Monday Night Football Betting Preview: Two NFC Contenders Square Off

It's somewhat of a weird dichotomy -- the Thursday Night Football games have been kind of blah, but we have gotten some treats on Monday Night Football, and tonight will be no exception. Fresh off of a big divisional win, the Los Angeles Rams will travel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a key NFC showdown.

While this game already looks interesting on paper, our power rankings agree as well -- it's two of our top-three teams in the league.

Let's dive into what our model thinks could be some intriguing betting angles for this contest.

Don't Expect Last Year's Shootout

Last year, this was one of the wildest contests of the season as these teams combined for 95 total points in a 55-40 win for the Buccaneers. But this Rams defense is currently playing at another level. After taming Russell Wilson a week ago to only 16 points, the Rams clock in as one of the best defensive units in the league.

Allowing only 296.4 yards per game, this one could be a real slugfest. Keep in mind that the Rams have hit the under in each of their last six contests.

From a pace perspective, it tends to lend itself towards an average scoring game, as well, as both teams rank in the middle of the pack. The Bucs are at a slightly faster pace (27.6 seconds per play), whereas the Rams are nearing 30 seconds per play (29.6).

Interestingly, the betting public is looking for Tom Brady and crew to continue their offensive assault -- 64% of bets and 60% of money is coming in on the over, per oddsFire.

Bets to Consider

Our algorithm also believes in the power of Brady and the Bucs. We think they win the game a whopping 66.7% of the time, even though we believe the 4.5-point spread is a 50-50 toss up.

Like the spread, the over/under may be a bit challenging, per the analytics, hitting only 50.28% of the time despite the aforementioned points.

Better betting value can be found with player props, specifically with Jared Goff. Our model has Goff throwing for 244.4 passing yards, but his passing yards prop at FanDuel Sportsbook is way up at 271.5, with even -110 odds on both sides.

Historical Betting Trends

-- While both teams have been strong record-wise, they haven't been so friendly to against-the-spread (ATS) bettors. The Rams are only 5-4 ATS this year, while the Bucs are 5-5.

-- If you believe in historical records, this one sides with the Rams. They are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games against the Bucs.

-- While Tom Brady changes the narrative, this has not gone well for Tampa recently. They are 5-10 in their last 15 NFC games ATS.