A festive week 16 of the NFL season kicks off with a game with major playoff implications. The New Orleans Saints travel to face the Los Angeles Rams in a virtual must-win for both teams. Each team sits at 7-7 and are looking to cement themselves firmly into one of the wildcard spots with a win on Thursday. Both teams have looked better recently and might be playing their best football in this last month of the season. Each week, CSC will preview and highlight some wagers for every Saints game.
This week happens to coincide with the weekly Thursday Night Football props as well. Thanks to our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook for the lines for the Saints at Rams week 16 best bets.
NFL Week 16 Thursday Saints at Rams best bets
Rams game line -3(-140)
The Rams opened up this game as a favorite and that line has held steady and for good reason. Take away the blowout win against the awful New England Patriots this season, and the Saints point differential on the road is -11. Three of the Saints four road losses were by seven or more points. The only good road win the Saints have so far is a win over the Indianapolis Colts so far this season. The Saints can absolutely beat the Rams this week; however, they will have to play better than they have played all season to make it happen. Last week’s win against the New York Giants was the team the Saints should be every week. Until they can prove to be that team each week, take the opposing team’s game line every week.
Matthew Stafford over 246.5 passing yards(-115)
The biggest issue for the Saints defense is going to be Matthew Stafford’s ability to stand in the pocket and deal. Stafford has had a lot of success against the Saints in his career, averaging 273 yards per game. That is even more impressive when considering the last time he played the Saints. Stafford played just over half of the game against the Saints in 2022. In that abbreviated game, he put up 159 yards and two touchdowns. If he had finished the game, he likely would have went over this prop number. With the game being in Los Angeles, the Rams and Stafford have a huge advantage against a mediocre Saints defense. Expect Stafford to go over 247 passing yards against the Saints.
Chris Olave over 62.5 receiving yards(-115)
Since week 10, the Rams defense has been one of the league’s best against the rush. Opposing running backs are being held under four yards per carry and just around 66 yards per game, the fifth best in this timeframe. This likely means that Derek Carr and the Saints offense will have to rely on throwing to move the ball effectively. This is where the return of Chris Olave will help the Saints and Carr. Olave has had 94 or more yards in three of his last four games played. The Rams secondary is mediocre to opposing wide receivers, so Olave should be open early and often. Expect his fresh legs to make a difference as Olave goes well over 63 receiving yards this week.
Long shot of the night
Puka Nacua + Cooper Kupp anytime TD scorers(+355)
One of the most troubling parts of the Rams offense for the Saints will be the quick routes of both Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp. The Saints defense is built on stopping prototypical receivers in the NFC South, which play a very different style than the Rams duo. If the Saints defensive front does not get to Stafford and make him uncomfortable, this could be a very long game for the Saints secondary. Saints play slightly worse on the road than at home and the short week is likely to exacerbate that fact. Parlay both of the quick Rams receivers into a touchdown parlay for a good long shot wager.