Rams-Chiefs NFL Picks Week 8

Jason Lake

Monday, October 20, 2014 7:53 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 7:53 PM UTC

The St. Louis Rams just pulled the rug out from under the defending Super Bowl champions. They’ll take their magic act to Arrowhead for a date with the Kansas City Chiefs, who are laying 6.5 points on the NFL odds board.

Jason’s record after Week 6: 21-22 ATS, 5-10-1 Totals

Profit: minus-13.99 units

Whoops. For some reason (probably because we’re homers), everyone here at the ranch drank the non-branded sports drink the press served up after the Percy Harvin trade, thinking the Seattle Seahawks had improved their dressing room situation after trading Harvin to the New York Jets. Nope. The Seahawks never did recover from the shock, losing 28-26 to the St. Louis Rams as 6.5-point road faves. Egg, meet face.

Having said that, the Rams did need a whole lot of special-teams shenanigans to beat the Seahawks. And now their betting value for Sunday’s matchup (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX) against the Kansas City Chiefs has been compromised. St. Louis opened as a 6-point road dog; our consensus reports at press time show the Chiefs still getting 70 percent support at –7 (–130), down from 98 percent when the NFL odds first hit the board.

Fake It ‘til You Make It
We’ve been on the Rams before, with mixed results. They were the “beneficiaries” of our featured Week 5 NFL betting trend, coming off the bye week and losing 34-28 to the Philadelphia Eagles – we had the Rams at +6.5, before they closed at +3.5. Shop smart. We weren’t as fortunate in Week 6 when St. Louis lost 31-17 to the San Francisco 49ers (–3.5 away) after taking an early 14-0 lead.

It’s been one of those seasons, for both the sharps and the Rams. Betting on the NFL comes with built-in variance in the form of turnovers and special teams play, and the prolate spheroid was with St. Louis supporters last Sunday. Stedman Bailey returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown, after the Rams pretended the punt was headed toward the other sideline. Benny Cunningham had a 75-yard kick return to set up another touchdown. And on the final drive, St. Louis successfully faked a punt on fourth down to maintain possession – then nearly coughed up the ball anyway. Cheeky.

Ultimately, the Rams are still at the bottom of the NFC West at 2-4 SU and ATS, and it’s especially disappointing considering how well third-string QB Austin Davis (94.3 passer rating) has performed this year. Not much else has gone right in St. Louis. The running game is No. 21 in the league at 4.1 yards per carry, and the Rams defense rates a minus-6.7 SRS after seven weeks, better than only the Atlanta Falcons (minus-7.4) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (minus-12.0).

Chiefs > Royals
And then you have the Chiefs at 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS. No qualifiers necessary for their post-bye week performance: Kansas City went to The Q on Sunday and upset the San Diego Chargers 23-20 as a 3-point puppy. Remember how it looked like the Chiefs were going to get burned by the regression monsters this year, after going 11-5 SU and 9-7 ATS in Andy Reid’s first season as head coach? Their 26-10 season-opening loss to the Tennessee Titans (+3 away) only served to fan the flames.

It’s been golden brown ever since. Kansas City is back at .500 despite facing one of the toughest schedules in the league – perhaps the toughest, depending on how the Week 7 DVOA numbers shake out. The Chiefs are third overall in the NFL with a plus-9.7 SRS, ahead of the 5-2 Chargers (plus-9.2 SRS), who have played one of the weakest schedules with consecutive wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars (+13 away), New York Jets (+7 away) and Oakland Raiders (+7.5 at home). You can see why the sharps were eager to make Kansas City one of their early NFL picks this week. We’re on board for that.

The Five Stars
Injuries/Suspensions/Travel/Rest: KC
Defense/Special Teams: KC
Coaching: KC
Market Bias: STL
Betting Line Value: KC

Verdict: 3-star pick on KC

Free NFL Pick: Bet 5.5 units on the Chiefs –6.5 (–108) at Heritage

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