NFL Divisional Round Picks – Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Jan/10/2019

One of the best NFC playoff matchups from the 1970s and 80s gets reignited on Saturday when the Dallas Cowboys visit the Los Angeles Rams in a Divisional Round game at the Memorial Coliseum.


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From 1973 to 1985 the teams met a total of eight times in the postseason, including a stretch where they battled five times in six seasons. They haven’t tangled since the Rams pitched a shutout in a divisional game following the 1985 season when Eric Dickerson scampered for 248 yards. Two of the best backs in today’s game will test that number with Ezekiel Elliott going against Todd Gurley.

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

Date and Time: Saturday, January 12, 2019, 8:15 p.m. ET

Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

Opening NFL Odds: Rams -6.5 O/U 50

Cowboys at Rams TV Coverage: FOX

Live Betting Odds Analysis

The Cowboys continued their roll that got them into the playoffs by defeating the Seahawks in the Wild Card Round for their eighth win in the last nine games. In order for the Boys to advance to their first conference championship game since 1995, they’ll have to win on the road, and that hasn’t been easy for them. Their only loss during the current run of success was in Week 15 at Indianapolis when they were blanked 23-0. All of the Boys’ road wins came in the second half of the regular season to give them a 3-5 road ledger SU and 4-4 ATS.

After cruising through the first 13 weeks of the season, the Rams hit a speed bump in the final month. They lost two straight games to lose the No. 1 seed in the conference and their offense was exposed by Chicago’s defense, going without a touchdown and watching Jared Goff toss four picks. The Rams were upset by Philly the following week at home, losing consecutive regular season games for the first time under Sean McVay.

With a break in the schedule to close the year, the Rams got their swagger back by thumping the Cardinals and Niners, securing the No. 2 seed and getting the first playoff weekend off. That move helped get Todd Gurley healthy after the star back missed the last two games with a knee injury. The Rams finished the season with a 7-1 record inside the Coliseum and scored over eight points per game more than they did on road, averaging over 37 points in the eight games.

Matchup to Watch

Wade Phillips and the Rams defense know what’s coming. Now they need to stop it. The Cowboys will use Ezekiel Elliott a lot in this game for a number of reasons. First, he led the NFL in rushing with 1,434 yards despite missing the finale to rest. Second, the Boys don’t want to leave Dak Prescott in vulnerable passing situations with Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and Dante Fowler breathing down his neck.

A rested Zeke torched the Seahawks last week going for 137 yards and a touchdown while averaging 5.3 yards per carry. As much as Dallas tries to diversify its offense, the acquisition of Amari Cooper is evidence of that, they remain fairly predictable. Zeke is the offense and as he goes, the Boys go. And he could be trouble for the Rams defense that ranked 23rd against the run by allowing over 122 yards per game during the regular year.

Elliott is also a threat out of the backfield, which poses another problem for the Rams. Zeke led the Boys with 77 receptions for 567 yards and he and Dak will operate against a group that allowed the second-highest quarterback rating on passes to running backs. Expect a big game Elliott on the live betting lines at BookMaker.eu.

Injury Report

All signs are positive for a Gurley return. The Rams dynamic back missed the last two games with a knee injury, but when he played he was destructive. He led the league for much of the year in yards from scrimmage, only to fall to fourth by not playing at the end. Still, Gurley amassed 1,251 rushing yards and 580 receiving yards while topping the circuit in total touchdowns with 21. His healthy return will be a boost to the offense that averaged 39.5 points and 419 yards in the final two games against a pair of sieve-like units.

Betting Dallas at Los Angeles at BookMaker.eu

We are going to see plenty of Elliott and Gurley, if he’s healthy enough to withstand the workload, putting a lot of pressure on both defenses to stop the run. However, the Rams are more diverse and balanced with their offense and I look for Goff to take shots early. Putting the Cowboys in a hole will allow Donald to wreak havoc, and he will get to Prescott winning a prop bet for sacks at BookMaker.eu. The Rams experienced playoff heartache last season losing to Atlanta, and that makes them stronger this season, giving them a cover on the NFL betting line.

NFL Divisional Round ATS Betting Pick: Rams -6.5 at BookMaker.eu

NFL Divisional Round Score Prediction: Rams 31, Cowboys 20

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