Fourteen teams reached the 2021 NFL Playoffs and two of those franchises reside in the NFC West. Those squads will meet each other during Wild Card Weekend, with the Los Angeles Rams visiting the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. Aaron Donald and the Rams knocked off the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 to reach the playoffs with a 10-6 record. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak and finished with a 12-4 overall record. Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff (thumb) is questionable for this matchup, with John Wolford in line to start if Goff can't go.
Kickoff is set for 4:40 p.m. ET. William Hill Sportsbook lists Seattle as a three-point favorite in the latest Seahawks vs. Rams odds, down 1.5 points from the opening line. The over-under for total points is set at 42.5. Before finalizing any Rams vs. Seahawks picks or NFL predictions, see what SportsLine's resident Rams expert, R.J. White, has to say.
CBS Sports' fantasy and gambling editor, White enters the postseason on a sizzling 76-52-5 run on spread picks, returning $1,805. It's no surprise, as White has cashed huge twice in the world's most prestigious football handicapping competition, the Las Vegas SuperContest.
White also has had a sharp eye for the tendencies of the Rams, posting a remarkable 33-16-1 record in his last 50 NFL picks against-the-spread involving Los Angeles. Anyone who has followed him is way up.
- Seahawks vs. Rams spread: Seahawks -3
- Seahawks vs. Rams over-under: 42.5 points
- Seahawks vs. Rams money line: Seahawks -160, Rams +140
- LAR: Rams are 9-7 against the spread
- SEA: Seahawks are 6-2 against the spread in home games
Why the Rams can cover
The Rams finished the regular season with the best statistical performance by any defense in the NFL. That includes No. 1 marks in total defense, passing defense, scoring defense and more. Key to their success is the deployment of star-level talent at all levels, and Donald is the centerpiece. The All-Pro defensive tackle remains one of the best players in the NFL, and he generated 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles this season, all of which ranked in the top six of the NFL.
Leonard Floyd finished in the top 10 with 10.5 sacks and, on the outside, Jalen Ramsey is a shutdown cornerback. Ramsey will be tasked with limiting Tyler Lockett and/or DK Metcalf in this game, and his presence will be key in taking a bite out of Seattle's prolific passing game.
Why the Seahawks can cover
Seattle has strengths on both sides of the ball, but the Seahawks also have tremendous special teams that could play a big part in a closely contested game. Jason Myers is one of only two place kickers in the NFL to remain perfect on field goal attempts this season. In the punting game, Michael Dickson is elite, ranking second in the league in punting average (49.3), fourth in net punting average (46.4) and first in the league in punts downed inside the 20-yard line (32).
The Seahawks would undoubtedly prefer to score touchdowns behind an offense led by Wilson, Metcalf and Lockett, but it helps to have insurance if that doesn't come to fruition. Defensively, Seattle also has a path to success, with a top-five rushing defense that could aim to make the Rams one-dimensional and quell their overall efficiency as a result. Bobby Wagner anchors the Seahawks from the linebacker position, including a top-10 mark in the NFL with 138 tackles.
How to make Seahawks vs. Rams picks
White has analyzed this matchup, and while he's leaning over on the total, he has discovered a critical X-factor that has him jumping all over one side of the spread. He's only sharing it here.
So who wins Rams vs. Seahawks in the NFL Playoffs 2021? And what critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Rams vs. Seahawks spread you need to jump on Saturday, all from the expert who is 33-16-1 on Rams picks, and find out.