Following a brief Hawaii excursion, Sean McVay and his Los Angeles Rams will return home to continue coasting through the pre-season as they welcome the Denver Broncos. It seems as if 2019 will be remembered as the year the pre-season became obsolete in terms of starters actually playing, and much of that trend can be attributed to the presence of McVay and his Rams’ side. His first-teamers barely see any action, and that could continue into Saturday night in Week 3 of the exhibition season.
They’ll be welcoming the Broncos, who will actually be playing their fourth game of the pre-season. They played all the way back on August 1st in the Hall of Fame Game, a win vs. Atlanta. New head coach Vic Fangio has put more of an emphasis on these tune-ups than his counterpart, but with three games already in the books for Denver, it’s believed that his starters will be sitting out now until Week 1 vs. Oakland in September.
Regardless of who is playing vs. not playing, there are still money-making opportunities to be had in this game. With lots of young players vying for spots on final rosters, this has the makings of an intriguing contest, and your betting needs are covered below. Read on beyond the odds for a match preview and betting selection for Denver vs. L.A. on Saturday night.
Broncos vs. Rams Betting Odds:
Denver +1 (-110)
@ LA Rams -1 (-110)
Over 35.5 (-115)
Under 35.5 (-105)
Broncos vs. Rams Pick:
It’s quite rare you see the Los Angeles Rams favoured in a pre-season contest, but here we are. Sean McVay is quite famous for not playing the starters at all in the exhibition season, not wanting to risk anything. He knows their group possesses a ton of continuity and he feels that the reps they’ve gotten in scrimmages are just as valuable. That said, some recent reports have said that some of the Rams’ top players will suit up and might see at least a quarter of action. It’s worth monitoring that news up to kickoff on Saturday evening.
That said, it seems as if the Broncos will be joining him in not suiting up their top guys in Week 3. Typically this is the ‘dress-rehearsal’ week for the league, but not in Los Angeles on Saturday night. With the Broncos resting their first-team, it will come down to squad depth and quarterback play that will decide this narrow contest.
Last week the Broncos lost their main backup, rookie Drew Lock out of Missouri. The youngster suffered a hand injury, further hindering an already thin position for Denver. It is believed that Kevin Hogan will start for the Broncos, and he will be followed by Brett Rypien. While both are competing for the backup job, neither are all that great and neither have inspired much confidence so far in August.
The Rams have amassed just 13 total points from two pre-season games so far. While it’s believed the starters will suit up for a brief run, the McVay way is not to play them for all that long. Still though, the Rams have some solid depth and enter the healthier side than Denver. Blake Bortles has been an established starter in the NFL for many years, and he’ll be able to move the chains on backup defenses. While behind him, young running back Darrell Henderson has been a revelation in camp and should be able to break off some big runs. He’s been receiving rave reviews from the coaching staff this pre-season.
Expect the depth of the Rams to win out here. There also has to be some pride that kicks in for this organization that they can and should do better for their home crowd on Saturday evening. There has to be some obligation for them to put on a bit of a show, and as a result I’d expect them to finally put up some points and have some of the starters play key roles early. In the latter stages, I’ll take Bortles and Brandon Allen over the duo the Broncos will trot out, and that should make a key difference. As slight home favourites, the value is with the Rams on Saturday night.