The Rams are one of those teams that could breakout this season, or slide right back into regression. St. Louis has made some nice improvements this offseason, but will such a young team have a shot at competing for a playoff spot? LVH Sportsbook in Las Vegas has the Rams at 7.5 wins this season, with the ‘Over’ priced at +120, and the ‘Under’ sitting at -140. How will these NFL odds affect your picks?
Looking for more info on NFC West team season wins? Read our report!
This whole division has tough strength of schedules, and the Rams are no different. In fact, according to their opponents’ 2012 winning percentage, the Rams have the 4th worst schedule in the NFL this season, and it’s worse than any team in their division. Even if you take out the four games they have to play against the 49ers and Hawks, the AFC South and NFC South will present the Rams with multiple challenges this season. Throw in a trip to Dallas and a game against the Bears this year, and you have one of the toughest schedules of any team in the NFL.
The Rams can overcome what could be a rough ride, but in order to do that, maturity is going to have to come quick in St. Louis. Sam Bradford will have to become a Top 10 or 12 quarterback basically overnight, and the offense in general is going to have to get some production from unproven sources. After losing almost all of their rushing yards and their best receiver to free agency, the Rams’ hill to climb looks even higher than it did a season ago.
Where do the Rams rank among the rest of the NFC West this season?
St. Louis gets to open up at home against the Cardinals this season, and the odds have them as -6 favorites with a total of 40 points. While I am torn on the spread, the low total of only 40 points intrigues me a little bit. Yes, both of these defenses are very good, and their offenses will likely be inconsistent. However with a new coach in Arizona, and some fast weapons for the Rams, solid offense could trump these budding defenses early in this Week 1 game.
The total has gone over in two of their last three meetings with one another, and in their last game against one another, the Rams put up over 30 points on the Cards. I doubt seriously that happens again in this game, but both teams have some sneaky upside on offense. Don’t let the concerns of two solid defenses bother you early in the season.
The Sharp Pick
As much as I want to rubber stamp the Rams as a team set to improve in 2013, I cannot. I think the ‘Under’ is the play again for the Rams, as a brutal schedule is going to take its’ toll on a VERY young team. Half of their first ten games are against 2012 playoff teams, and four of their first seven games are on the road this season. I could easily see the Rams regressing to 6-10 SU this season, making the ‘Under’ one of my favorites to add to my NFL picks this offseason.
My Pick: ‘Under’ 7.5 -140
Week 1 Lean: Cardinals/Rams 'Over’ 40 at William Hill