It’s Week 9 of the NFL season, and handicappers Warren Sharp and Preston Johnson have you covered with comprehensive betting previews for all of Sunday’s games (except the late game, which will be featured in a separate file).
Note: All odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Thursday evening.
Los Angeles Rams (-1) at New Orleans Saints
PickCenter public consensus pick: 51 percent picked Los Angeles
Johnson: This matchup is intriguing outside of the obvious storylines about a potential NFC Championship preview and home-field advantage possibly being on the line. The Rams lead the league with 150.9 rushing yards per game behind what could wind up being a historic season for Todd Gurley. They rank only fifth in yards per rush, but they wear defenses down by continually feeding Gurley in the fourth quarter. It’s no coincidence that the Rams’ defense ranks No. 1 in the NFL in opponent points per fourth quarter (2.9). The next closest team is Baltimore, which gives up four points per fourth quarter. Gurley is one of the Rams’ best defensive weapons.
On the opposite side of that equation, the Saints rank No. 1 by a considerable margin in opponent yards per rush attempt. What is going to give here? Is Sean McVay going to force-feed Gurley, or is he going to attack a pass defense that ranks 29th in the NFL?