New England Patriots(4-3SU,4-3ATS) vs.St. Louis Rams(3-4SU,5-2ATS)
Date/Time:October28th, 1:00PM EST
Where:WembleyStadium, London England
byJeffHochman,Pro Handicapper, JHSportsline.com
Point Spread: NE-7/STL+7
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This year’s game atWembleyStadium features one of the best ATS NFL coaches(BillBelichick) taking on one of the best Underdog spread coaches in Jeff Fisher. The New England Patriots defeated their AFC East rivalJetslast week, but failed to cover the 10.5-point spread. The Pats were out-stattedby 22 yards and are now 5-2 ITS (in the stats) this year. The St. Louis Rams lost their secondstraightgame in losing tothe Packers 30-20 as 4-point home dogs last Sunday. The Rams were out-gained by 48 yards and dropped to 2-5 ITS this season.
The Rams are technically listed as the home team here, but in reality this is more of a road game for them. The New England Patriots are much more of a world-wide brand than the St Louis Rams. The home-road dichotomy isvery real for the Ramsas all three of their wins have come in the dome, while three of their four losses have come on the road. Tom Brady has aQBRof 96.1 while Sam Bradford checks in at 81.5. The teams with the higher rated QB has won 75% of the games outright since the start of last season. I noticed the Patriots are just 2-6 ATS onneutralfields (All Super Bowlappearances) and 1-7 ATS in their last eightgamesagainstthe NFC.
New England should not have much problems with the Rams as they should know what to expect. There isn’t a whole lot that separates the Rams from the SeattleSeahawks. They both rely heavily on a strong running game and stout defense, while hoping forsome big play-actionpassingto win football games. The Patriots have seen this song and dance before, and handled it just fine until a bizarre sequence in the final quarter that saw the Seahawksscore 14 straight points. The issue for the Rams is their defense isn’t quite up to par with theSeahawksyet. They are good against the pass (225.6)and the run (98.9), but not great. The Ramsalso tend to commit too many penalties at crucial times in the game. Rare for a Jeff Fisher coached team.Furthermore, they are just average in the sack department, on third downs, and in the red zone. This formula is great against most offenses, but it’s not enough to slow down a lethal offense like the Patriots. I do like the special teams and offensive line for the Rams more than I do for the Pats. I am just not sure if that’s enough to cover this spread. Funny things seem to happen onneutralfields!
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The Underdog is 5-0 ATS in the last 5 head-to-headmeetings. The Rams are 4-0 ATS in their last four games in Week 8. The Patriots are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up victory. The Patriots are 11-1 SU and 8-3 ATS when playing a team with a losing record over the last three seasons. The Pats are 10-1 SU and 8-2 ATS off a win against a division rival over the last three seasons.
Jeff’s Pick to Cover the Spread: St. Louis Rams +7 & Over 47.
NFC Underdogs are 36-7-2 ATS this season. This game looks too easy to say that the Pats will just crush the Rams. It sure looks that way on paper and the public agrees. At onesportsbookbets are coming in at a rate of 9:1 for the Patriots. Lets fade the public in this spot.This line might creep up to 7.5 or even 8 by game time. Get the best line possible. Jeff Fisher is a great coach and should come up with something that will keep this one within the number. A backdoor cover looks like a realpossibility.Games in London have been high-scoring and I see this as another up-and-down typegame.
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