After surviving Wild Card Weekend, the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will meet up in Tampa on Sunday, January 23 for the right to advance to the NFC Championship Game.
Both teams cruised to easy wins during the Wild Card round. Tampa Bay blew out the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-15, while Los Angeles crushed the Arizona Cardinals, 34-11. Both teams are built to win now, but one will see its season end after this NFL Divisional Round matchup.
Can the Rams knock off the defending Super Bowl champs on the road? Let’s dive in with our Rams vs Buccaneers predictions and best bets to find out.
Please note that all NFL Playoffs odds and lines are current as of 2 p.m. ET on Friday, January 21.
Rams vs Buccaneers Prediction NFC Divisional Playoffs
Since losing all three of their games in November, the Rams have come together and are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They’ve won six of their last seven games and are firing on all cylinders ahead of this rematch with the Bucs, whom they defeated 34-24 in Week 3.
Los Angeles also has a more complete roster now after acquiring Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller during the season. Eric Weddle came out of retirement and Cam Akers returned from his torn Achilles as well, putting the Rams in perfect position to steal a road win in Tampa Bay.
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However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Tom Brady is currently 35-11 in the postseason and has seven Super Bowl rings in his collection.
The Buccaneers have been getting great quarterback play from Brady this season, and the offense has really rallied around him no matter who is out on the field. The offense hasn’t been the problem, but the defense has been a bit weak this season, especially against the rush.
Teams haven’t really tried running against Tampa Bay all that much this season, but Los Angeles has a good enough run-block unit where they can get some big holes against the Buccaneers in the run game. Tampa Bay has also missed a lot of tackles this season and it could add up in this game.
Meanwhile, the Rams’ front seven, led by Aaron Donald, is sensational. Plus, after the win over Arizona, LA’s secondary looks much better than what we’ve seen throughout the season.
This game will be a shocker. I like the Rams to knock off the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Prediction: Rams 31, Buccaneers 24
Rams vs Buccaneers Best Bets
Best Bet: Rams +2.5 (+100) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
The Buccaneers aren’t built to win now. They just have Tom Brady at quarterback and he’s able to lead any team to the promised land.
But the Rams are serious about winning. They’ve traded away first-round picks like candy and have brought in veterans on each side of the ball to help them win a championship. Sean McVay‘s job is not on the line, but when his name is brought up, the question is always, “what has he really done?"
The Rams are in business this year. After watching the way they showed up against the Cardinals, I wouldn’t want to be against them right now.
Take Los Angeles for our NFL bet of the day.
Check out more of our Rams vs Buccaneers Predictions
Best Bet: Over 48 Total Points (-110) at Caesars
Wager: 1 Unit
After watching the Rams’ defense against the Cardinals, I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady struggles to find success early against LA. The Rams came out with tons of energy, a great pass rush, and terrific coverage against a mobile quarterback like Kyler Murray.
Brady doesn’t have the wheels, but as always, he’s going to take what the defense gives him. That will help Tampa Bay put points on the board, but there will be moments where Brady is frustrated on the sidelines and potentially throwing an iPad across the bench.
The Buccaneers, on the other hand, have not been great defensively. It’s been a lot of inconsistent play and, again, that rushing defense isn’t all that great, I know they stopped Philadelphia, but the Eagles were never a great rushing football team anyway. They just beat up bad teams on the ground when given the opportunity.
So let’s take the Over in this bout.