On the other hand it's important to note that, despite a 6-7 overall record, the Bucs are 7-6 ATS and have only lost back-to-back games one time this season. That loss is easy to overlook as it was to the surprisingly ever-strengthening Carolina Panthers. Plus, while Gurley may be reaching the headlines, Tampa Bay's Doug Martin is currently the 2nd leading rusher in the NFL with 1,214 yards. They may be inclined to give him a heavy work load in this game against a Rams Defense that is allowing 115.9 yards rushing per game this season to opposing offenses. One more factor that should influence Tampa Bay to utilize the rushing game more frequently on Thursday is that St Louis has a decent passing defense, including a pass rush that averages 3.7 sacks per game on their home turf.
After assessing the injuries on both sides of the ball, past lines, opponents played, location factor and motivational factors, this line seems to be absolutely correct at Tampa Bay +2.5 / St Louis -2.5 according to 5Dimes' Oddsmakers. However, the low total of 41.5 at some sportsbooks actually seems a bit high for this event. Both teams are playing on short weeks. Both teams are fighting through lengthy injury lists, as is to be expected around this time of the season. And, both teams will also most likely rely heavily on the running game. As I mentioned before, there are a few key reasons for the Buccaneers to run more than they pass but if you weren't already aware of this, St Louis ranks dead last at passing the football - averaging a mere 173 YPG through the air.
History between these two teams indicates a low scoring affair as well. Last year, the Rams and the Bucs played in Tampa Bay on September 14th and stayed under the posted total of 37.5 in a 19-17 St Louis win. In fact, these two teams have played each other eight times since 2001 and have only once have they combined to produce more than tonight's posted total. They've also stayed under the total in their last 5 games against each other. Considering the fact that it's late in the season, and they are both playing on short weeks, there's no doubt in my mind that they'll also stay under the total on Thursday Night.
The under is 8-3 in Tampa Bay's last 8 games on the road, and 4-1 in their last 5 overall. They've also hit the under in 10 of their last 13 games against losing teams, and in 12 of their last 15 games after a loss. Meanwhile, the under is 5-1 in St Louis' last 6 contest vs losing teams, and a perfect 6-0 after a victory. They've hit the under in their last 4 games overall.
I don't usually follow the trends, but this game indicates another low-scoring affair. I'm betting on the under (41.5 at Bovada Sportsbook).