NFL Philadelphia at L.A. Rams Preview and Expert Free Pick
NFL Philadelphia at L.A. Rams
We’re now through four weeks of the NFL season, and separation has begun. One of the better Sunday pairings is in the NFC, where the 4-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2-2 Los Angeles Rams collide at what used to be Hollywood Park (check those past performances).
Philadelphia is invading as one of two (San Francisco 49ers) undefeated teams in the league. Philly bent but did not break against the Washington Commanders last week. Despite surrendering a game-tying touchdown on regulation’s last play, it was the Eagles with a 34-31 win.
Keeping with the theme of overtime, it was the Rams needing another “quarter” to win at the Indianapolis Colts, 29-23. LA Heimliched a 23-0 lead mid-third quarter lead.
Visitors are four-point favorites (total at 50½), according to NFL odds.
Moneyline is Philly at -220, LA +180.
Philadelphia is leading the all-time series, 22-20-1 (including postseason).
Iggles’ Iffy Defense
Philadelphia was solid on both sides of the ball last season, but suspect defensively thus far in 2023 (323.8 yards per game, 16th in NFL). The opposition is throwing on the Eagles to the tune of 260.8 yards/game (27th in league), so no mystery as to what LA tries to accomplish.
Quarterback Jalen Hurts (959 passing yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions) comes off his best game of the season last week. Perhaps that’s a sign, and his 134 rushing yards (three touchdowns) continue to make him a threat outside of the pocket.
Philadelphia is fifth in both yards (393) and points (29.5) per game this season. It’s not as if the Eagles aren’t successful, but with more than a few fits and starts on offense to this point in the season. A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith have a combined 51 receptions (698 yards, four touchdowns), while D’Andre Swift’s 364 rush yards (6.2 yards/carry) lead the backfield.
LA’s Been One-Dimensional
The Los Angeles Rams are actually ranked just above Philadelphia (fourth and fifth) in terms of yards (392.8) per game, and only Miami has been more proficient through the air than LA (334.3 and 288.8).
Quarterback Matthew Stafford (1,229 passing yards, three touchdowns, five interceptions) has been playing it somewhat fast and loose, partly because LA doesn’t have much of a running game. Stafford’s been hampered by an injured hip.
Puka Nacua (39 receptions, 501 yards) caught the game-winner at Indy, while wideout partner Tutu Atwell enters with 22 receptions. There’s a chance that Cooper Kupp (hamstring) makes his first appearance of 2023 in this game.
Kupp or no Kupp, expect the Eagles to force LA to run.
Defensively fifth in the league (295.8 yards/game), and that unit gets tested Sunday.
It’s the Eagles
Philadelphia is the 3-1 (+300) second choice to win the NFC, while the Rams are 50-1 (+5000), as per NFL conference odds.
Philly hasn’t played to its standards through the first month of the season, but still managed to win four games in a row. Now, a cross-country sojourn against a team that’s no gimme.
Los Angeles has an offense which can match its guests in this game, and a defense that’s generally played well this season. However, last week’s second-half fold at mediocre Indianapolis may not bode well this afternoon.
LA will keep pace through three quarters against Philly, then lose steam.
Our two selections in this shootout are the Philadelphia Eagles -4, as well as the over.
Andy has been writing and posting about offshore sportsbooks for over 15 years. He's also an active sportsbook bonus seeker and seasoned online gambler on US sports.
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