The Rams are +7 points in the desert of Arizona Week 4. But our capper sees value in taking them with our NFL pick as a road dog against an unbeaten Cardinals team.
St Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals (-7)
This is a division matchup of the 1-2 SU ATS St Louis Rams, losers of two straight, as they travel to face the 3-0 SU ATS Arizona Cardinals. It is a selection that no one in his right mind would make, which is why you, I, and the Lone Ranger are the only ones who will have this point spread winner. Before you think I’ve lost my mind let’s go inside the contrary thinking to see why the NFL odds are in your favor with my NFL pick of the St Louis Rams.
The Arizona Cardinals are on a major roll. Last week, they picked off the first two passes from the right arm of San Fran QB Kaepernick for a quick 14-0 lead. It snowballed from there into a 47-7 victory on this field. That makes the Cards 3-0 SU ATS for the season, outscoring opponents 42-16. At last, they are doing it the right way. Arizona was 11-6 SU, a playoff team, last season. But they were outgained by an average of 64 YPG. This year, they are +91 YPG, but that is just a microcosm of the other dominating numbers they have posted. After years of a miserable running game-Arizona had not rushed for more than 96/3.6 per season in any of the previous 3 years-the Cards are now running the ball an average of 30 times per game (a long term 85% point spread indicator, which is now 27-4 ATS this season). Combined with a defense allowing 16/300 and a (+3) net TO margin, their 3-0 SU ATS record is warranted. That is just a microcosm of their recent success. Under third year HC Arians, they are 26-9 ATS MRT; their current run in this role is 11-2 ATS as home chalk. Adding to the prowess of their running game and defense is veteran QB Palmer, who has a record of 18-3 SU, 17-4 ATS in his last 21 NFL starts, including 8 consecutive spread covers. But what goes up in the NFL, must come down! The Cards are clearly due for a downer this week. With the confidence that they defeated St Louis each of the three previous times they faced them, it is hard to see them getting stoked for this matchup.
St Louis appeared to be an improved team, when in game 1 they held on in OT to defeat perennial Super Bowl contender Seattle (34-31). The bottom fell out the next week at Washington, a 24-10 loss. Many expected a bounce last week as they returned home in their preferred role of home dog. Such was not the case as they fell (12-6) to Pittsburgh in what turned out to be a surprising defensive struggle, with each team gaining only 250 total yards. Now they travel west in what has been a negative role for them, 5-15 ATS as divisional road dog. But they will do so with great hunger after totaling just 16 points in their previous two games. Veteran HC Fisher will not lose this team, and he is clearly in a great spot with more profit than any other coach in the NFL in this role. Teams coached by Fisher are 97-67 ATS as underdog.
The public will be all over the Cards in this one. Be patient! Wait for the line to rise. Then join me in one of the week’s best contrary spots.
NFL Pick: St Louis Rams +7 (-110) at Pinnacle