The Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Broncos face off for both squads’ final exhibition game ahead of the 2023 NFL regular season.
Saturday’s matchup could give Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett opportunities to iron out some of the wrinkles from his preseason Week 2 performance. This weekend’s showdown could also serve as a final dress rehearsal for Sean Payton’s starters — if he allows them to see any substantive action — before he officially takes the field for his first regular season as Denver’s head coach.
Though both teams come into this game with two consecutive preseason losses, oddsmakers have the Broncos as a favorite.
Let’s take a look at Rams vs. Broncos odds, props, and predictions.
NFL Preseason Week 3 Odds: Rams vs. Broncos Spread, Moneyline, Total
Spread: Broncos -5.5, Rams +5.5
Moneyline: Broncos (-110) , Rams (+190)
Total: 36.5 (-110) points scored by both teams combined
In Week 2 of preseason, the Rams hosted the Las Vegas Raiders at SoFi in Inglewood. Los Angeles entered that game as 3.5-point favorites over Las Vegas. And LA did keep it competitive until the end of the second quarter . Then, Las Vegas broke the 10-10 tie and got up 17-10. The underdog Raiders eventually snagged the 34-17 victory.
The Broncos shared a similar fate in their preseason Week 2 game. They entered the matchup as 4-point favorites, but ended up falling to the 49ers 21-20. However, bettors who wagered on Over 38.5 were able to cash in.
Rams vs. Broncos Betting News
The home-team Broncos are getting the love here as the favored team in NFL preseason Week 3. But this weekend’s exhibition is not the only market where bettors like Denver.
According to BetMGM’s John Ewing, the Broncos are one of the top teams with the most-bet tickets to make the playoffs. And bettors also love the Broncos to go Over their season win total in 2023. In that market, folks are hammering Russell Wilson & Co. to eclipse 8.5 wins.
Perhaps the Broncos get the “meaningless” preseason Week 3 win and ultimately set the pace for a successful 2023 run.
The Rams, on the other hand, come into this contest as 5.5-point underdogs. At BetMGM, their odds to make the playoffs are currently +300. For comparison’s sake, NFC West foes San Francisco and Seattle sit at -450 and -120 to make the postseason, respectively.
Rams vs. Broncos Betting Trends
Some angles to consider as you’re handicapping this preseason contest:
- Sean Payton is 27-30 against the spread (ATS) in preseason games. In Week 3 preseason matchups, he’s 10-3 ATS.
- Sean McVay is 9-10-1 ATS in preseason games. His Week 3 preseason record ATS is 3-2.
- Both the Broncos and Rams are 0-2 ATS this preseason.
- All-time, the Broncos are 5-10 straight up (SU) against the Rams.
Rams vs. Broncos Analysis & Prediction
NFL preseason Week 3 can be tricky because the jury’s still out on which players will actually see the field. Over in the AFC South, for example, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson said earlier this week that his starters will actually play this weekend. Can bettors bank on McVay and Payton employing similar strategies?
That’s where examining coaches’ preseason records comes into play — ideally.
Ideally is the operative word here because neither coach boasts a glowing record ATS (see above) or straight up in the preseason. In this category, McVay is 7-13, and Payton — with several more years of experience under his belt than his opponent — is 29-33 SU. Essentially, wagering on both in exhibition games has been a bust for bettors’ investments.
So let’s analyze what we’ve seen so far.
Let’s start with the Rams. Fourth-round draft pick rookie Stetson Bennett has effectively been QB1 during the preseason. In LA’s loss last week to Las Vegas, the Bulldog-turned-Ram finished with 15-of-24 for 142 yards. Bennett did not connect with any receivers for a passing TD, but he did use his legs to run it in. Since real QB1 Matthew Stafford battled injuries for much of the 2022 season, having a healthy Bennett could be key to sustaining the Rams’ relevance in the event the rookie takes over for Stafford for a chunk of time.
If you’re looking for another bright spot for the Rams, you might find it in Jack Hummel. The second year linebacker out of Iowa intercepted Raiders backup QB Brian Hoyer and ran it back for a 21-yard touchdown.
Now, let’s briefly dive into the Broncos.
We saw last week in Denver’s loss to the 49ers that Payton paired backup QB Jarrett Stidham with the starters. That could or could not mean that Payton is eyeing Stidham to have a bigger role to play once the real season kicks off.
But for purposes of betting this game, that’s neither here nor there. What is important to note is that Stidham threw for 130 yards last week, assumed third-string QB Ben DiNucci passed for one TD, and they were also able to put points on the board on the strength of Brett Maher’s field goals and extra points.
With all this in mind, it’s safe to say that throwing money at the spread or even the moneyline is definitely tricky. So in this spot, take the Over.
In LA’s two preseason games, they’ve combined for 51 points. The Broncos total combined points last week was 41. The Over for this game is currently set at 36.5.
Whether it’s a field-goal fest, Bennett running it in, or LBs running it back, these two squads should eclipse 36.5 points on Saturday.
Rams vs. Broncos Props
Here is a sampling of props bettors may also consider.
Winning Margin (FanDuel)
- LA Rams by 1-13 points: +250
- LA Rams by 14+: +900
- Denver Broncos by 1-13 points: +140
- Denver Broncos 14+: +200
How to Watch Rams vs. Broncos
Date: Saturday, August 26
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Empower Field at Mile High, Denver
Network: NFL Network