Laying 7 points for your Week 10 NFL pick on Arizona when the St. Louis Rams visit them on Sunday seems like a good idea, as the Cardinals are finally starting to turn some heads in the NFL.
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona is the site of this game between the NFC West’s St. Louis Rams (3-5 SU, 3-5 ATS) and the host Arizona Cardinals (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) in a division which suddenly looks pretty weird heading into Week 10 with the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks (5-3 SU) in second place and the San Francisco 49ers sitting at 4-4 and in third after their dramatic last-second loss Sunday on Colin Kaepernick’s fumble on the Rams goal line. So, of course these Arizona Cardinals enjoy a 2-game lead now atop the mighty NFC West and have the best record in the entire NFL. It makes perfect sense like snow in Tennessee or South Carolina on November 1st or 11-year-olds driving cars does.
Oddsmakers at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook made the Cardinals 7-point Favorites in their Early Line released last week and that’s the line there right now (Monday afternoon) as well as every other sportsbook in Sin City, offshore and in Europe. The Total Points is set at 43 (Pinnacle) with Arizona -350 in the Money Line (Winner) market (Bwin) with visiting Underdog St. Louis priced at +275. The Rams Total Team Points is at a skinny 17 (Paddy Power) while no NFL odds were posted yet on the Cardinals Total Team Points although it will have to be lined somewhere around 24 to 26 with the game point spread at -7 and the Total at 43.
St. Louis Rams
They’ve already beaten the Super Bowl champs and now the 49ers, so apparently the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals are next up on tap for the Rams to topple? Not so fast brother. This team is still in last place in its division, will be playing far away from Home and has its share of injury problems. DT Ethan Westbrooks (hand), DE William Hayes (ankle) and CB Janoris Jenkins (knee) are all listed Day-To-Day for St. Louis while the Rams have some serious starters injured in QB Sam Bradford (knee) and OL Jake Long (knee)—both on the I-R—and WR Brian Quick (shoulder), who is out for the season and is/was the team’s leading receiver. So, bring on the mighty Cardinals, right?
Rams QB Austin Davis (163 completions, 1,785 yards, 11 TDs) has filled in admirably in Bradford’s stead, but Davis has few weapons to work with and St. Louis’s (2-4 SU L6, 2-4 ATS L6) two leading Rushers, Zac Stacy (257 yards, TD) and Tre Mason (222 yards, TD) and now-leading receiver with Quick out, WR Jared Quick (29 receptions, 343 yards, 0 TDs), all have minimal yardage totals for a season 9 weeks old and all each have fewer TDs (1, 1 and 0) than did Julian Edelman (2) in 3:30 of game time in the second quarter on Sunday in his Patriots humbling of the AFC champion Broncos in Foxboro. You get the point.
Arizona is 7-1 SU over its L8, has the best record in the NFL and now has the big ole spotlight pointed on them so impending doom can definitely be expected in the Grand Canyon State. The Cardinals added the Cowboys to a fairly impressive list of teams they have beat so far this season—Chargers, 49ers, Eagles—on Sunday and a loss at Denver is the only thing between Arizona and a perfect record right now.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (116 completions, 1,385 yards, 11 TDs) is having a stellar season with RB Andre Ellington (559 yards, 2 TDs) and WRs John Brown (34 receptions, 335 yards, 4 TDs), Larry Fitzgerald (35 receptions, 513 yards, 2 TDs) and Michael Floyd (23 reception, 289 yards, 2 TDs) helping him out but a team with the NFL’s best overall record in this high-scoring day-and-age should have better than the 25th best Passing offense and the 22nd best Rushing offense. And only God herself could explain how the team that’s given up the most yards per game Passing (286.8 ypg) has the best record in the NFL at this point in the season. I’m blaming the Cards 4-0 record against the maybe-not-so-strong NFC East for all this hype and although both Arizona and San Diego registered strong on my radar a month back, it seems the NFL is wide open and that even the NFC-AFC balance has been restored with the Broncos improvement on defense and the Patriots, Colts and Steelers improvements lately good signs for the AFC.
For the Cardinals, DE Darnell Dockett (knee) out for season and Arizona does have some issues at the LB spot where Glenn Carson (ankle) is listed as Day-to-Day, Matt Shaughnessy (knee) is Out Indefinitely, John Abraham (concussion) is on the I-R list while Daryl Washington (suspended) is out for the season, but, for the most part, this team is fairly healthy and that’s served them well this season.
Best Betting Approaches
The trends and relevant information all point toward taking the host Cardinals here. Arizona is 11-4 SU L15 against the Rams, while the Cardinals are 11-4 SU L15 vs. St. Louis and an impressive 9-4 ATS L13 in the series. St. Louis is just 2-5 ATS L7 on the Road and with the injury problems, the lack of depth and anemic numbers at the offensive skill positions and the fact that Arizona spanked the Rams, 30-10 as 4-point Favorites in this game last season, the best NFL pick here is with the host Cardinals (8-1 L9 SU Home) but make sure to grab it (the point spread) while/if it’s still at -7 as the Rams only hope will be to try to slow this game down to a snail’s pace and attempt to make it a defensive battle as it did to great success last week against San Francisco.
As far as the Total and trends applicable, the Under is 9-3 the L12 in this series and 5-1 L6 here in Arizona. The Under is also 4-2 L6 Home games for Arizona and the Under is 6-1 L7 Away games for St. Louis. So, the trends also point strongly toward the Under here and with the Rams so limited offensively and their Team Total at 17, a 23-10 Cardinals win seems about right for this situation although if anyone in the big, bad NFL is going to burst Arizona’s bubble, it will definitely be these Rams, whom the Cardinals will see again on Dec. 11 in St. Louis in Week 15 on Thursday Night Football (NFL Network).
FreeNFL Pick: Cardinals -7 The Greek