A clash of former Los Angeles-based clubs features on the NFL betting menu when St. Louis Rams collide with the Oakland Raiders at the Oc. O Coliseum. Here’s our analysis complete with NFL picks.
Raiders To Improve Behind Nick Foles?
St. Louis Rams let go of the oft-injured Sam Bradford in favor of Eagles’ cast-off Nick Foles in the offseason, a move that raised a few eyebrows but necessary given the Rams have only amassed 20 wins over three straight seasons. They need to be bold if they are to make a significant step forward in a very competitive NFC West. As the saying goes, fortune favors the brave.
The Rams are coming off a 6-10 SU season, which included a 3-5 SU mark both at home and on the road. Against the division, they went a paltry 2-4 SU and against the conference they went a modest 4-8 SU.
Preseason has Rams squaring off against the AFC entirely, beginning with a road game at Oakland, followed with a road game at Tennessee before heading back to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for a week 3 NFL preseason betting clash against the Indianapolis Colts and wrapping up against Kansas City at home in week 4 NFL preseason betting.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Rams strike a convincing pose. Last season, they finished 17th in total defense with 5626 net total yards. Against the pass, the finished 19th with 241.3 yards per game and against the rush they finished 14th with 110.3 yards. Overall, they conceded an average of 22.1 points per game; twice they blanked oppositions (52-0 over Oakland and 24-0 over Washington).
The offensive side of the ball is where improvement is needed. Hence, the acquisition of Nick Foles. Promising young weapons Todd Gurley, Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Kenny Britt, combined with Tre Mason could see the Rams O-line develop some character in the 2015-2016 NFL betting season.
Raiders Brimming With Optimism
Raiders nation is brimming with optimism for the coming NFL season. They have a solid core of young, developing players; a promising talent in Derrek Carr at quarterback, who many are touting as the real deal; some solid veterans coming on board, such as Michael Crabtree; and an attractive rookie in Amari Cooper, amongst others.
On paper, there’s lots to be excited about. But let’s not get carried away prematurely. Fact is the Raiders have been underwhelming this side of the decade. In the last five years, they’ve averaged 5.4 wins per season, a sliding scale that has gone and nosedived from back-to-back 8-8 SU seasons from 2010-2012 to back-to-back 4-12 SU season (2012-2014) and hitting a low of 3-13 last term.
It’s an uphill battle for the Raiders in 2015-2016 NFL season, make no mistake. It also doesn’t help matters that they are slated to begin their warmup campaign against the side the pulverised them 52-0 at Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on Sunday, November 30, only a week after they upset the Kansas City Chiefs (week 12 NFL betting) to gain their first win of the season.
While they might not be returning to the scene of their heaviest defeat, exorcising those demons at the O. co Coliseum isn’t going to be easy, not to mention it’s hardly an ideal start. Ramifications of another similar humiliation will make any argument that it’s but a preseason game a flimsy stance.
NFL Betting Odds and Verdict:
As it is, the current line trading on the NFL odds board is a pick’em, which makes it a bit of a tossup between these two outfits. The total is meanwhile set at 36 with the OVER and UNDER trading at -110. It’s worth noting, early NFL betting lines had the Raiders the slight 1-point home chalk before being bet down to a pick’em.
Obviously, this is going to be a mishmash of regulars and backups playing so it’s not a straightforward NFL pick. From what we can tell, early betting trends show the public is quite heavy on the Raiders. For our money, we’re fading the public and going with the Rams. They have the confidence behind one of their best performances last season to draw from even though they have a new quarterback at the helm. And their defense can be a freight train if it wants to be. Perhaps, it won’t be as lopsided as their last meeting in week 13 NFL betting, but it still should be a Rams win on the road, so add them to your NFL picks.
NFL Picks: Rams to win, OVER 36 at -110 at Bet365