Lions vs. Rams Prediction: Best Bets for NFL Wild Card, Jan. 14

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Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff scores a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023, in Detroit.
(Al Goldis/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion Jan 12, 2024, 2:11 PM
  • The Detroit Lions are 3.5-point favorites against the Los Angeles Rams.
  • Detroit finished 6-2 straight up at home this season.
  • Los Angeles finished 0-3 away from home in meaningful games against fellow playoff teams.

Ahead of Sunday’s NFC wild card matchup in Detroit, I’m here to offer a Lions vs. Rams prediction. 

It’s the quarterback rematch NFL fans have craved, with Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff facing their former teams. 

Detroit claimed the NFC North crown thanks to their 12-5 record, while Los Angeles clinched a Wild Card spot after finishing second to the 49ers in the NFC West. 

Here’s a look at NFL betting lines for Sunday’s game, along with my bets for the contest. 

Lions vs. Rams Betting Odds

  • Detroit Lions Moneyline: -190
  • Los Angeles Rams Moneyline: +155
  • Game Spread: Detroit Lions -3.5
  • Game Total: 51.5 Points

Lions vs. Rams Betting Predictions

Lions-Rams Total Over 51.5 Points (-110)

I snagged this market when it opened at 49.5, but am still of the belief there’s room to the over. 

What this bet comes down to is my lack of confidence in the Lions defense, along with Los Angeles’ penchant for allowing good opponents to score indoors. 

Although Detroit is 16th in pass defense DVOA, they’re facing a Rams team ninth in the corresponding offensive category, per ftnfantasy.com. 

Additionally, dating back to Matthew Stafford’s return from injury in Week 11, Los Angeles ranks fifth in EPA per play and dropback EPA per play. 

Moreover, in games where both Stafford and Kyren Williams play this season, Los Angeles is averaging 27.2 points per game. 

The added rest should help Los Angeles exploit a bad Detroit defense. Since coming out of their bye week, the Lions have allowed 25.6 points per game. 

Over that span – since Week 10 – the Lions are 21st in EPA per play and 25th in dropback EPA per play. 

If a Nick Mullens-led Vikings can pass for 359 yards, imagine what Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua can do. 

At the same time, this Detroit offense is the real deal. 

They’re scoring 30.5 points per game at home, the fifth-best mark in the league. 

Conversely, bettors have seen the Rams defense struggle against competent offenses. Both the Ravens (37 points) and Cowboys (43 points) dominated Los Angeles. 

As a result, bettors should expect a strong showing from Detroit’s offense, especially when you factor in LA’s defense ranked 18th in EPA per play in games excluding Week 18. 

Take the over Sunday in Motown as a result. 

Matthew Stafford Over 274.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Stafford cleared this number in only seven games this season. However, he receives a favorable matchup on Sunday in Detroit. 

Although the Lions are 16th in pass defense DVOA, they’ve fallen off a cliff of late. In their last three games, they’ve allowed all three quarterbacks to surpass 300 yards.

Two of those games came against Nick Mullens, a quarterback miles behind Matthew Stafford. 

Expand the sample to games dating back to Week 10, and bettors will find Detroit is 27th in defensive EPA per play, including 29th in dropback EPA per play. 

Further, in seven games against sides 15th or better in pass offense DVOA – Los Angeles ranks ninth – Detroit has allowed 287.3 passing yards per game. 

In those seven games, they’ve allowed a majority of quarterbacks to clear this number. 

As a result, take Stafford to clear this number against his former team.

Cooper Kupp Anytime Touchdown (+110) vs. Detroit Lions

This price feels trap-y, but I’m willing to take it against a bad Lions pass defense, which allows the sixth-most passing touchdowns per game (1.6). 

Recently, they’ve proved even worse than that average. Across their last three games, the Lions have surrendered six passing touchdowns with at least two in all three contests. 

Of those six, three have come to opposing WR1’s (Justin Jefferson). Now they face Kupp, who has cashed his anytime touchdown prop in five of 12 starts this season. 

However, he’s proved much more profitable recently. Since Week 13 against the Browns, the Eastern Washington product has found the endzone in four of five games. 

Plus, despite a four-game absence to start the season, Kupp still leads the Rams in red zone targets. 

Just in games with Matthew Stafford starting, Kupp averaged 1.73 red zone targets per game and has notched at least two in three of his last four. 

As a result, take Kupp to find the endzone at +100 or better.

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About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.