Well, in a season as long as the NFL’s, every game cannot be awesome, and the Week 15 Thursday night affair is yet another example of the benefits this league derives from gambling and fantasy football. While both the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have many young stars with intriguing talent, this game remains relatively meaningless in terms of the post-season, and neither team plays a particularly exciting brand of football. Thus, with the opportunity to wager on it, and with many fantasy football playoff implications riding on this Thursday night affair, allow us at The Sports Geek to provide you with the required insight needed to get the NFL week started off on the right foot. Can the Rams keep their momentum going after last week’s big win vs. the Lions? Read on below for a full game breakdown and the official selection for Rams/Buccaneers.
Buccaneers vs. Rams Betting Odds:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5 (+100)
@ St. Louis Rams -2.5 (-120)
Over 41 (-110)
Under 41 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Buccaneers vs. Rams Pick:
One of the biggest match-ups looked at in the pre-game breakdown for this contest will be St. Louis’ rushing attack, led by rookie Todd Gurley against the Bucs’ 2nd-ranked run defense in yards conceded per carry. Case Keenum under centre for the Rams likely won’t help this either, as the Bucs will look to slow down Gurley every opportunity they get. Still however, it is uncertain if Tampa Bay will have enough to truly limit the dynamic youngster from Georgia. Gurley ran all over the Lions last Sunday – also a decent team at defending against the ground attack, and with key right tackle Rob Havenstein back in the mix on the Rams’ offensive line, the offense seems to be clicking once again for the Rams. Expect yet another big outing from Todd Gurley in this contest.
On the other side of the football stands Jameis Winston and his Buccaneers. Winston has been inconsistent so far in 2015, but has shown some real flashes of brilliances. Heading into last week’s game against the Saints, many saw that as a key game to really vault into that NFC playoff race. However it wasn’t meant to be for Tampa Bay as they faltered late and went on to lose. This week won’t get any easier for the rookie quarterback and his array of receivers. St. Louis boasts a very good defense, and moving the chains consistently will prove to be quite the challenge. Mike Evans is having a down season at wideout, and without Vincent Jackson, all of the Rams’ attention in the secondary will likely be set on him. It’s believed that Trumaine Johnson of the Rams will be glued to Evans, and Johnson has quietly emerged as one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks.
St. Louis has gotten healthy at the right time, and truthfully have been playing for pride for a bit longer than the Bucs. Expect a young team like Tampa Bay to still be deflated over “what could have been” had they defeated the Saints at home in Week 14. It really was a big opportunity lost for the Bucs, and I doubt they’re going to be up for this Thursday night contest on the road to the Rams. St. Louis has the one guy who can truly break this game open, so look for Gurley to step up and be the difference in a narrow game on Thursday night.
PICK = Rams -2.5 (-120)