The Los Angeles Rams went through a disappointing 2019 season, to say the least. And we see some notable changes as they begin their quest to go back to the Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs last season, which cost Jason Garrett his job. Now Mike McCarthy comes in to try and add some spark to the franchise. These teams will meet on Sunday night in the first game being played at the brand-new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. Game time is 8:20 PM ET on NBC, and BetAnySports customers can get reduced juice, in addition to the ability to make real-time wagers through the facilities of Sports Betting Prime.
McCarthy, of course, spent many years with the Packers and worked with Aaron Rogers. He may have another franchise quarterback in Dak Prescott, who had 30 touchdown passes and was just 98 yards shy of 5000 last season. The Cowboys had two receivers top the 1000-yard mark in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, and owner/general manager Jerry Jones was ecstatic when he was able to take CeeDee Lamb in the first round. In the backfield, Ezekiel Elliott (1357 yards last season) is more than just a distraction, so we could see some fireworks out of this offensive unit. That’s just the way the owner likes it.
The Rams let running back Todd Gurley leave via free agency, and truth be told, did not look anything like his former dominant self last season. That’s important to note, because in Sean McVay‘s offense, play-action absolutely has to work. What they’re hoping for use that rookie cam acres, with a drafted in the second round that authority State, can be a presence threatening enough to give Jared Goff an opportunity to find his receivers.
In the Sunday night football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Dallas is the favorite on the road:
Dallas Cowboys -1.5
Los Angeles Rams +1.5
Over 51.5 points -110
Under 51.5 points -110
Goff had a lot of yardage last season (4638), but he also threw 16 interceptions. Like the Cowboys, the Rams had a pair of thousand-yard receivers in Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and they are complemented by very capable people like Josh Reynolds and rookie Van Jefferson, another second-round draft choice. Another thing that McVay is hoping for is that the offensive line can return to the level it was at two years ago, before injuries took their toll. Rob Havenstein is back on the right side, and the team was thankful that left tackle Andrew Whitworth, a 15-year veteran, came back for another season.
Some observers were unhappy that defensive coordinator Wade Phillips (the former Dallas head coach) was let go, and it remains to be seen what kind of effect that will have. But you can’t be all bad if you’ve got someone like Aaron Donald to anchor the defensive line. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey is good enough to take one of the Dallas receivers out of the game. But what is going to happen with the other two? And let’s keep in mind that in last year’s 44-21 victory at AT&T Stadium, Dallas ran all over the L. A. stop unit for 263 yards on the ground.
One key here is Dallas’ additions on the defensive line. Dontari Poe is a capable inside guide, and former Viking Everson Griffen will help the pass rush. The wildcard here is Aldon Smith, who has been out of the NFL since 2015 because of his off-the-field issues, but has been reinstated. Many people in camp have been raving about him, and he was All-Pro caliber when at his best.
McVay believes that he can rotate three running backs and perhaps have the same effect Gurley had when the Rams’ offense was really humming. We are skeptical about that, and although we appreciate some of the excitement generated by the new ballpark, that is obviously mitigated by the lack of a crowd. We will look for Dallas to make enough plays on offense and provide one more stop. So we are laying the points.
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