Although starters will almost certainly not step foot on the field, that doesn’t mean there isn’t value in the NFL odds. The Ravens and Rams are a perfect example of that.
The Rams are -7 favorites in this game, with a total of 38.5 points. Let’s take a brief look at what these teams did in Week 3 of the preseason, and then see what these coaches will be planning to do in this upcoming game.
The Rams come into this game winless in the exhibition games, after falling to the Broncos by one point. Sam Bradford played well while in the game, but for this matchup, Kellen Clemens will likely get the start. Clemens played only limited snaps in Week 3 at the end of the game, but he did throw a touchdown. The Rams chose to give 2nd year pro, Austin Davis the start in the 2nd half in this game, and although he will likely still see some playing time in this game, he did not look good in his trial run last week. Davis was only 5/9 with 44 yards passing during almost the entire 2nd half of action. He and Clemens are still fighting for the backup job, and both should be playing extra hard in this final game. I think the job is still up for grabs.
The champs lost to the Panthers in Week 3, and they did not look that great doing it. The Panthers got three touchdowns in the first half. One of them was on a punt return, the next was a pick six, and the third was a fumble recovery for a touchdown. If that would have been the regular season, and you had the Panthers’ defense for fantasy football purposes, you would be celebrating.
Needless to say, the Ravens won’t be playing their starters in this game, and after that performance last week, I have my worries about the defending champs this season.
Fisher: Wizard of Week 4
Throughout his career with the Titans and now the Rams, Jeff Fisher has been above average as a preseason coach. However there are certain weeks he owns, and those are Weeks 2 and 4. While the Rams failed to win in Week 2, the are coming up on Week 4 winless, and Fisher has a career record of 11-4 SU in preseason Week 4.
On the flip side, John Harbaugh is only 2-3 SU in Week 4’s during his career, and with nothing to prove in this game, I can’t see the Ravens being too competitive on the road. While the odds are pretty high, I like the Rams laying points in this game for my NFL picks.
The Sharp Pick
With the backup battle going on in St. Louis, the Rams will likely play their second string guys longer than normal, to get them looks with both Clemens and Davis under center. Combine their competition with Fisher’s great track record during the final week of the preseason, and I feel comfortable laying the points with the Rams in this game for my sports picks.football message boards!