NFL 2018 Season - Week 14
 

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Reboot
by Dennis Ranahan

There are a number of bright football people that would tab the Los Angeles Rams as the best team in the National Football League. But, bettors may not be in that group.

The Rams opened the season with three straight wins and three point spread covers. But, since that quick start against both their opponents and the spread, until last week the Rams had continued to beat their opponents but had a lot more trouble against the number.

Last week, Los Angeles dropped their first game of the year straight up, but have now only won a single point spread decision since the fourth week of the season.

What happened?

The Rams, who do have perhaps the best team in football man-for-man, raced so fast out of the gate with wins over the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers, all by double-digits, that two factors caught up with them. First, they were way too confident to prepare properly for their next opponent, and second, because the public backed them in huge numbers the linemakers saddled Los Angeles with bloated point spreads.

Those two factors worked against the Rams covering a point spread until they lost a game straight-up. Last Sunday, in New Orleans as a 2-point favorite, the Rams streak of eight straight wins came to an end. Which means this, the books will still make them a huge favorite, but now two factors work in their favor. First, the public is not so quick to lay their money down on a team that lost last week and has pickpocketed them for more than a month. And second, and even more importantly, the Rams are ready to dominate again with the motivational boost provided by coming off a loss.

First things first. The books did open with the Rams a double-digit favorite for their return meeting at home against the Seattle Seahawks. Los Angeles was a 10½ point favorite when the line was first posted, but the public money has jumped on the Seahawks getting the points, which has driven the number down to as low as the Rams favored by 9 points.

Five weeks ago, after the Rams opened with three wins and covers and a win and push against the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles visited Seattle and won a close one, 33-31, while favored by 7½ points. Now, they go from that bad spot versus this team to a good spot at home, and they only need to lay an extra 1½ points on the line.

It’s a bargain.

Losing a game after a long winning streak is like restarting your computer when it gets slow. Once it is rebooted, the functions are ready to run smoothly again.

That same effect will serve the Rams well on Sunday in Los Angeles.

There couldn’t be a better opponent this week for Los Angeles to get back on a winning track. The Seahawks played them tough in their first game this year which heightens the Rams focus and preparation for Sunday’s meeting in California, and off a loss, we can expect Los Angeles to runaway from their visitors.

Qoxhi Picks: Los Angeles Rams (-9) over Seattle Seahawks