Rams vs Lions Predictions & Best Bets

Last Updated: Jan 11, 2024

Could you write a better storyline than this one? After years of trying to find playoff success with the Detroit Lions, Matthew Stafford will return to Detroit for the Lions’ first home playoff game since 1994 as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.

Stafford finally won his Super Bowl ring with the Rams, but the Lions are still looking for the playoff win that has eluded them for over three decades. Will the home team get the job done, or will they fall victim to our old quarterback?

Let’s dig into the matchup and make some NFL Wild Card predictions for this key matchup.

Rams vs Lions Odds

NFL odds used for this Los Angeles vs Detroit preview were found at DraftKings Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, Jan. 9, at 4:30 p.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Lions (-170) • Rams (+142)
  • Spread: Lions -3.5 (+102) • Rams +3.5 (-122)
  • Total Points: Over 51.5 (-112) • Under 51.5 (-108)
  • Implied Score: Lions 27.5, Rams 24

Rams vs Lions Predictions

Score Pick: Rams 30, Lions 27

The 2023 Los Angeles Rams looked completely buried. After their Super Bowl defense came out historically flat last year, it was looking like more of the same as the team slipped to a 3-6 start.

This time around, however, Sean McVay’s squad didn’t keep losing; they turned it around.

Core contributors like Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford were healthy, and the offense began to resemble its best, championship-winning self. The Rams finished the regular season on a 7-1 run and enter the postseason as a recent champ that knows how to win and is one of the most dangerous squads in the NFC.

They’ll be facing a franchise that has done considerably less winning in recent years; the Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1992 nor hosted one since 1994. The latter streak is already done after Detroit won the NFC North, but to end the other one, the Lions will have to beat the quarterback who struggled with them for so long, Stafford, their first overall pick from 2009.

This game should be one of the most closely-contested clashes of Wild Card Weekend; the line implies that these teams would be almost evenly matched on a neutral field. We’re going to back the Rams, who have serious coaching and experience edges, and a group of offensive skill players that can shred a deeply flawed Detroit defense.

Rams vs Lions Best Bets & Props

Rams (+142)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

For this matchup’s NFL bet of the day, we will back the Rams. We all know about their offensive potential with Stafford, Kupp, and rookie star Puka Nacua leading the way, but let’s talk about how the defense can help them get over the finish line.

It’s not an elite defense like the Ravens or Browns, but since week 10, it’s been better than league average in EPA against both the run and pass. The legendary Aaron Donald is playing some of his best football and should make things really tough for former teammate Jared Goff.

As for the Detroit defense, they rank bottom-5 in per-play EPA against the pass over that same time period. With standout rookie defensive back Brian Branch exiting the Lions’ week 18 game with an injury, the already depleted secondary could be even thinner for one of its toughest tests yet and certainly the most important.

Over 51.5 (-112)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

While the Los Angeles air game should be on full display in this one, they can definitely run the ball, too. Running back Kyren Williams had a breakout season as he finished third in the NFL with 1,144 rushing yards behind Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry.

Detroit can also seriously score as their offense ranked fifth in the NFL in DVOA, as coordinator Ben Johnson continues to garner head coach buzz. The Lions have a balanced attack, with rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs and veteran David Montgomery forming a fearsome duo.

At the same time, Goff commands an explosive passing game with targets like Amon-Ra St. Brown and rookie tight end Sam LaPorta.

Each Team Scores 1+ TD in Each Half (-120)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

As we’ve discussed, these offenses both have some serious firepower. The Lions offense ranks third in NFL in red zone efficiency, with 64.1% of their drives ending in a touchdown, while the Rams are right behind in fourth with a figure of 63.6%.

Conversely, the Lions’ red zone defense is 29th by the same metric with a ghastly mark of 66%, while the Rams are about average by that measure. Neither team should have much trouble turning good drives into touchdowns, and both can definitely do so at least once per half.

Rams vs Lions Same Game Parlay

Rams vs Lions SGP (+144)

DraftKings Sportsbook • WAGER: 1 unit

  • Rams +7.5 (-251)
  • Over 42.5 (-397)
  • Brett Maher Over 2.5 Field Goals (+105)

With player prop markets not yet fully fleshed out, being so far from kickoff, let’s build on similar concepts to what we’ve discussed above.

We’ll back the Rams once more but add some protection; their leg of this parlay can hit as long as they stay within a touchdown of the Lions, even if they lose. We’ll back some scoring but buy the number down to touch some significant common totals.

Lastly, we’ll lean into the strength of the red zone offenses again, specifically the Rams, as we’ll back their kicker, Brett Maher, to nail at least three extra points.


John Arlia

Before joining The Game Day, John served as the National Writer for the United Soccer League, where he primarily covered the USL Championship out of the league’s headquarters in Tampa, FL. A devout soccer fan, John attended the men’s World Cups in Brazil and Russia and can’t wait for the 2026 edition to come to North America. Having also written for Sporting News Canada since getting his master’s from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU, John has acquired a diverse sporting background, but considers football, golf, and soccer his three strong suits.

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