Rams vs. Lions Predictions and Expert Picks for the Wild Card Round: Matthew Stafford’s Return to Detroit

In our Rams vs. Lions predictions, we break down the QB matchup between Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff each facing their former team and give our best bets.

There’s no more highly anticipated playoff matchup this weekend than the Detroit Lions hosting their first playoff game in over 30 years, which happens to be against their former franchise quarterback. Oh, and it’s also a revenge game for Jared Goff against the team that once gave up on him before winning the Super Bowl — the Los Angeles Rams.

In our Rams vs. Lions predictions, we break down the matchup and give out our favorite bets. But first, let’s review the Rams vs. Lions odds before diving into our best bets.

Rams vs. Lions Odds

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  • Spread
    Lions -3
  • Moneyline
    Rams +150, Lions -175
  • Total

Rams vs. Lions Predictions and Expert Picks

Soppe: The Matthew Stafford Bowl figures to be a fun one in a city that hasn’t had a playoff game during the lifetime of many of their featured players. The Rams elected to rest essentially everyone last week while the Lions fought for the slim chance of moving up to the No. 2 seed, a mission that failed and resulted in star rookie TE Sam LaPorta getting banged up.

Los Angeles has lost one game since its Week 10 bye, and it was a game in Baltimore that they were leading by five at the two-minute warning. Detroit has played better of late, but the Lions do own a -1.5 average point differential against winning teams this season, with the majority of those games being decided by a single possession.

This game figures to be tight, so I’ll take the points. The Lions boast the fourth-worst red-zone defense in the league this season, a potential issue in a game with the highest total of this round.

Pick: Rams +3 (-105 at ESPN BET)

Bearman: I’ve been on the Rams all season and successfully cashed the over on their win total (5.5). Sean McVay won’t win Coach of the Year, but he deserves consideration for getting this Rams team to bounce back after a five-win season in 2022.

The Lions are one of the best teams in football, no doubt, but do you know what they don’t have? Playoff experience. Especially in comparison to the Rams.

Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams, and Aaron Donald should be able to keep the Rams in this one and potentially lead them to an outright upset.

Pick: Rams +3 (-105 at ESPN BET)

Blewis: I’m also on the Rams here, but now that the three of us are all on the same side, I’m a bit nervous.

The Lions have been a great story this season, winning the NFC North for the first time in franchise history (their last division title was when they played in the “NFC Central”), and they will be hosting their first playoff game since 1994. But I really like the Rams getting points here, and I was surprised to see this line open as high as Lions -5 at DraftKings (I grabbed Rams +4.5 before it dropped).

MORE: NFL Playoff Bracket

When the Rams’ offense is completely healthy, they have been one of the best units in the NFL this season, and they’ll be facing a Lions defense that was 26th in EPA/play after their bye in Week 9.

I’m not necessarily picking the Rams to win, but I don’t trust the Lions’ defense to make enough stops to prevent this from being a close game.

Pick: Rams +3 (-105 at ESPN BET)

Rolfe: This is going to be an emotionally charged game, with the Detroit Lions hosting a rare playoff game and Stafford back in the building.

The Lions’ coaching staff has been getting a lot of attention for vacant head coaching roles, and with all the excitement, there is a risk of this game slipping past them.

The Lions made the Vikings’ offense look effective in two of the last three weeks, but their offense is also more than useful. This game screams high scoring, so my top pick is the over, but I may well also play the Rams ML.

Pick: Over 51.5 (-110 at ESPN BET)

Katz: David Montgomery is definitely a way better running back than I initially gave him credit for. But one thing he is not is explosive.

Montgomery is a power back. He can get you four, five, six yards, but he’s really not the type to bust out a 15+ yard rush. In the regular season, just 3.7% of his carries went for 15+ yards.

While the Los Angeles Rams are not the best against the run, they are above average, allowing 4.1 yards per carry. More importantly, they’re a pass-funnel defense. This could be the type of game where the Lions are more apt to air it out and use Jahmyr Gibbs, limiting Montgomery to short yardage and more obvious run situations. He could still have a nice game without any long runs.

Pick: David Montgomery longest rush under 13.5 rushing yards (-122 at FanDuel)

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