Examining trends for each team can help you make better-informed gambling and fantasy decisions. It’s never wise to bet a game based on a single trend and it’s also never wise to back off a wager based on a single trend, either. With that said, trends can point you in the right direction by corroborating stats and information you’ve gathered or they can make you reconsider making a bad wager based on flimsy data. I’ve gone game-by-game and compiled the most relevant trends for each team heading into this week’s contests. I’ve included any bets or leans I have for each game at the end of each writeup. Good luck with your wagers!
Monday Night Football
Los Angeles Rams (6-3, 5-4 ATS) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3, 5-5), 8:15 p.m.
Implied Team Totals: Rams 22, Bucs 26.5
Spread/Total Movements: 3.5 to 4.5, 48.5 to 47 to 48.5
Weather: 66 degrees, clear, 5 mph
Rams Injuries to Watch: LT Andrew Whitworth (MCL, IR), S Taylor Rapp (knee, IR), K Kai Forbath (ankle, IR)
Buccaneers Injuries to Watch: OG Ali Marpet (concussion, doubtful), OLB Jason Pierre-Paul (knee), TE Tanner Hudson (NIR, out)
The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog.
Los Angeles has played under the total in six straight games.
Jared Goff has thrown for 657 yards in his last two games but he has just one touchdown pass on 98 attempts for a putrid 1.0% TD rate. Goff sat at a 5.4% TD rate through his first seven games. He’s now failed to reach 17+ FP in four straight games after posting 23+ FP three times in Weeks 2-5. The Buccaneers have allowed 18+ FP and multiple TDs in four straight games, but Goff will be playing without LT Andrew Whitworth (MCL) for the first full game this week.
Cooper Kupp played by far a season-low 53% of the snaps coming out of their bye as he finished with 5/50 receiving. It was the seventh time he had 5+ catches in a game this season but he’s still sitting at just two touchdowns after scoring 10 times last year. Kupp did miss some practice time last week with wrist and oblique injuries, but he didn’t leave the field for another WR.
Gerald Everett saw a season-high 61% of the snaps while Tyler Higbee played more than 80% of the snaps for the first time since Week 5. We’ll see if Sean McVay is reverting back to more 12 personnel going forward as he did at the end of last season, especially now that LT Andrew Whitworth (MCL) is likely done for the rest of the regular season. It didn’t amount too much for fantasy last week with Higbee turning in 3/60 receiving and Everett posting 2/27 on three targets.
Robert Woods disappointed in a great matchup last week against the Seahawks with just 5/33 receiving on six targets. He’s now finished with 33 or fewer receiving yards in three of his last four games with Josh Reynolds taking on a much bigger role in that span. D.J. Moore posted 4/96/1 receiving on seven targets in this matchup last week.
Reynolds is averaging 8.0 targets per game and he’s seen a 20.7% target share over his last four games with double-digit FP in three of those games. He’s also run as many routes (158) as Woods and just four fewer than Kupp (162) in that span. The Bucs held Robby Anderson to 4/21 receiving on six targets last week.
The Rams emerged from their Week 9 bye with this backfield entrenched in an ugly three-man rotation. Cam Akers led the backfield with 10 carries for 38 yards on 26% of the snaps against the Seahawks in Week 10. However, it was Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson who produced for fantasy thanks to three rushing touchdowns inside the 10-yard line. Henderson posted 8/33/1 scrimmage on 33% of the snaps while Brown had 8/51/2 scrimmage on 41% of the snaps. The Buccaneers are allowing just 3.0 YPC but they have allowed seven rushing TDs. Brown might have the best set up as the preferred passing back since the Rams enter as four-point road underdogs and since the Bucs are allowing the most catches per game to RBs (6.6).
The Buccaneers will allow about 16,000 fans this week.
The Buccaneers have played over the total in three of the final four games.
Tampa Bay has yet to cover a spread in three tries in primetime this season.
Tom Brady completed 28/39 passes for 341 yards (8.7 YPA) and three touchdowns last week while adding a fourth touchdown on a QB sneak. Brady now has multiple TDs in four of his last five games. He has four performances of 15 or fewer FP and three performances of 30+ FP. The Rams just limited Russell Wilson to 248/0 passing with two INTs last week.
The Buccaneers offense showed an offensive ceiling that we hadn’t yet seen this year with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski each scoring 13+ FP against the Panthers.
Evans is starting to pick up steam even with a full cast of receivers the last two weeks. He saw a season-high 11 targets last week, which he turned into 6/77/1 receiving against the Panthers. He now has eight TDs in 10 games while the Rams have allowed a season-low four TDs to WRs this season. D.K. Metcalf posted just 2/28 receiving in this matchup last week.
Godwin has 5+ catches in five of his six games with 13+ FP in four of his contests this season. Tyler Lockett posted 5/66 receiving in this matchup last week.
Brady missed Brown for a long touchdown last week, but AB still finished with 7/69 receiving on eight targets. The Rams are allowing the fewest FPG to WRs (27.2).
Gronk has touchdowns and 40+ receiving yards in four of his last five games, and he’s leading all TEs with 10 end-zone targets. Tight ends have been targeted the third-most (8.4) when facing the Rams this season.
Ronald Jones looked headed for the deep recesses of Bruce Arians’ doghouse in Week 10 after his second lost first-quarter fumble in his last three games. Arians gave his third-year back more chances, which paid off when he raced 98 yards for a game-changing touchdown in their victory over the Panthers. Jones had been trending in the wrong direction with just 64 scrimmage yards in Weeks 8-9, but Arians has mostly remained committed to Jones as his lead runner. RoJo out-snapped (47 to 29) and out-touched (24-10) Fournette last week. The Bucs could have a positive game script again this week as they’re favored by four points.
Leonard Fournette continues to operate primarily as the team’s passing/hurry-up back, and he had a three-game streak with 10+ FP snapped against the Panthers with the Bucs playing with such a big lead. The Rams are giving up 5.8/44.2 receiving on a healthy 7.8 targets per game to RBs this season, but the Bucs do enter as four-point favorites so the game script could potentially work against him.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4 (Staff Pick Lean)
Rob Gronkowski (TB) over 31.5 receiving yards (Best Bet)