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NFL Free Pick: New York Jets vs Los Angeles Rams

Prediction Machine NFL Free Pick: New York Jets vs Los Angeles Rams

New York Jets vs Los Angeles Rams (LAR -17.5, O/U 43.5)

Adam Gase and the Jets remain winless heading into their second straight West Coast game following a 40-3 beatdown at the hands of the Seahawks. Gase’s offensive genius has yet to show itself once again this season, while a proven offensive guru and talent-raiser in Sean McVay will await him on the opposite sideline.

The Rams sit atop the NFC West alongside Seattle at 9-4 and have a clear path to double-digit wins for the third time in McVay’s four seasons at the helm. The defense has been the driver of success in LA this year, however, leading the NFL with just 4.6 yards allowed per play.

It’s a clear mismatch on paper and on the field, leading sportsbooks to list the Rams as massive 17.5-point favorites at home. While our NFL model typically doesn’t find an edge on the favorite in a game with a three-score spread, this matchup provides an exception. Our model projects a final score of 32.9-11.0 in favor of the Rams, giving us a solid edge on the Rams at the current spread. Our model suggests a $78 wager on RAMS -17.5 for an average $100 bettor.

Prediction Machine’s NFL model is 197-149 ATS (56.9%) and 188-166 (53.1%) on O/Us for +38.03 units, or $3,803 of profit since the start of the 2019 season. Head over to predictionmachine.com/pricing and sign up to receive every NFL prediction.

Why will Los Angeles cover the spread?

  • It’s hard to envision the Jets having any offensive success in this matchup. They enter the game with a league-worst 4.7 yards per play on the season. As mentioned in the intro, the Rams sport the best defense on a per play basis, allowing opponents to produce just 4.6 yards per play. Their pass defense is also the best in the league, permitting 5.4 yards per pass attempt (Pittsburgh is the only other team below 6.1). When the Jets inevitably fall behind, it’s unlikely they can put together point-producing drives against an elite pass defense like the Rams.
  • The Jets don’t look much better on the defensive side of the ball. They’ve allowed 30 or more points in nine of 13 games and in five of their last six, and things didn’t get any rosier with Gregg Williams gone as they surrendered 37 points in less than three quarters to Russell Wilson. The Rams should easily produce points against the Jets’ 30th-ranked pass defense (7.7 yards allowed per pass attempt), entering Sunday’s contest 12th in the NFL with 7.1 yards per pass attempt.
  • Aaron Donald and the Rams defensive line should feast on a Jets offensive line that ranks 28th in ESPN’s pass block win rate and 27th in sack rate allowed (8.24%). Los Angeles has been extremely proficient sacking opposing QBs, ranking third with an 8.4 percent sack rate. Sam Darnold should end up on his back plenty in this one, enhancing LA’s chances of forcing a turnover and producing a short field for an offense that ranks 10th in turning red-zone trips into touchdowns.
  • New York ranks last in the NFL with 2.3 red-zone trips per game. Even if the Jets manage to reach the red zone, they are unlikely to find their way into the end zone. Gase’s offense ranks dead last in the NFL with a 40 percent touchdown rate in the red zone this season.

How to bet the total in Jets vs Rams:

Prediction Machine’s NFL model projects a final score of 32.9-11.0 in favor of the Rams. With 43.9 projected points and an OVER/UNDER of 43.5, we have no suggested wager on the current total in this game.

Need-to-know stats for Jets vs Rams:

  • 18/32, 167.8 yards, 0.63 TDs, 0.88 INTs - It’s rare to see a quarterback projected to perform this poorly in the NFL, but here we are with Sam Darnold and the Jets in 2020. New York has the worst passing offense in the NFL, averaging an anemic 5.4 yards per pass attempt, and now faces the NFL’s toughest pass defense. It’s a recipe for failure for Darnold, who comes in with a projected sub-60 percent completion rate, under 175 passing yards and more interceptions than touchdowns in our simulations. LA’s defense should smother this Jets passing attack.
  • 7 catches, 76.4 yards, 0.41 TDs (Woods), 6 catches, 66.6 yards, 0.55 TDs (Kupp) - Our model is projecting the Rams’ primary receiving options to both have solid outings Sunday. The Jets have been susceptible to opposing wide receivers all season, allowing the third-most catches (197), fourth-most yards (2,508) and seventh-most touchdowns (15) to the position. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp should both find plenty of space to operate against this secondary and each has a solid chance of reaching the end zone. We’re projecting Jared Goff to surpass 300 yards passing in this one, and if that happens it will likely go through his best two pass catchers. Fire both receivers up confidently in a game where we’re projecting the Rams to score 30-plus points.