Rams face dreaded ‘bub­ble burst’

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - LEADING OFF -

The Los An­ge­les Rams’ ini­tial loss of the sea­son at New Or­leans last week­end might be more trou­bling on the sur­face than it ap­pears. Not only did it end a seven-game road win­ning streak for L.A., it set up a tricky sched­ul­ing spot this week. That’s be­cause NFL teams that have started the sea­son with an eight-game win­ning streak tend to suffer from a dreaded “bub­ble burst” in games im­me­di­ately af­ter their first de­feat.

Ac­cord­ing to our database, since 1998, teams in this role are 6-7 SU (straight up) and 5-8 ATS (against the spread) in games im­me­di­ately af­ter their first loss of the sea­son, in­clud­ing 2-6 SU and 0-8 ATS if they scored more than 14 points in the de­feat.

Mak­ing mat­ters worse, Los An­ge­les will host 4-4 di­vi­sion ri­val Seat­tle. The Sea­hawks have given the Rams fits in the past in games in which Seat­tle does not sport a win­ning record, go­ing 13-4 SU and 15-2 ATS dat­ing to 1991. Be­ware of the “bub­ble burst.”

Stat of the week

The Cincin­nati Ben­gals are 8-1-1 SU and 10-0 ATS as home un­der­dogs against NFC op­po­nents.

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