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Los Angeles Rams @ Detroit Lions tips and picks: Expect a photo finish in Ford Field shootout

The Detroit Lions (12-5) host their first playoff games in over 30 years when they face the Los Angeles Rams (10-7) on Sunday (0100 GMT Mon).

It will be quite the occasion at Ford Field when the Detroit Lions host their first playoff game for just over 30 years.

On January 8, 1994, the now-unused Pontiac Silverdome witnessed the Lions fall 28-24 to the visiting Green Bay Packers.

They’ve played seven playoff games since, most recently in 2016, but they were all on the road and ended in defeat. Their last win came in 1991.

Another storyline here is the return of Matthew Stafford. Drafted by Detroit to take them to the next level, he failed to do so but went to the Rams where he won the Super Bowl.

The Los Angeles Rams started the season 3-6 and left themselves with work to do, but Stafford led them on a 7-1 run to finish. Their only loss was in overtime to Baltimore.

When Stafford departed for the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, the Lions got Jarred Goff in return. It’s fair to say that the trade has worked out for everyone.

Goff threw for 30 touchdowns, including five in an all-out mauling of the Denver Broncos in Week 14, and rushed in two more.

The Lions' offence is extremely dangerous and can hurt you from all angles. Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery have rushed for 1960 combined yards.

Amon-Ra St. Brown (1515), Sam LaPorta (889) and Josh Reynolds (608) give Goff a plethora of talented targets, providing they’re all fit to play a part.

Few teams have been able to stop the Lions, and the Rams are no longer an elite defensive unit, so how can they win? With good offence, of course.

Sean McVey and the Rams have been in a backs-to-the-wall situation before and they’ve prevailed, so we have no hesitation in backing them here against a Lions organisation that doesn’t win playoff games.

And for all the talk about the Lions’ offence, the Rams aren’t bad themselves. Cooper Kupp has produced four 110+ yard games this season and he’ll show up on Sunday.

Rookie Puka Nacua has set the league alight with his play and Kyren Williams has rushed for 1144 yards and 12 touchdowns.

These are two talented offences and we think they’ll play out a back-and-forth shootout which goes right down to the wire, so take the underdog.

 

Suggested bets

Los Angeles Rams +3.5

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