The winless Rams will play host to the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs as the exhibition season comes to an end. But after reviewing the NFL odds which team looks poised to cash in our NFL picks?
Kansas City Chiefs (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
Quarterback Alex Smith has found a mentor in head coach Andy Reid and a home in Kansas City. Since being dealt by the 49'ers in 2012 Smith has looked more comfortable in a Chiefs uniform than he ever did as a Niner. Alex Smith is not built to stretch the field and fire laser beams down the sidelines yet is more than adept at moving the chains when he hits short route targets week in and week out. Speaking of which, Smith was at his precise best when he dealt his "death by a thousand cuts" approach in torturing the Tennessee defense to the tune of 16-of-18 passing for 171 yards and two touchdown strikes. When the game was called with 3:50 remaining due to lightning and heavy rains the Chiefs had dismantled the Titans 34-10. According to reports Smith will see very little, if any, action against the Rams.
The Chiefs now boast Jeremy Maclin as an outside threat after wooing him away from Philadelphia. Last week the former Eagle demonstrated the flashes of brilliance that saw him selected to the Pro Bowl in February as evidenced by his seven catches for 65 yards as well as a 29-yard TD reception. In addition to the talented veteran opposition defenses like the Rams should keep an eye on another deep threat and that would be third-round draft pick Chris Conley who is steadily improving and working his way into Andy Reid's West Coast offensive schemes.
St. Louis Rams (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Newly minted Rams quarterback Nick Foles finally struck gold in the preseason with a 44-yard touchdown pass to a streaking Chris Givens. It is precisely that kind of passing touch that allowed the Rams to deal the oft-injured Sam Bradford for a QB in Foles who has had success in his own right but has also been bit by the injury bug. The former Philadelphia Eagle ended the game with 10-of-11 passing for 128 yards and the aforementioned touchdown. Ultimately his performance was not enough to break their preseason losing streak as they succumbed to the visiting Colts 24-14.
The Rams have had a case of musical chairs on the offensive line which has disrupted the flow and chemistry of the entire offense. Injuries have plagued the Rams big boys in the trenches and it is incumbent upon head coach Jeff Fisher and his offensive line coach to get the O-line working together as a cohesive unit before the regular season commences. Regardless how good Nick Foles plays under center if the offensive line is unable to adequately protect him then it will be another injury riddled campaign for the four year veteran.
Don't look for much of a home field advantage for the Rams in this game or during the season for that matter. Rams' owner Stan Kroenke has gone public with his desire to move the team to Inglewood, California and his intentions are being felt at the box office as only a quarter of the Edward Jones Dome was filled for last week's exhibition game against the Colts. I bring this up because the team has been devoid this season of passion much like the fan base that has been disenfranchised by the owner.
As of this writing the NFL odds on this one have the Rams as 2-2 ½ point favorites over the Chiefs. At first blush that may seem a bit odd as the Chiefs have been perfect this preseason while the Rams have been far from it. However, the Chiefs will be resting most of their starters while Jeff Fisher will most likely want his starters to spend a bit more time on the field getting their timing down and most importantly notching a victory if for no other reason than a morale booster to a team and a franchise that desperately needs it.
NFL Picks: Rams -2 at JustBet