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  • Writer's picture@WizeOwlSports

2022 NFL Week 13: Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams

Betting on Wolford to keep Los Angeles within a score: Rams +8

The world champion L.A. Rams' starting QB, Matthew Stafford, has been ruled out of action versus the Seahawks Sunday. Stafford sustained a hit in week 11 that initiated the League's concussion protocol. He has since been cleared to go, but Coach McVay indicated that John Wolford would be the man starting under the center Sunday.

Interestingly, the former top pick out of Georgia has fared only slightly better than an average replacement level quarterback this season, according to FootballOutsider's smart Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR) statistic. Comparatively, Wolford's performance (in fewer reps, obviously) has proven only slightly worse than a replacement level player at his position. This is to say that the numbers suggest the defending champs are unlikely to experience a dramatic fall-off related to Stafford's inavailability.

The modesty of the value of this personnel change might be reflected in recent moves in the betting line for this contest. The spread peaked at +8 a few days ago, before tightening back toward the key 7 level, perhaps as the market began to suss out likely personnel decisions. Driving this recent movement the Rams way, we note that 72% of ATS dollars tracked by Sports Insights are down on the home team as of the time of this writing (despite the support of only 42% of spread bets). This action implies that bigger (presumably sharper) bettors reached a conclusion inline with ours.

More broadly speaking though, historical context likewise favors the Rams for the home dog cover this week, as indicated by a trigger for the following system:

After week 5, backing the worst teams versus the number against squads with winning records ATS has been good for an 18% hypothetical profit, back to the 2005-06 season...

(L.A. is a bottom of the barrel 2-7-1 ATS, while the Seahawks are 6-5 versus the number.)

Thus, given that we think the change at the QB position for the Rams is more-or-less a non-issue, and the present represents a solid spot for L.A. to collect an ever elusive cover, we are taking the points Sunday and siding with the worst team in the NFL against the spread.

Happy betting!!


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