The Los Angeles Rams open their 2017 NFL Season by hosting the Indianapolis Colts at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum in Week 1 action. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 EST and will be televised on CBS.
Looking to get some action on this game? Right now our Week 1 NFL odds show that the Rams are currently a 3.5 point home favorite with the total set at 41.5. That’s currently the third lowest number on the board after the Jaguars/Texans (39.5) and Jets/Bills (40) respectively.
Colts vs Rams Vegas NFL Preview & Betting Lines
New Rams head coach Sean McVay certainly has his work cut out for him heading into the 2017 season. At just 30 years old, he becomes the youngest coach in the modern NFL era and is responsible for turning around a team that finished 4-12 in 2016. The Rams had problems all over the field under former coach Jeff Fisher, which ultimately led to a massive seven game losing streak to end his coaching tenure. The Rams offense was especially bad : they averaged 262.7 total yards/game and 14 points/game, both of which were dead last in the NFL last season. Jared Goff struggled mightily under Fisher and should play better under a new system. RB Todd Gurley followed up a fantastic rookie season in 2015 with an absolutely abysmal sophomore campaign in which he averaged under 3.5 yards/carry and scored only 6 touchdowns all year. Ultra-talented newcomer Sammy Watkins should help bolster this Rams offense immediately here in Week 1, as his presence alone is enough to disrupt opposing defenses and create more space for the rest of Goff’s targets.
Indianapolis enters this Week 1 match-up without the services of star QB Andrew Luck, who is still recovering from surgery on his right shoulder. The Colts will hand the ball over to Scott Tolzien, who is severely inexperienced at this level as a starter. He was a very pedestrian 23-37 for 216 yards (1 TD and 2 INTs) during limited appearances for Indianapolis last season. Aging veteran Frank Gore returns as the lead runner out of the backfield, but he is clearly a shell of his former self and continues to slow down as mileage increases. Receiver Ty Hilton is always a threat, but too much of his success is tied to the quarterback position and I really don’t like his chances of being a real threat in this game with Tolzien under center. On the other side of the ball, the Colts will be missing veteran leader Vontae Davis, who is out for several weeks with a groin injury. His absence will leave a big hole on a unit that struggled immensely last season en route to finishing 30th overall in terms of yards allowed to opposing offenses/game.
Colts vs Rams Free Pro Football Predictions: Rams -3.5
This is a spot where I think there is a ton of value to be found on the Rams side, as I have no faith in the Luck-less Colts to have anything even close to resembling success on offense. I have no problem recommending the UNDER as well, as I think Goff and Co. will also struggle to put points on the board. However, this Indianapolis roster simply has too many glaring holes right now and I expect the Rams to come out on top with relative ease in this match-up.
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Todd Gurley should have a nice start to his 2017 season with a rebound performance against a Colts defense that has struggled to adequately defend against opposing RBs the past several seasons. Sammy Watkins should also have an immediate impact with his new team, as his presence will open up a lot of room for his teammates. Even without defensive star Aaron Donald, I still expect this Rams unit to apply a ton of pressure on the inexperienced Tolzien. He may have a hard time maintaining his composure on the road and I wouldn’t be surprised if heavy L.A. pressure results in several Indianapolis turnovers during this game.
Ultimately, I expect this to be a relatively low scoring match-up that will likely end up being one of the least exciting games of opening weekend. Even so, Rams fans should still go home happy as their team looks poised to finally end a seven game losing streak and start the Sean McVay era off on the right foot with a Week 1 win at home.