2023 NFL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Rams


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2023 NFL Betting Preview: Los Angeles Rams

The 2022 Los Angeles Rams experienced the worst Super Bowl hangover in league history. They broke the 1999 Denver Broncos record for the most losses in a season by a defending champion with 12 defeats — Denver went 6-10 in its first season after John Elway retired. Los Angeles was the first reigning champions to miss the postseason (+200 odds) since the post-Peyton Manning Broncos did it in 2016. They were also the first team to finish with a losing record since the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers went 7-9 in their title defense. Sean McVay’s teams previously won 9+ games in his first five seasons with four postseason appearances before last year’s debacle, and they experienced a seven-win decline from their Super Bowl run. The franchise’s “f*** them picks” mantra served them well on their way to the Lombardi Trophy in 2021. The Rams’ top-heavy roster approach burned them in 2022 when injuries crippled their thin depth chart at a number of key spots.

Matthew Stafford (9 games), Cooper Kupp (9), and Aaron Donald (11) combined for just 29 games played after the stars totaled 63 games with no missed action in their run to a Super Bowl title. The Rams' porous offensive line used a different combination of starters in each of their first 12 games. GM Les Snead also took a big swing on Allen Robinson to be the #2 option in the offense, and the Rams received just 33/339/3 receiving in the only season of a three-year, $30.8 million guaranteed contract. Los Angeles was so desperate for help by December that they claimed Baker Mayfield off waivers to start the final five games. The Rams spent this off-season getting their books in order for the future, and they’ll head into their first campaign without Jalen Ramsey since trading for him during the 2019 season. This could be the Rams’ last dance with the likes of McVay, Snead, Stafford, Kupp, and Donald all together.

2022 By the Numbers

  • Record (ATS): 5-12 (7-9-1)

  • Season Win Total: Under 10

  • One-Possession Record: 3-4

  • Missed Playoff Odds: +200

  • Over/Under Record: 6-11

  • PPG: 18.1 (27th)

  • PPG Allowed: 22.6 (t-21st)

  • Average Scoring Margin: -4.5 (28th)

  • Turnover Differential: -1 (t-16th)

2023 Schedule

1@ Seattle Seahawks+5.54:25
2San Francisco 49ers+34:05
3@ Cincinnati Bengals+78:15 (Mon)
4@ Indianapolis Colts-11
5Philadelphia Eagles+4.54:05
6Arizona Cardinals-44:25
7Pittsburgh Steelers+14:05
8@ Dallas Cowboys+61
9@ Green Bay Packers+1.51
11Seattle Seahawks+1.54:25
12@ Arizona Cardinals-24:05
13Cleveland Browns+14:25
14@ Baltimore Ravens+51
15Washington Commanders-14:05
16New Orleans Saints-18:15 (Thurs)
17@ New York Giants+31
18@ San Francisco 49ers+6TBD

The Good

  • The Rams have the 15th-easiest schedule based on opponent win totals (per Sharp Football).

  • Los Angeles plays just two primetime games.

  • The Rams have three straight home games in Weeks 5-7 (Phi, Ari, Pit).

  • Softest Stretch: Weeks 12-16 (@Ari, Cle, @Bal, Was, NO)

The Bad

  • Los Angeles has one extra road game.

  • The Rams will travel the fourth-most miles (26,332) and they’ll cross 34 time zones (per Bookies.com).

  • The 49ers and Rams both play a league-high four games against teams coming off byes.

  • Toughest Stretch: Weeks 1-3 (@Sea, SF, @Cin)

Key Off-season Moves

TE Hunter LongOG Steve AvilaCB Jalen Ramsey
QB Brett RypienEDGE Byron YoungS Nick Scott
CB Ahkello WitherspoonDT Kobie TurnerQB Baker Mayfield
WR Demarcus RobinsonQB Stetson BennettDT Greg Gaines
WR Tyler JohnsonEDGE Nick HamptonWR Allen Robinson
OT Warren McClendonDT A’Shawn Robinson
TE Davis AllenLB Bobby Wagner
W Puka NacuaOG David Edwards
S Taylor Rapp
CB David Long
WR Brandon Powell

Head Coach History

Sean McVay: 7th season, 60-38 overall record (.612), 4-2 win total record

YearRecordWin Total ResultPoint of Elimination
2022 (LAR)5-12 (3rd NFCW)Under 10.5Regular Season
2021 (LAR)12-5 (1st NFCW)Over 10.5Super Bowl Champions
2020 (LAR)10-6 (2nd NFCW)Over 8.5Divisional
2019 (LAR)9-7 (3rd NFCW)Under 10.5Regular Season
2018 (LAR)13-3 (1st NFCW)Over 10Super Bowl
2017 (LAR)11-5 (1st NFCW)Over 6Wild Card

2023 Season Odds

Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook

Team FuturesOdds
Season Win Total (O/U)6.5 (+110/-134)
NFC West+1000
Playoffs (Y/N)+285/-375
NFC Championship+3500
Super Bowl+6500

Season Prop Movement

Win Total: 7.5 (-120) in late March to 6.5 (+110)

Super Bowl: +3000 in mid-February to +6000

Reasons to Bet Over the Season Win Total

Los Angeles’ season got off to an ominous start when the Bills bullied them in the NFL’s season-opening game, and they had almost no gas left in the tank after its run to the Super Bowl in 2021. The Rams had the second-most adjusted games lost due to injury (per Football Outsiders), including the third-most adjusted games lost at quarterback with Matthew Stafford appearing in just nine games for many issues. The Rams used a different combination of starters along their O-line in each of their first 12 games so it’s no surprise that they had the most adjusted games lost at the offensive line positions due to injury. Per Fantasy Points Data, Los Angeles’ terrible offensive line allowed the third-highest pressure rate (37.7%).

Los Angeles’ three-headed monster of Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald combined for just 29 games after playing in every game in 2021. Kupp remained the NFL’s best receiver until he suffered his season-ending ankle injury nine games into 2022. He finished as the WR1 in fantasy points per game for the second straight year and he remarkably ranked as the WR24 in overall fantasy points despite taking his final snap on Nov. 13. The Rams could get a pissed-off Donald, who notched just 5 sacks in 11 games after accumulating 70 sacks and three Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2017-21. HC Sean McVay is also looking to avenge his performance from 2022, which he called a “professional failure.” Los Angeles’ four stars (McVay included) need to rebound for the Rams to have a chance to clear their win total, and they’re all capable of performing at the top of their respective spots.

Reasons to Bet Under the Season Win Total

The Rams are in purgatory with a roster with limited good players remaining, and it gets thinner with every passing day since their Super Bowl victory in February 2022. They started to build back their depth by drafting 14 players this spring, but 11 of their picks came on Day 3, and the only selection they made in the top 75 picks was made on an offensive guard, Steve Avila. Los Angeles is holding out hope for one more run with its core group, but Stafford, Kupp, and Donald will need to have huge bounce-back campaigns for them to do it. McVay and GM Les Snead are taking it one year at a time with their futures with the franchise, and this could be the last hurrah for the likes of Stafford and Donald, as well.

Los Angeles’ depth got so thin after winning the Super Bowl after years of trading draft picks for star players — they haven’t selected in the first round since they traded up to get Jared Goff. They went the other direction this off-season by trading away Jalen Ramsey, which leaves a bunch of nobodies on defense around Donald. Los Angeles also sat out free agency with no major acquisitions as it tries to straighten out its books after years of heavy spending on blue-chip players. Los Angeles will find out quickly if they’re back to back to being NFC contenders with a gauntlet right out of the gates against the Seahawks, 49ers, Bengals, and Eagles in the first five weeks. The Rams and 49ers both play a league-high four games against teams coming off byes with no other team playing more than two games against teams off byes. The Steelers (Week 7), Cowboys (W8), Ravens (W14), and Commanders (W15) will each have rest advantages against the Rams.

Notable Player Props

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

Cam Akers: rushing yards (750.5), rushing TDs (6.5), most rushing yards (+4500), most rushing TDs (+3500)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — rushing yards (1060), rushing TDs (7)

Cooper Kupp: receiving yards (1250.5), receiving TDs (10.5), OPOY (+3000), most receiving yards (+800), most receiving TDs (+550), most receptions (+500)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (1365), receiving TDs (10)

Tyler Higbee: receiving yards (500.5), receiving TDs (4.5)

  • Fantasy Points Projection — receiving yards (555), receiving TDs (3.5)

Best Bets and Leans

Best Bets

  • Matthew Stafford (LAR) to win MVP (+6600, BetMGM). Risk .2 units to win 13.2 units. Placed Feb. 16.

Stafford is one season removed from throwing for 41 TDs, averaging 8.1 YPA, and winning 12 games in Los Angeles’ Super Bowl-winning campaign. I don’t think the Rams will get back to the heights they experienced during their magical 2021 run, but it doesn’t hurt that he has one of the league’s best WRs at his disposal in Cooper Kupp. The Rams have quickly been written off after a five-win campaign in their title defense, and the 2023 season could be setting up to be the swan song for Los Angeles’ core group, which would give Stafford a strong narrative if they can climb back into the mix in the weaker of the two conferences.

  • Van Jefferson (LAR) under 4.5 receiving TDs (-115, DraftKings). Risk 1.15 units to win one unit. Place June 13.

I’m trying to wrap my head around Christian Watson and Jefferson having the same touchdown prop line. They’re currently separated by 100+ picks in Underdog ADP, but maybe the sportsbooks have information I’m not privy to. Jefferson got lucky in the touchdown department last season, scoring all three of his touchdowns on his only three end-zone targets. He’s at least headed toward a big role with Matthew Stafford back in the lineup, but he’ll be a distant #2 WR behind Cooper Kupp, who owned an NFL-best 29.9% target share in 2022. This prop should be set at 3.5 receiving touchdowns, and Fantasy Points has him projected for 3 TDs.


  • Los Angeles Rams over 6.5 wins (+110, FanDuel)

The Rams have a wider range of outcomes than most teams, which is keeping me away from betting on their win total. By the time December rolls around, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re in postseason contention in a weak NFC or they’re tanking to try to draft Caleb Williams — the Rams are slated to pick in the first round next year for the first time since they selected Jared Goff in 2016. I lean toward the Rams having better injury luck and the trio of Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald giving it one last college try for McVay, who admitted to losing his way last season. The Rams have zero expectations heading into 2022, which could be the best thing for a refreshed McVay and a roster that has 14 drafted rookies to go along with their star veterans.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 64.3% clip last season and he owned the last undefeated team out of 3000 entries in Scott Fish Bowl 12.