed the Rams’ regular-season finale due to COVID-19 protocol, was seen favoring his right knee late in last week’s game, while Wolford was knocked out of his second career start after taking a shoulder to the head.

Jared Goff relieved Wolford and finished the game just two weeks after undergoing surgery on the thumb of his throwing hand, completing nine of 19 passes for 155 yards in 50 minutes of action.

Given the Rams’ quarterback issues, expect LA to once again lean on its running game and league-leading defense. Cam Akers ran for 131 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks, while the Rams defense scored a touchdown for the second consecutive week, this time on a 42-yard interception return by Darious Williams. LA allowed just 278 total yards, recorded five sacks and limited Seattle to 2-for-14 on third-down conversions.

Green Bay News & Notes

Packers fans got a bit of a scare last week with the news that Davante Adams wasn’t participating in practice, but the superstar wideout was simply resting, according to head coach Matt LaFleur. Adams set a Packers single-season record with 115 catches this year and led the NFL in touchdown receptions despite missing 2.5 games due to a hamstring injury.

His quarterback also enjoyed a career season, and that’s saying something when you’re talking about Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers’ 48 touchdown passes were eight more than any other quarterback in the NFL, and he’s emerged as the favorite to win league MVP after finishing the campaign first in completion percentage, total quarterback rating and passer rating.

As good as Rodgers and Adams have been this year, Packers backers might be even more excited about the improvement of their defense. Green Bay held four of its last five opponents to 16 points or less and finished the season ninth in total yards allowed and seventh against the pass.

Take those recent numbers with a grain of salt, however. Green Bay’s final five opponents were the Bears, Titans, Panthers, Lions and Eagles.

Betting Pick: Packers -7

LA was able to hold down a struggling Seahawks attack last week, but things get a whole lot tougher here, especially without Donald at 100 percent. Expect Rodgers and the Packers to advance to the NFC championship game with a convincing victory.

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Shark Bites
  • LA is 13-6 ATS in its last 19 road games.
  • The OVER is 5-0 in Green Bay’s last 5 playoff games.
  • Green Bay is 6-0 ATS in its last 6 games vs LA.