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Thursday Night Football preview: New Orleans Saints vs. Los Angeles Rams

Two teams with 7-7 records go head-to-head on Thursday Night Football as the New Orleans Saints travel to SoFi Stadium to face the Los Angeles Rams.

After a three-game winning streak was brought to an abrupt end by NFL Championship contenders the Baltimore Ravens, the Rams responded last time out with a 28-20 win over the Washington Commanders.

As for the Saints, they find themselves on a two-game winning streak as they battle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons to top the NFC South.

Neither the Saints nor the Rams can afford to lose this one and that makes for an intriguing contest in Inglewood on Thursday night.

WhatNew Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams
WhereSoFi Stadium
When8:15PM ET, Thursday December 21
How to watchAmazon Prime Video
OddsRams -4.0, Saints +165 ML

A final push for the Rams

With two road games at the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers to follow, the Rams will be determined to finish their regular season on home soil on a positive note.

LA have won each of their last three games at SoFi Stadium, as they overcame the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and most recently Washington.

The Rams have shown in recent weeks that they do not stack up well against the league's best teams. Too good for the likes of the Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals and the Browns, the Rams have hit a wall when it comes to facing title contenders.

Losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, 49ers and most recently the Ravens, LA are just not quite at the level of some of the frontrunners at this stage.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford has still enjoyed an impressive season, throwing 21 touchdown passes for 3,320 yards. Rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua has benefitted as a result, with four touchdowns to his name and 1,163 receiving yards.

Both players will need big games, along with running back Kyren Williams, to get a win on Thursday, something they are -200 ML favorites to achieve.

Saints must overcome road struggles

Winning just one of their last four games on the road, New Orleans have tended to struggle away from their home at Ceasars Superdome.

With back-to-back away games to come against the Rams and then the Buccaneers, the Saints need to resolve their road issues if they are to stand a chance of winning the NFC South title.

A home game against the Falcons caps off the regular season for a Saints team that has been inconsistent throughout the campaign. However, head coach Dennis Allen and his side find themselves in good place ahead of their trip to California.

Winning their last two games against the Carolina Panthers and the Giants, confidence has been on the rise in the Saints camp.

Derek Carr has been also posting impressive numbers at quarterback, with 16 touchdown passes for 3,098 yards and only seven interceptions.

Wide receiver Chris Olave has four touchdowns for 918 receiving yards, while running back Alvin Kamara has also contributed five touchdowns to the Saints’ cause.

On the other side of the ball, the New Orleans defense has looked strong in the last two weeks, allowing the Panthers and Giants to score just a combined 12 points.

Where will the points come from?

Looking at the Touchdown Scorer market, Williams is the -175 anytime scorer favorite for the Rams.

Kamara is -105 to score anytime, while Rams receivers Cooper Kupp and Nacua are each +140 to score.

The starting quarterbacks for both teams, Stafford and Carr, are enjoying similar campaigns to date. Both Stafford and Carr have been sacked 25 and 26 times respectively, and they have thrown nine to seven interceptions respectively.

Carr needs a big game to get the Saints what would be a valuable road win to keep their hopes of making the playoffs alive for another week.

Even with the same 7-7 record, Stafford’s Rams find themselves with no chance of claiming a divisional title, with the 49ers running away with the in the NFC West.

The Rams are still in the playoff conversation but will need to make sure they keep up their decent home form to overcome the Saints, who are +165 ML underdogs to cause an upset.

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