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Rams vs. Lions 2024 NFL Wild Card Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

It’s a Matthew Stafford homecoming in the final NFL Wild Card Game on Sunday as Stafford and the Rams visit the Detroit Lions in primetime, Stafford’s first game back in Motown since being traded to LA. The Lions are short favorites in their first home playoff game in decades.

This is the first time in NFL postseason history that the starting quarterbacks are both facing their former teams. Lions QB Jared Goff was drafted first overall by the Rams in 2016 and Rams QB Matthew Stafford was drafted first overall by the Lions in 2009.

This will be the first ever Wild Card game held at Ford Field and the first time the Lions have hosted a playoff game since January 8, 1994. This will be just the second all-time meeting between the teams in the playoffs. The first took place on December 21, 1952, and Detroit won. The two teams last faced each other in the regular season on October 23, 2021 at SoFi Stadium ending in a Rams victory, 28-19.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Detroit Lions 2024 NFL Wild Card Game Information

  • When: Sunday, January 14th, 2024. 8:00pm EST.
  • Where: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
  • TV: NBC
  • Radio: 93.1 Jack FM (Rams) // WXYT-FM 97.1 (Lions)
  • Live Stream: NFL+
  • NFL Odds: Rams (+3) // Lions (-3)

Why Bet on the Los Angeles Rams?

The Rams were locked into a Wild Card spot entering Week 18 so they rested most starters and yet still won 21-20 at NFC West champion and conference No. 1 seed San Francisco on Sunday, although the Niners rested most of their starters too. That victory allowed the Rams to earn the No. 6 seed and this matchup instead of being the No. 7 and going to Dallas. No offense to the Lions, but this is an easier game for Los Angeles in Stafford’s return to Detroit. Almost seems unfair that Lions fans haven’t seen a home playoff game in 30 years and now they have to root against the once-beloved Stafford.

One Rams starter who did play a bit Sunday was stellar rookie Puka Nacua, and the fifth-round pick and Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate made NFL history. Nacua had four receptions for 41 and broke Jaylen Waddle’s NFL rookie record of 104 catches. He also finished with 1,486 receiving yards and surpassed Bill Groman (1,473 receiving yards in 1960) for the most receiving yards by a rookie all-time. As soon as Nacua broke both marks, he was pulled from the game.

Los Angeles has played its best football of the season since its Week 10 bye, averaging 29.9 points per game in its past seven games and has had that success against some of the league’s top defenses (Cleveland, Baltimore and San Francisco). The Rams have a well-balanced offense, led by Stafford, second-year running back Kyren Williams and wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Nacua.

The Rams are making a playoff appearance for the fifth time in seven years. Since 2017, when Coach Sean McVay took over, the Rams hold a 7-3 playoff record including a Super Bowl championship. This will be only the second time since 2017 that the Rams will travel for a Wild Card showdown.

Why Bet on the Detroit Lions?

Detroit is the NFC North champion for the first time since the early 1990s and tied a franchise record with their 12th win Sunday, 30-20 over Minnesota in largely a meaningless game for the Lions. Detroit got TDs from rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, running back David Montgomery and receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown.

The Lions – with Gibbs (11 scrimmage touchdowns), LaPorta (10), Montgomery (13) and St. Brown (10) – are the second team in NFL history with four players with at least 10 scrimmage touchdowns in a season, joining the 2013 Denver Broncos. Gibbs (11 scrimmage touchdowns) and LaPorta (10 scrimmage touchdowns) are the first pair of rookie teammates each with at least 10 scrimmage touchdowns in NFL history.

LaPorta had 86 receptions this season and surpassed Keith Jackson (81 receptions in 1988) for the most receptions by a rookie tight end in NFL history. LaPorta also became the third rookie tight end in NFL history to record at least 10 touchdown receptions. Finally, he was the second rookie in NFL history – any position — with at least 85 receptions and 10 touchdown receptions, joining Odell Beckham in 2014.

However, LaPorta injured his knee in the victory and is in major doubt for Sunday, which would be a huge blow for Detroit. Coach Dan Campbell said he has an “outside” shot of playing. The Lions have two other tight ends on their 53-man roster, Brock Wright and James Mitchell, though Wright has missed the past three games with a hip injury; the two have combined for 15 catches for 119 yards this season.

With two veteran quarterbacks leading each of these teams, both have found success in the pass game and are ranked in the top 10 in passing yards per game. The Rams offense is ranked eighth in third down conversion percentage (42.0%) and the Lions defense is ranked 12th in opponent third down conversion percentage (37.1%).

Rams vs. Lions Betting Trends

  • Los Angeles is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 games.
  • The Rams are 7-1 SU in its last 8 games.
  • The totals went over in 6 of LA Rams’ last 7 games.
  • Detroit is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • The Lions are 14-5 SU in its last 19 games.
  • The totals went over in 7 of Detroit’s last 9 games.

Rams vs. Lions Expert Betting Predictions

Lions 27, Rams 24.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.

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