In a Christmas Day matchup, the Broncos (4-10) will travel to sunny Southern California to take on the Rams (4-10). While both teams are officially out of playoff contention, they will look to close out the season on a high note as they prepare for 2023.
Russell Wilson is set to return after missing Denver's Week 15 matchup with Arizona, and the nine-time Pro Bowler will aim to pick up where he left off in his three-touchdown performance against Kansas City. For the Rams, former Browns and Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield will be under center.
To get you ready for the big game, we rounded up score and spread predictions from NFL analysts.
BetMGM's model projects that the Broncos will win, with 51.7 percent confidence. The model factors in offensive and defensive matchups, recent games, key player performances from the season and injuries. Here is BetMGM's game overview with betting trends and more.
Russell Wilson is back to face a familiar foe in an unfamiliar situation. Denver's running game has looked better of late with Latavius Murray and Marlon Mack, which is not a sentence I expected to write at the beginning of the season. Los Angeles' offense can't be saved by Baker Mayfield — and this is a much tougher matchup for him, on a short week, than the Raiders or Packers were.
Projected score: Broncos 20, Rams 13
Wilson, who was held out of last weekend's game against the Cardinals, will have this third game of the season with two or more touchdown passes. But — and it's a significant but — only if Wilson shows more patience against the Rams' heavy dose of zone coverages with cornerbacks in off-coverage. Wilson has been too quick to pass on plenty of available completions in the short and intermediate areas in favor of high-risk throws to bracketed receivers. If he avoids that, the Broncos will move the ball. – Jeff Legwold
Moody's projected score: Broncos 17, Rams 13
Walder's projected score: Broncos 16, Rams 10
Both teams have offensive issues. The Broncos have the better defense and Russell Wilson will be back. The Rams are also playing on a short week. But something says the Rams find a way to win it.
Projected score: Rams 21, Broncos 14
Both of these teams are trying to run out the clock on their seasons.
Pick: Broncos -2.5
The Rams' defense is fighting and playing hard despite the QB mess. So is the Broncos offense. Russell Wilson should be returning for this game in a throwback AFC West matchup. Sean McVay likes to grind with his offense in low-scoring affairs and Baker Mayfield should play better for him back at home.
Projected score: Rams 20, Broncos 17
Three months ago, this game seemed like a marquee matchup, but the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams head into this contest out of playoff contention with 4-10 records.
Projected score: Rams 20, Broncos 16
I've been impressed with how hard the Rams have played defensively. They're not great, but they're competitive and don't make life easy for opponents.
Pick: Rams +2.5