Detroit Lions vs. St. Louis Rams Betting Odds and Pick to Cover the Point Spread

St. Louis Rams (2-2 SU 3-1 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (0-4 SU 3-1 ATS) Week 5 NFL Football, Ford Field, Detroit, MI, 1:00 PM ET, October 10, 2010 on FOX
by Jason Green, Professional NFL Handicapper,

Betting Odds: Det -3/STL +3
Over/Under Total: 43

In an NFC game this Sunday in Motor City USA the winless Detroit Lions host the St. Louis Rams. These have been 2 of the worst teams in the league for the last few years and while the Rams are starting to turn things around it’s the same old Lions. Or is it? The Lions may not be as bad as their 0-4 record indicates, as 3 of their 4 losses have come by 5 points or less.

The Rams have won 2 in a row and they are tied with Arizona and Seattle for first place in the weak NFC West. It looks as if their QB troubles are over, as rookie Sam Bradford has looked solid this season.

Last season St. Louis beat Detroit, which was the Rams only win of the season. The Rams have lost both of their away games this season and they have not won on the road since week 6 of the 2008 season.

The Lions have a good young rookie QB of their own in Matt Stafford, but he has an injured shoulder and is questionable in this game. Backup Shaun Hill has played decent even though he has more INT’s (7) than TD’s (5).

In their last games the Rams looked great, especially on defense, beating the Seattle Seahawks 20-3 while the Lions lost a tough game 28-26 to the Green Bay Packers in Green Bay.

Bradford leads the Rams and their 19th ranked passing offense and he will be facing a Detroit passing defense that has not played well giving up an average of 241 yards per game through the air. The rookie QB has only played one tough pass defense and that was against Oakland and he played decent in that game going 14/25 for 167 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT. Detroit’s secondary has struggled all season and that along with St, Louis having more confidence in Bradford he will have a good game for the 3rd straight week.

RB Steven Jackson should be back to 100% for the Rams in this game and he will have his best game of the season against a Detroit rushing defense that has given up an average of 134.5 yards per game on the ground this season.

The Lions one bright spot on D is their pass rush with 13 sacks this season and the Rams’ offensive line has given up 10 sacks. Bradford will go down a few times in this game, but that will not keep him from putting up good numbers.

Detroit’s passing offense ranks 7th in the league and Shaun Hill looked solid last week passing for 331 yards with 2 TD and 2 INT. The Rams’ pass defense only gave up 193 yards through the air last week, but overall they have not played that well ranking 21st in the league. Hill will put up big numbers in this game not only because of the Rams’ secondary, but because he will have to air it out a ton with the lack of a running game Detroit has.

Hill has averaged just over 47 pass attempts over his last 3 games and while he will put up some good numbers against the Rams he will get picked off at least once. Look for his main target of WR Calvin Johnson to go over 100 yards receiving in this game.

Detroit’s rushing offense only ranks 25th in the league and their leading RB is Jahvid Best, who is only averaging 3.5 yards per carry. Even though St. Louis does not have a great run defense they have been OK and Best and the Lions will not rack up a lot of rushing yards this Sunday.

In a couple of interesting trends for this game, which will continue, Detroit is 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a home favorite and St. Louis is 7-3 ATS against teams that have a losing record.

Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Bradford is playing with a ton of confidence, but Steven Jackson is the key in this game. Jackson will have a big game giving St. Louis a well balanced offense, which the Lions do not have. The Rams will come out and play well and win this game in what the oddsmakers would deem an upset.