The St. Louis Rams are coming off a stunning win over the Seattle Seahawks but must now travel to the nation's capital to meet the winless Redskins. Let's review the NFL odds and see which side is the right side in this NFC clash on Sunday.
St. Louis Rams (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS)
It's odd to recognize defense as a key to victory when the final score is 34-31 but the St. Louis Rams would not have defeated the NFC West superpower Seattle Seahawks had they not risen to the occasion. The Rams chased Seattle's Russell Wilson down for six sacks and limited Marshawn Lynch to just 73 yards. The Rams' top pick in the draft last season, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, came into his own with a pair of sacks and constant pressure throughout. Donald was subsequently named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week.
Offensively the Rams did enough to eke out the overtime victory with Nick Foles getting his first start in a Rams' uniform. The former Eagle was 18-of-27 for 297 yards with a touchdown pass and run. Tavon Austin was positively electric with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown as well as a 16-yard TD run from scrimmage. The Rams offense could get a shot in the arm with the additions of highly touted rookie running back Todd Gurley and second-year man Tre Mason. If these two young guns live up to expectations then St. Louis could have a dynamic duo in the backfield for years to come.
Washington Redskins (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS)
The Redskins played the Miami Dolphins tough last week before they melted away and suffered a 17-10 Week 1 defeat. Washington starting quarterback Kirk Cousins was intercepted twice as RGIII looked on in civvies. However the 'Skins held a substantial statistical edge over Miami yet the only stat that mattered of course was on the scoreboard. That being said the ‘Skins outgained the Dolphins 349-256 and the possession time was an eye-popping 37:54 to 22:06 in favor of Washington. The Rams won’t have a presence like Ndamukong Suh in the middle as the Dolphins did last week but even with Suh to clog the run Alfred Morris still gained 125 yards on a Miami run stop unit that many consider to be at or near the top in the league.
The Redskins offense was at its anemic best and Kirk Cousins tossed a pair of picks as the controversy at quarterback continues to linger like a bad memory for Washington. But Cousins can be good and we have seen him look sharp in the past. Unfortunately for him his primary target DeSean Jackson will be out of commission for the next three to four weeks with a strained hamstring. Washington also replaced kicker Kai Forbath with Dustin Hopkins due to Forbath's lack of leg power on kickoffs.
Betting Outlook & Trends
The Rams may have already experienced their biggest win of the season in defeating divisional rival Seattle last week and have the Steelers looming in Week 3. That means only one thing to seasoned gamblers - trap game! Yes, the travelin' Rams could very well overlook a weak sister like Washington fresh off a victory over a major power like the Seahawks.
Despite the fact that Washington lost last week their dominating statistical advantage over Miami demonstrated that they are most likely a better team than they were last season and could be on the verge of an upset of their own, so consider them for your NFL picks. And what would an SBR article be without a few stats:
- Rams are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games as a favorite of 3.5-10.0.
- Rams are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- Rams are 15-35-2 ATS in their last 52 games in September.
- Rams are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.