The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Rams are set to put the finishing touches on Week 11 in the NFL when these two NFC heavyweights step into Raymond James Stadium for "Monday Night Football." Both of these clubs are looking to keep pace in a rather contentious NFC playoff picture.
As things stand, they are each in a position to make the postseason as a wild card, but the division isn't unattainable for either of these teams by any means. A win would momentarily put Los Angeles in first place in the NFC West, thus leaping it as high as the No. 2 seed in the conference. The Bucs wouldn't be able to make any seismic leap in the standings with a win, but keeping pace with the Saints (8-2) will be important for a potential jump to the NFC South lead down the road.
Here, we'll be diving into all the different betting angles of this head-to-head, including the spread, total and a few of our favorite player props. We'll also show you how the lines moved throughout the week to keep you betting sharp in primetime. All NFL odds via William Hill Sportsbook.
How to watch
Rams (6-3) at Buccaneers (7-3)
This line originally opened up at Tampa Bay -3 and that number has only increased as the week went on. Almost instantly the spread tipped over the field goal margin, hitting Tampa Bay -3.5 on Monday afternoon. From there, it did move as high at Tampa Bay -4.5, but has since come down a half-point on game day and sits at Tampa Bay -4 as of Monday afternoon.
For Tom Brady, this will be just his second head-to-head with Sean McVay's Los Angeles Rams with the first, of course, coming in Super Bowl LIII while a member of the Patriots. New England was a two-point favorite in that contest and Brady's Pats were able to cover, winning 13-3. As for Brady's new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they have struggled in primetime, going 0-3 ATS on the national stage this season while sporting a 5-2 ATS record in all their other contests. The Rams, meanwhile, are on the polar opposite side of the spectrum, owning a 7-2 ATS record in primetime dating back to the start of last season.
This game will likely come down to pressure and how each quarterback deals with it. Among 33 qualified quarterbacks, Jared Goff ranks 31st in the NFL in yards per attempt when blitzed. Tampa Bay currently leads the NFL in blitz rate, sending at least one extra pass rusher at the quarterback 42% of the time. As for Brady, he will be without guard Ali Marpet tonight for the third straight game. That should open the door for Rams All-Pro lineman Aaron Donald, who leads the NFL in pressures, to have even more success. Brady has a 3-3 TD-INT ratio in his 82 dropbacks with Marpet off the field and owns an 83 passer-rating.
Ultimately, I see the Buccaneers edging out this game by a score, but it will be a highly contested game throughout.
Projected score: Tampa Bay 27, L.A. Rams 20
The total initially opened at 47.5 and jumped a full point by Wednesday to 48.5. That has since dipped down a half-point and largely held true with the total for Monday's showdown sitting comfortably at 48. Last season, these two teams went way over this total as the Buccaneers were able to defeat the Rams, 55-40 -- the second-most points scored (95) in a game over the last five seasons.
However, such a fireworks display isn't anticipated on Monday. The Rams have gone Under in six straight games and none of those contests exceeded 45 points. That's largely thanks to their defense ranking at the top of the league in a number a categories. Since Week 4, L.A. is allowing just 16.2 points per game, 258.3 yards per game, and 4.3 yards per play. Each of those rank first in the NFL over that stretch. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, don't have a soft defense either, despite the Under owning a 4-6 record this season. They are allowing just 22.6 points per game heading into Week 11, which ranks inside the top-10 in the NFL in fewest points allowed.
Projected total: 47
O/U 24.5 completions
O/U 38.5 pass attempts
O/U 283.5 passing yards
O/U 1.5 passing TDs (Over -180)
O/U 0.5 interceptions (Over -120)
The Los Angeles Rams defense will be quite the challenge for Tom Brady, who has been up-and-down in his first season with the Buccaneers. I do think the pressure applied by the front seven of the Rams will bait him into throwing a turnover, which is solid value at -120. Even with this tough matchup, I do like Brady to Over this completions total of 24.5, a number he has surpassed in three of his previous four games. With L.A. allowing the fewest passing touchdowns in the NFL heading into Week 11, Brady passing touchdown total is a stay away for me.
O/U 23.5 completions
O/U 36.5 pass attempts
O/U 263.5 passing yards
O/U 1.5 passing TDs (Over -150)
O/U 0.5 interceptions (Over -135)
I could see this being an extremely tight game, which will force the Rams to continue to throw the ball to keep up with Brady and the Bucs. Even with a stout defense, Goff's Over for completions at -130 is my favorite of his props. The Tampa Bay secondary is allowing a 68.2 completion percentage heading into Week 11, which is tied for sixth-highest in the NFL. Goff has also hit the Over on this passing yards total in six of his nine games played this season.
Other props to consider
Mike Evans total receiving yards: Under 51.5 (-115). While Evans has the ability to break this total with just one catch, the chemistry between the Bucs receiver and Brady has been noticeably off all season and he'll likely draw Jalen Ramsey on Monday night, which makes matters even more difficult.
Rob Gronkowski anytime touchdown (+175). Gronk has turned the clock back over the last five games. He's averaging nearly six targets per game over that stretch and has scored a touchdown in four of his previous five games. With the Rams defense worried about Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown, Gronk could slip through the cracks and find the end zone.
Cooper Kupp total receptions: Over 5.5 (-110). As evidence by his 20 (!) targets back in Week 8, Jared Goff loves throwing to Kupp. and the receiver has rewarded with by catching nearly six passes per game this season. In a game that will likely be a back-and-forth, Goff will be looking for his go-to weapon a bunch, which sets up a strong opportunity to go Over.
Josh Reynolds total receptions: Over 3.5 (-130). Reynolds has become a key piece to the Rams passing attack and has even been alongside Robert Woods in two-receiver sets over Kupp this season. Over the last three games, Goff is looking to the 25-year-old an average of nine times and he's averaging over five catches per game.