Playoff football comes to Ford Field for the first time when the Detroit Lions host the LA Rams Sunday night in the Super Wild Card Round. The big storyline in the contest is the return of former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (now the Rams starter). Detroit went 12-5 in the regular season, but hasn’t won a playoff game since 1991 - that’s an NFL record nine playoff losses in a row. It would be extra sweet for Detroit fans if they get that win over Stafford and the Rams.
NFL: Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles - Odds, Prediction & Picks
It's #SuperWildCardWeekend and the #Lions face off against a familiar face with the #Rams— Gamble Online Michigan (@GambleonlineMI) January 10, 2024
How have Stafford and Goff looked this year?
Goff has passed for more yards, a higher completion percentage, and a higher TD:INT ratio.
Goff's MY quarterback pic.twitter.com/ARwJV4DcGm
Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Analysis
It’s been a dream season for the Lions, but now they face a genuine nightmare in Stafford and the Rams. Stafford is sure to get some cheers Sunday in Ford Field. He was beloved when he was a Lion. Whatever team that can control their emotions will prevail. The Lions will look to attack the Rams with their pounding ground game led by Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery, but the Rams defensive front still features star Aaron Donald. This is a tough task for Detroit.
Injury Report: The Lions risked it by playing their first-string guys against the Vikings in Week 18 and it came back to bite them. Star rookie TE Sam LaPorta suffered a knee injury and coach Dan Campbell would only say that he has an ‘outside’ chance to play Sunday. That’s not good. The Lions also saw punt returner Kalif Raymond go down. The good news is back-up TE Brock Wright should be good to go, and speedy WR Jameson Williams is expected to play.
LA won the Super Bowl two years ago, but had a major falloff last year (finishing with the worst record ever for a defending Super Bowl champ) and not much was expected of them in 2023. But wow. Energized by a sensational draft class that includes star WR Puka Nacua, the Rams won seven of their last eight games to nab the sixth seed. Stafford is a little more gun shy than he was when he was a Lion, but he’s supported by a fantastic running game led by Kyren Williams and the Rams offense is still hard to stop.
Injury Report: The Rams had the luxury of resting who they wanted in Week 18 against the Niners (they were locked in to the 6 seed), so they’re healthier than the Lions. OL Joe Noteboom and TE Tyler Higbee are each listed as questionable, but it’s the playoffs, so expect them to play. LB Troy Reeder and DB Jordan Fuller suffered more severe injuries Sunday, and will probably be game time decisions.
Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Key Points and Trends
Detroit went 12-5 against the spread in the 2023 regular season, while the Rams went 9-6-2. These teams have only met once in the playoffs, back in 1952.
Each of the Lions last four home games have gone over the total.
Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua has had over 70 yards receiving in each of his last five games. Rams running back Kyren Williams has gone over 80 yards rushing in his last seven games.
Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Match Prediction
Where do you want to start? It’s been a magical season in Detroit, and now it’s playoff time. Ticket prices are sky high and this is the biggest game of the weekend as it features the Jared Goff vs. Matthew Stafford storyline.
At the moment, the Rams win the trade. They won a Super Bowl with Stafford two years ago, but Stafford can’t play forever and over time, the Lions may look like they made the right move. If the Lions win this game Sunday, then it swings the conversation there way.
I can’t go any further without pointing out if the refs had made the right call in the Lions-Cowboys game, then none of this is happening. The Lions are the 2 seed and hosting Green Bay.
These are two teams built the same way. They both have dynamic offenses that like to spread the ball around. The Lions have edge at offensive line and should be able to run the ball. The Rams have the edge at wide receiver against the Lions secondary and pass rush. The Rams are more experienced in big games, the Lions have the home crowd.
Detroit Lions vs. Los Angeles Best Bet
Who cares about the spread when it comes to the playoffs? Let’s talk who wins. I’m concerned that the Lions will really miss LaPorta if he can’t go, and I don’t know how they cover Nacua and Kupp all over the field. It will be a close one, maybe a FG at the end, but I think it’s the Rams who win.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.