The Rams touch down in the desert as the undefeated juggernaut that is the Arizona Cardinals lay in wait. The NFL odds makers have posted this total at 42 but is that a number we can exploit?
Cards Score…But Can the Rams?
Carson Palmer has been en fuego thus far torching secondaries every time he gets the opportunity. Arizona is averaging 42 points per game which makes Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers offense look downright pedestrian by comparison. Palmer appears to be on top of his game throwing nine TD passes against only two picks good for a passer rating of 117.8. Larry Fitzgerald, relegated to second-class status over the past few seasons, has been the recipient of five of those nine touchdowns and leads the league. In a word, this offense has been immense. The question is can they maintain this level of offensive domination and will the St. Louis Rams be just another victim or will they in fact be the first obstacle the Cardinals have encountered?
The problem we have if we are inclined to bet over the NFL odds total of 42 is the subpar offense of the Rams. Ranked 28th in the NFL in points scored and averaging a mere 16.7 points per game, we must look at the Arizona defense and determine if St. Louis is due for an uptick in their offense. Lo and behold the Arizona defense is nearly as good as its prolific offense holding opponents to only 16.3 points per game which is just about what the Rams are averaging. The question we have to ask ourselves is can Nick Foles and his offense generate north of 16 points against the Cards? I say head coach Jeff Fisher will find a way to utilize his weapons early because he has to know that if he keeps this game on the ground and it goes nowhere (Arizona is ranked 11th in defending the run allowing 88.7 yards per game) then he will take to the skies where the Cards rank 10th in defending the pass.
There is no way to hide the fact that the Rams have been woeful on offense. They rank 29th in rushing and passing. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not the Arizona defense is so good that they won’t even permit a pair of touchdowns and a few field goals thrown in for good measure. Nick Foles has been given the reins to this offense and even if it drives more like a Chevy Celebrity than a Ferrari Testarossa he has to find a way to put into the next gear by making Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin earn their pay.
Despite the Rams lethargic offense and the Cardinals stellar defense I am going to hang my hat on the fact that the Rams, better than they've shown thus far, will put 17-20 points on the board. If that happens then this 'over' is a lock because we know what Arizona can do in the desert and those numbers are no mirage.
Here are some stats to bolster my contention that 'over' in this game should be included in your NFL picks.
Over is 4-0 in Arizona's last four games.
Over is 5-0 in Cardinals last five games following an ATS win.
Over is 18-7-1 in Cardinals last 26 games as a home favorite of 3.5-10.0 points.
Over is 8-2 in Rams last 10 games in October.
Over is 6-2 in Rams last 8 games as an underdog of 3.5-10.0 points.
Even if the Rams offense gets caught in the mud let's not forget about a highly opportunistic Arizona defense that can turn miscues into TD's.
NFL Pick: Play 'OVER' 42 (-109) at Pinnacle