St. Louis Rams (7-8 SU, 7-8 ATS)
The Rams have looked pretty good down the stretch, registering a 4-2 record over their last six games, and if it were not for a three-game losing streak prior to their recent success they may be in the postseason conversation. But alas, it was too little too late and they are now playing out their final game of the 2013 regular season for bragging rights over one of the best in the league, the Seattle Seahawks.
The Rams have not defeated the Seahawks in Seattle since they won an NFC Wild Card game back in 2004. It has been eight straight exercises in futility when playing the Seahawks on their home turf and during that span the Rams have been defeated by an average of 27-11. The Rams are hoping their run defense, which has been stellar over the last six weeks, will force Seattle to abandon the run and focus strictly on the pass. This will permit their defensive line to hurry Russell Wilson and allow their secondary time to cover.
With wins over the Colts, Bears, Saints and last week against the Bucs during this recent span of success St. Louis has not only won but covered the NFL odds in all of those games. Their two losses, against the 49’ers and Cardinals, were also blown covers for their backers. Not so coincidentally both the Niners and Cards boast premium defenses much like the one they will face on Sunday.
Seattle Seahawks (12-3 SU, 10-5 ATS)
The Seahawks are going for all the regular season marbles this Sunday where a win will put them squarely in the driver’s seat throughout the playoffs. If they defeat the Rams, Seattle will have home field advantage courtesy of a 13-3 record, which will be the best in the NFC. Before they can focus on that distinct advantage they will have to replicate the results from October 28th when they copped a 14-9 victory in St. Louis but failed to cover as 13 point road chalk in NFL odds.
Of course the big news around the league is that the Seahawks’ aura of invincibility at home was shattered last week as the visiting Cardinals did what no other team had been able to do since Russell Wilson took over as the starter last year – defeat the Hawks in their own stadium. The Redbirds did just that as they stunned not only Seattle, but fans throughout the league, and upset the Seahawks 17-10 as eight-point underdogs in NFL odds.
But as they say - on any given Sunday – anything can happen and that’s exactly what occurred as Russell Wilson struggled mightily. The second-year signal caller was an uncharacteristic 11-of-27 passing garnering just 108 yards through the air and hitting for only one TD and an interception. However, that performance was against a superior Arizona defense which won’t be the case against the Rams this Sunday.
Free NFL Pick:
Seasoned sports gamblers know that blindly betting on teams that have to win is a recipe for disaster. Emotion means something, just not as much as fans would like to believe. The squares don’t realize there is another team that won’t necessarily be steamrolled by the tidal wave of passion exuding from the opposite side of the field.
That being said, the Seahawks should roll here. Jake Long will not be protecting Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens against a ferocious Seattle pass rush. Conversely, Seattle will have Pro Bowl tackle Russell Okung back as Russell’s blindside bodyguard which was not the case in their previous meeting.
It all spells blowout as Seattle is clearly the better team and will more than double their five-point margin of victory when last they played the Rams in St. Louis. We'll be backing the Seahawks in our NFL picks.
Play Seattle -11 ½ as one of your NFL picks at WilliamHill.com.