A pair of teams looking to end lengthy absences from NFC Championship Game action will square off on Saturday, January 12th as the Los Angeles Rams host the Dallas Cowboys as 6.5-point favorites.
The Rams make their first trip to the NFC Division Playoffs since 2004 after finishing the regular season with a 13-3 record, good for first place in the NFC West and the No. 2 seed in the conference.
The fourth-seeded Cowboys travel to Southern California after eking out a 24-22 victory over Seattle as 2.5-point home chalk in Wild Card Weekend action.
Kickoff is set for 8:15pm on Saturday night at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The Cowboys needed some fourth-quarter heroics to escape with a 24-22 win over Seattle last Saturday night.
The Cowboys penetrated the Seahawks 40 just once over the first three quarters of the contest before scoring twice in the final frame to earn their eighth outright win in nine games.
However, Dallas also played the strong defense that has been central to this season’s second-half resurgence, limiting Seattle to just 299 total yards while restricting the Seahawks’ league-leading ground game to just 73 yards.
How the Dallas Cowboys defense shut down the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense https://t.co/KCTB7CFRFE
— Star-Telegram (@startelegram) January 6, 2019
The Cowboys will need more of the same this weekend, as they seek to claim their first playoff road victory since 1993, and secure their first berth in the NFC Championship Game since 1996.
Dallas has fallen to defeat in seven straight playoff road games since the 1993 NFC Championship
Dallas has fallen to defeat in seven straight playoff road games since knocking off the San Francisco 49ers 30-20 in the 1993 NFC Championship.
That run includes three road losses in NFC Divisional Playoff action, with their most recent defeat coming in Green Bay four years ago.
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) January 7, 2019
Dallas has also been a shaky road performer this season, going 3-5 SU. But those three victories have come over the team’s past four road dates, all while pegged as a betting underdog.
The Cowboys have also surrendered more than 20 points in just three of its past 11 overall road contests, fueling a 10-2 run for the UNDER in totals betting.
Cowboys vs Rams Statistical Comparison
|21.2 (22nd)||PPG||32.9 (2nd)|
|343.8 (22nd)||YPG||421.1 (2nd)|
|122.7 (10th)||Rushing YPG||139.4 (3rd)|
|221 (23rd)||Passing YPG||282 (5th)|
|20.3 (T6th)||PPG Allowed||24.0 (20th)|
|329.3 (7th)||YPG Allowed||358.6 (19th)|
|94.6 (5th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||122.3 (23rd)|
|235 (13th)||Passing YPG Allowed||236 (14th)|
|+3 (12th)||Turnover Differential||+11 (4th)|
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams emerged as one of the NFL’s leading teams on home turf this season, going 7-1 SU while racking up an average of 37.1 points per game.
But despite their impressive offensive performances, the Rams regularly disappointed at the sportsbooks, paying out just once in their past six to finish the season with a middling 3-3-2 ATS record.
— Neil Greenberg (@ngreenberg) January 7, 2019
A porous defense has proven to be Los Angeles’ Achilles heel. The Rams have surrendered a worrisome 33.67 points per game over their past six home dates, and gave up the most points this season among the remaining eight playoff teams, ranking 20th in the NFL with 24.0 points per game allowed.
Despite their impressive offensive performances, the Rams have regularly disappointed at the sportsbooks
However, opportunity knocks against the Cowboys, whose offensive line allowed a whopping 56 sacks during the regular season, and now must face the Rams’ defensive duo of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, who combined for 25 sacks this season.
— Ramblin' Fan (@RamblinFan) January 6, 2019
The Rams have also enjoyed virtually no playoff success since their last trip to the Super Bowl in 2002. The team has fallen to defeat in three of four playoff games since, including two defeats on Divisional Playoff Weekend, and failed to rise to the occasion last season in their first home playoff game since 2004, falling 26-13 to Atlanta as 6-point home chalk on Wild Card Weekend
Saturday’s matchup marks the first playoff meeting between these two teams since 1986, when the Rams blanked the visiting Cowboys 20-0 in the Divisional Playoffs, marking their only victory in three home playoff dates with Dallas.
The Rams and Cowboys have met 8 times in the playoffs, but the last time was in 1986. Needless to say, it's been a while since they've squared off in a game of this magnitude https://t.co/TpEATBlTp5
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) January 7, 2019
More recently, the Rams earned a 35-30 win in Dallas as 5-point underdogs in October 2017, ending a three-game head-to-head losing streak, but have failed to produce consecutive wins over the Cowboys in 12 overall meetings since December 1986.