Take Feisty Rams +6 Points vs. Chargers for Week 12 Picks

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 7:41 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 7:41 PM UTC

San Diego has lost three straight games Straight Up and five straight ATS and with the hearty Rams in town on Sunday, is this a good time to take the points? It certainly seems so.

Odds Overview
St. Louis Rams at San Diego Chargers (Chargers -6, 44, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)
This interconference matchup sees the AFC’s San Diego Chargers (6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS) welcome the NFC’s St. Louis Rams (4-6 SU, 4-6 ATS) to Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego in a game obviously more important to the hosts with St. Louis pretty much out of the picture in the rough-and-tumble NFC West.

NFL odds have the Chargers installed as 6-point Favorites (bet365)—the Advanced Line (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) was Chargers -7—with the Total Points set at 44 (Pinnacle). The Money Line (Winner) odds here have San Diego at -250 (Bwin) with Underdog St. Louis at +200. The Chargers Total Team Points is set a 25 (Stan James) while the Rams Total Team Points is at 19. The Highest Scoring Half odds have the First Half priced at -133, the Second Half at +114 and the Draw (both halves with same scoring) at +1400 (bet365).


St. Louis Rams
The Rams announced last week they were scrapping Austin Davis—who was filling in for injured starter Sam Bradford—for Shaun Hill and Mr. Hill came through against the mighty Broncos, leading St. Louis to a big 22-7 upset win over the defending AFC champs in the Gateway City (St. Louis) on Sunday afternoon. Hill was effective, going 20-for-29 for 229 yards and a TD while RB Tre Mason (29 rushes, 113 yards) was used as a workhorse and had a big day and WR Kenny Britt (4 receptions, 128 yards, TD) scored the Rams lone TD. K Greg Zuerlein accounted for 16 of the Rams 22 points, connecting on 5 FGs while the underrated St. Louis defense held Denver and QB Peyton Manning to one of his lowest outputs since joining Denver and held the Broncos to a 4-for-12 day on 3rd down. Head Coach Jeff Fisher (22-20 ATS) is pretty much working wonders with this bunch, a squad one would never think could compete with some of the best teams in the NFL, but the Rams do and have, beating the Super Bowl champion Seahawks, the 49ers and now the Broncos so far this season. You best recognize.

But the injury list remains a sad place for St. Louis, with the aforementioned Bradford (knee) out and on the Injured Reserve list along with DE Chris Long (ankle) and T Jake Long (knee) while the team’s leading WR, Brian Quick, is out for the season with a shoulder injury. On this week’s worry list: LB Daren Bates (groin), CB Marcus Robinson (ankle) and DE Eugene Sims (leg), who were all listed as Day-to-Day on Monday.


San Diego Chargers
The Chargers and second-year head coach Mike McCoy (16-11-1 ATS) looked like a team that could make it to the AFC championship game early on but San Diego has really fallen apart over the past month and are now just hoping that the Broncos (7-2) and the Chiefs (7-3) crumble some and that they can somehow sneak up and win the division or, at least make the playoffs. But that won’t be happening if the Chargers continue to play the way they’ve played of late.

San Diego QB Philip Rivers (37-30-1 ATS Home) has had an absolutely  tremendous year statistically—219 completions for 2,544 yards and 21 TDs—yet the pass-heavy San Diego Pass attack ranks just 13th in the NFL. WRs Malcom Floyd (32 receptions, 574 yards, 4 TDs) and Keenan Allen (54 receptions, 537 yards, TD) have been Rivers (49-49-1 Favorite) main targets. But San Diego could really use a better Rushing attack (85.6 ypg)—it ranks 29th—and the club’s leading rusher, RB Brandon Oliver, has just 497 yards and 2 TDs. Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon had 408 yards and 4 TDs in just three quarters against Nebraska on Saturday and made $0 for his efforts, so, the Chargers may want to work on improving their Rush attack or run the risk of chasing Denver and upstart Kansas City from now until The End of Eternity. The Chargers defense, however—#6 against the pass and #12 against the Rush—has been a pleasant surprise but when you put San Diego’s schedule to date under the microscope you see exactly why those numbers are the way they are—the Chargers have played some really crappy teams and 5 of their 6 wins have come against the moldy Raiders (twice) as well as victories against the lowly Jaguars, the paltry Jets and the Bills. San Diego’s win here at Home in Week 2  against the defending champion Seahawks has been the Chargers only real quality win so far. And Thanksgiving’s a week away. Says something.

San Diego DT Ricardo Mathews (knee) is listed as Questionable for Sunday while NT Sean Lissemore (quadricep) and DB Jahleel Addae (concussion) were listed as Day-to-Day while guys like C Doug Legursky (knee), RB Danny Woodhead (ankle) and CB Jason Verrett remain on the Injured Reserve list.

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Best Betting Approaches and Trends
San Diego comes in feeling low and on a 3-game losing skid and the Rams have absolutely nothing to lose so the thought here is why not take the 5½ points with a team that could very well head west to California and maybe pull off the upset at Qualcomm? The Chargers are just 1-3 ATS Home this year and San Diego is a woeful 0-5 ATS L5. But the Rams are just 2-6 ATS L8 on the Road and Hill has only been in there at the helm for one game.

The Over is 6-1 L7 in this series but the Under is 10-5 in the L15 St. Louis games and is 6-2 in the L8 Rams Road contests. And with host San Diego (4-2 Under L6) nervous about potentially losing and seeing hopes of the postseason go down the drain, a low-scoring chess match could definitely evolve.

These two teams don’t get together often and the last time they played (2010), the Rams edged the Chargers, 20-17 as 8½-point Underdogs in St. Louis. San Diego is 7-1 SU L8 at Home and can’t afford a loss, so backing the Underdog SU on the Money Line seems a tad too risky here. So, simply taking the feisty Rams and the 6 points for just a small-sized bet as your NFL pick seems like decent advice here.

Free NFL Pick: Rams +6 (Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook)

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