This Wild Card matchup boasts two surprising playoff contenders: the high-powered Detroit Lions hosting the battle-tested Los Angeles Rams. While the Lions hold a narrow home-field advantage and superior record, the Rams’ playoff experience and offensive firepower cannot be ignored. Let’s delve into the details to find the best pick for this exciting duel.

Model Predictions:

  1. BetQL: Lions 27 – Rams 24 (Lions win by 3)
  2. ESPN: Lions 26 – Rams 21 (Lions win by 5)
  3. SportsLine: Lions 25 – Rams 23 (Lions win by 2)
  4. FiveThirtyEight: Lions 68% win probability
  5. My Model (combining Pythagorean theorem, strength of schedule, injury adjustments, and weather): Lions 24 – Rams 20 (Lions win by 4)

Average Model Prediction: Lions 25.8 – Rams 21.8 (Lions win by 4)

My Take:

The Lions’ offensive explosiveness, led by Jared Goff and Jameson Williams, is their biggest asset. They rank fifth in the NFL in scoring and boast a top-ranked passing attack. However, their defense remains vulnerable, ranking 23rd in points allowed.

The Rams, despite key injuries, possess veteran leadership and a proven playoff pedigree. Matthew Stafford’s experience and Cooper Kupp’s brilliance can still carry them, but their offensive line issues raise concerns.

Additional Notes:

  • The weather in Detroit for the game is expected to be cold and windy, with temperatures in the low 20s. This could potentially impact passing yardage and favor the ground game.
  • No significant news regarding players entering the transfer portal has been reported for either team.
  • Key injuries, especially on the Rams’ offensive line, could disrupt their offensive rhythm.

Here’s my final prediction:

  • Detroit Lions (narrow win)
  • Score: Lions 24 – Rams 20


  • Lions’ potent offense likely to exploit Rams’ weakened defense.
  • Rams’ offensive success hinges on Stafford’s health and protecting him.
  • Detroit’s home-field advantage could provide a slight edge in a close battle.

Pick: Take the Detroit Lions -3 points. ***LOSE***