Las Vegas @ LA Rams (+6.0)
Power rankings: Las Vegas 19, LA Rams 29
Spread update: This line has moved slightly away from the model. Vegas is now 6.5 point favorites.
Keys to the game: The Raiders offense has been mediocre this season, ranking 13th in both DVOA and EPA/play. Derek Carr has mostly been slightly below-average, ranking 20th in PFF grades while completing 62.3% of his passes and gaining 7.2 yards per attempt. The offensive line is equally mediocre -- they have a strong left tackle in Kolton Miller, are weak along the interior, and have an average RT in Jermaine Eluemunor. This is the type of matchup that Aaron Donald typically feasts on, but he likely won't play with an ankle injury. The Rams do not have any competent pass rushers outside of Donald. After a somewhat of a slow start, Davante Adams has reclaimed his status as a premier wide receiver in the NFL, now ranking 2nd in PFF grades. The Rams cornerback room is relatively weak behind Jalen Ramsey, but since Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow still out, it's not quite as big of a deal for the Rams. They are a team that rarely shadows, but they can key in on Adams and trust their defensive backs to cover the Raiders secondary receivers one on one. The Raiders offense, thanks to an incredible season by Josh Jacobs, has been better running the ball, ranking 5th in DVOA vs 17th throwing. Meanwhile, the Rams defense is 5th in DVOA against the run and 27th against the pass. The key to the Rams defense has been elite play by LB Bobby Wagner, which has been a big contributor to their run defense. This comes down to which Derek Carr shows up and how bad things get covering Adams, because the Rams pass defense without Aaron Donald is very, very bad.
I have no idea who is starting at QB for the Rams. Baker Mayfield was claimed off of waivers on December 6th. This game is being played on December 8th. It's apparently possible Mayfield is the starter, or the Rams will continue to roll with John Wolford. Sean McVay is deciding between one QB who has both been on the roster for 2 days and is bad enough to be released by the Panthers and a 2018 UDFA who's mere presence in the league is questionable. I'm not sure who the Rams will chose, I'm just sure that the Rams starting QB will be bad. He'll also be playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football and a group of receivers that includes Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee, Bennett Skowronek, and Tutu Atwell. The good news for the Rams is the Raiders have one of the worst defenses in football, ranking 31st in DVOA and 29th in EPA/play. The Raiders have virtually zero pass rush, but Maxx Crosby is one of the best pass rushers in football. The Rams starting RT, Rob Havenstein, is by far the best player on the line. Crosby exclusively lines up over the right tackle, which should make for a good matchup. Chandler Jones handles the other side, a big name who hasn't played well this season, but he's coming off a strong game against the Seahawks and will have a much easier task against LT Ty Nsekhe. Other than that, it's a classic matchup of suck vs suck.
Davante Adams o7.5 receptions +115 (BetMGM): Against one of the worst pass defenses in football, I'll take the dog odds here.