Previewing the First Thursday Night Game of the NFL Season

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams odds, picks, and predictions:

We’re officially back, after a long offseason jam packed with seismic shifts across the 2022 season is here. We kick off week one with a juicy matchup as the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams host the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. Below will be the odds, storylines, analysis, and prediction going into this game.

Odds provided by DraftKings:

Money line: Bills -140 (risk 140 to win 100) | Rams +120 (risk 100 to win 120)

Spread: Bills -2.5 (-110) | Rams +2.5 (-110)

Total: Over 52 (-110) | Under 52 (-110)

Los Angeles Rams:

The Rams come into the season at the top of the world. After saying “F them Picks” and going all in with the acquisition of star quarterback Matthew Stafford, they won the Super Bowl and look poised to contend again this season. Matthew Stafford has battled a shoulder injury through training camp so that could be worrying down the line. The team has suffered key losses in the offseason including OLB Von Miller, OL Andrew Whitworth, and NT Sebastian Joseph-Day; they bring in WR Allen Robinson, LB Bobby Wagner. There has also been some turnover in the coaching staff with OC Kevin O’Connell being hired as the Minnesota Vikings head coach. 

Buffalo Bills:

For the Bills they’ve had a long offseason to stew on the loss to the Chiefs in the divisional round last season. In one of the best finishes in NFL playoff history, Josh Allen scored the go-ahead touchdown to take the lead with 13 seconds left and left too much time on the clock. They bring back most of last years team with some key additions in LB Von Miller, G Rodger Saffold III, WR Jamison Crowder and first-round pick Kaiir Elam. Tre’Davious White is also set to return after suffering an ACL tear in 2021. There has also been some turnover in their coaching staff with OC Brian Daboll being hired as the New York Giants head coach.

Picks and Predictions:

Money Line

It’s rare for the defending Super Bowl champions of be home underdogs in the season opener. I think that is a testament to how talented and complete the Bills roster is than an indictment on the Rams. The Rams are just as good and just as talented as they were last season even with some of the offseason losses. The Rams under Sean McVay are 5-0 in week 1 and I don’t think he breaks that streak thus year. I like the Rams +120 to win outright and start their title defense on the right foot.

Pick: Rams moneyline +120

Against the spread

The Rams are also 5-0 ATS in week 1 under Sean McVay and they’re getting 2.5 at home in the season opener after winning the Super Bowl. Taking the Rams to win outright is the better value play, but taking the 2.5 points as some insurance for the moneyline play is not a bad strategy either.

Pick: Rams +2.5 -110


Both the Rams and Bills are expected to be among the most explosive offenses in the league and I think we will see that on full display Thursday night. Josh Allen and Matthew Stafford are capable of taking games over when needed and both teams have their full complement of offensive pieces.

Pick: Over 52 -110

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