The Los Angeles Rams open their 2018 season by visiting the Oakland Raiders on Monday, September 10, 2018 in a primetime game at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum.

The Rams finished the preseason with a 2-2 record but they enter week 1 coming off a disastrous 0-28 shutout loss to the Saints in New Orleans. On the other hand, the Raiders would end their preseason campaign with a 3-1 record after picking up a 30-19 road win over the Seattle Seahawks in their final preseason game.

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Coming Off A Promising Season

The Rams are considered among the early favorites to win Super Bowl 53. In fact, they are ranked next to the New England Patriots in the early oddsboard. The Pats are the oddsmakers choice to win the 2019 Super Bowl at +650. However, the Rams supplanted the defending champions Philadelphia Eagles at the #2 spot. As of August 30th, Los Angeles is a +850 while Philadelphia came back at +950.

Los Angeles finished the regular season with an 11-5 record and they went to the playoffs for the first time since 2004. However, their run ended at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons who eliminated them in the Wild Card round. Despite the setback, the Rams enter this season with plenty of confidence knowing that they are coming off a promising season.

Jeff Goff is still the starter at quarterback and he is coming off a season where he threw more than 3,800 yards with 28 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Running back Todd Gurley also had a tremendous season after scoring 19 total touchdowns. Gurley ran for 1,305 yards for 13 scores and also caught a team high 64 passes for 788 yards plus 6 more touchdowns. Adding wide receiver Brandin Cooks from New England to the team which led the NFL in points last season at 29.9 all the more make this team a very potent offensive machine.

Los Angeles Rams vs Oakland Raiders 9/10/18

  • Odds: Rams -205, Raiders +175
  • Odds from as of 9/6/18

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Offseason Controversies

The Oakland Raiders are in the opposite boat as the Rams. The Raiders regressed last season, winning just six games which is half of the number of games they won in 2016. With that disappointing season, Oakland now has finished with a losing record in five out of the last six seasons.

The Raiders were involved in several offseason controversies. First, they signed Jon Gruden to a 10-year deal worth $100M as coach of the team. Then the Raiders raised a lot of eyebrows when they traded their top defensive man Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. On offense, the Raiders let go of wide receiver Michael Crabtree during the offseason. These changes have made Gruden’s job more difficult and will make this season an ever bigger challenge for the Raiders.

Derek Carr will be the starter at quarterback again. Carr finished the 2017 season with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a total of just under 3,500 yards. Marshawn Lynch is also returning at running back after a season where he ran for 891 yards and scored 7 touchdowns. Jared Cook who had team high 688 receiving yards will return too for Oakland.

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Who Wins?

The Rams enter this game having won eight out of their last 12 regular season games. Los Angeles has also lost just once in its last eight games on the road but are just 2-4 on the road against the Oakland Raiders. As far as overall head to head games between these teams are concerned, the Rams have won two of the last three meetings between these teams.

Los Angeles’ starters could be rusty in this contest considering they were well rested during the preseason. But Oakland should have bigger issues after Gruden traded the team’s best defensive player. In reality, that could spell locker room trouble for the Raiders. The Rams are among the top favorites to win the next Super Bowl and their journey begins here.

L.A. has plenty of weapons to throw at an Oakland defense which finished 23rd in total yards allowed per game (350.1 yards) and 20th in points allowed per game (23.3 points) last season. The Raiders also second to the last in the league in completion percentage allowed to opposing quarterbacks at 68.1% so we expect Jared Goff to fare well against the defense.

Betting Prediction

It’s always risky to place your bet on the road team in Week 1 of the regular season where teams are coming off equal footing. But the Rams should have more than enough offensive weapons to pull off this victory.

We’re picking the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Oakland Raiders on 9/10/18.

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