Pick Broncos ATS vs. Rams for Week 11 NFL Betting

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 7:04 PM GMT

The Broncos are intent on getting back to the Super Bowl and winning it and this matchup with the Rams in St. Louis will be a small bump on that path. The bet? Play the Favorite and lay the lumber.

Denver Broncos vs. St. Louis Rams (Broncos -9½, 51, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), Sunday 18:00 (CBS, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT)
The AFC champion Denver Broncos head to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri to play the St. Louis Rams in an interconference matchup between teams heading in opposite directions. The host Rams (3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS) are coming off of a humiliating 31-14 defeat against the Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona on Sunday in Week 10 action as the Cardinals scored twice in 84 seconds on a fumble return for a TD and an interception return for a TD while the AFC West-leading Broncos (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) rolled to a 41-17 win over the still-winless Raiders in Oakland at the O.co Coliseum as Peyton Manning threw for 340 yards and 5 TDs and made lentil soup for the 54,803 in attendance.

NFL odds have the visiting Broncos 9½-point Favorites, up 2 big points from the 7½-point Favorites the SuperBook had them at in their Advanced Line (Early Odds) released mid-week. The Total Points has been set at 51 with the Money Line (Winner) odds seeing the Broncos as -485 Favorites (Pinnacle) and the host Rams healthy +375 Underdogs. The Broncos Total Team Points is at 30 (BetVictor) while the Rams Total Team Points is at 20½ (Stan James). The Highest Scoring Half prop has both the First and Second Halves priced at -110 (Ladbroke’s) with the Draw (both halves having the same scoring) at +2000 (20/1).

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Denver Broncos
The Broncos and QB Peyton Manning (96-69-4 ATS vs. Non-Division) have been on a mission this season although Week 9’s spanking in New England had to bring Denver and Manning (2,474 yards, 27 TDs) down to Earth a bit. Few signal callers in the NFL have as many weapons as Manning (69-56-5 ATS Away) does, and the future Hall of Famer has to love having TE Julius Thomas (32 receptions, 360 yards, 10 TDs) and WRs Emmanuel Sanders (57 receptions, 785 yards, 4 TDs, 13.8 ypc), WRs Demaryius Thomas (54 receptions, 894 yards, 6 TDs, 16.6 ypc) and Wes Welker (22 receptions, TD), among others, at his disposal. One reason Denver looks stronger this season compared to last is the improvements it has made on the defensive side on the ball as head coach John Fox (25-26-2 ATS) figured out it‘s one thing to try to outscore opponents every Sunday but another thing completely to try to stop them from scoring.

On the injury front, Broncos RB Montee Ball (groin), LB Nate Irving (knee), T Paul Cornick (shoulder) and TE Virgil Green (calf) were all listed as Day-to-Day on Monday.

 

St. Louis Rams
The Rams have three big problems holding them down this season: Injuries, the reality they play in the NFC West and the simple fact that they are the Rams. No one wants to lose to the Rams. The big injury to QB Sam Bradford (knee) made what would have already been a difficult season even harder, and no matter how good Austin Davis (163 completions, 1,785 yards, 11 TDs) or anyone else id who fills in at QB, you can’t play the AFC West teams out-of-conference as well as NFC West heavies Arizona, San Francisco and Super Bowl champions Seattle twice each and expect to have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Toss in the huge injuries to OL Jake Long (knee, I-R) and WR Brian Quick (shoulder, out for season) suffered last month and this is a team simply doing what it can with what it has at the present time. And sometimes that’s good enough as St. Louis proved two weeks ago in a 13-10 upset over the 49ers and in Week 6 with an upset win over the Seahawks.

So the Rams defense has shown it can rise to the occasion but what about the offense? And here at home against the Broncos? St. Louis has been using a RB-by-committee of rookie Tre Mason, Benny Cunningham and Zac Staley, but the Rams Rushing attack ranks 22nd in the NFL and is little help. And with leading receiver Quick (25 receptions, 375 yards, 3 TDs) out, St. Louis almost has to be good on defense to stay in games right now. In Sunday’s loss against Arizona, the Rams were a pathetic 1-for-10 on third down and there will be no quick fix-its to make things better this week. Up against Denver’s new-look defense, the Rams will be hard-pressed to score over 17 points while Denver should flirt with at least 30 points.

On the injury front for St. Louis, DT Ethan Westbrooks (hand), LB Daren Bates (groin) and CB Marcus Roberson (ankle) were all listed Day-To-Day while the team trudges on without Bradford, Long and Quick.

 

Best Betting Approaches
Whem making your NFL picks keep in mind that these two teams don’t play that often and the only really somewhat significant trend in the series is that the Rams are 3-1 ATS L4 against the Broncos. The last time these two teams met back in 2010, St. Louis upset the Broncos, 36-33 as 3-point Underdogs in Denver. Here in the Gateway City though, this is a wounded and very young Rams team with little to play for with Austin Davis at QB going up against maybe the greatest QB to ever play the game (Manning) with thrice as many weapons and a better defense and actually something to play for. And on the GameDay Grass of the Edward Jones Dome and its always the perfect temperature for furniture shopping? Manning (2,572 yards, 24 TDs) and Denver should find a way to get to around 30-33 points and then coast, while host St. Louis will be hard-pressed to top the 20 mark. So, the feel here is to lay the lumber with the better team and hope the Rams don’t play over their heads as they did against Seattle and San Francisco.

And as always, betting anyone on the Broncos with the last name Thomas—Julius or Demaryius—in the Anytime TD Scorer prop marketplace has proved to be a pretty wise wager so far this season. Best to keep riding the horse in the direction he’s going.

NFL picks: Broncos -9½ at 5Dimes

NFL prop picks: Julius Thomas Anytime TD Scorer (Broncos)