New Orleans Saints vs. St. Louis Rams Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

New Orleans Saints (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. St. Louis Rams (5-8 SU, 5-8 ATS)
NFL Football Week 15
Date and Time: Sunday December 15th, 2013. 4:25PM Eastern
Where: Edward Jones Dome St. Louis, M.O.
by Jay, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: N.O. -6/STL +6
Over/Under Total: 47

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The New Orleans Saints captured a big win over the Carolina
last Sunday to take control of the NFC South. At 10-3
SU, the Saints have the possibility to not only capture the NFC South Title
but also earn a first round bye in the playoffs with a strong finish over
the final 3 weeks of the season. The Saints will carry those expectations
on the road this Sunday to meet the St. Louis Rams for a week 15 showdown
inside the Edward Jones Dome.

At first glance, the Saints would appear to be rather large favorites against the 5-8 SU Rams as they are coming off an impressive 31-13 victory over the Panthers who own the NFL’s top defense. Not to mention, the Rams have lost 5 of their last 7 games and scored no more than 13 points in each of their past two outings. Surprisingly however the Rams will only be 6 point underdogs at home this Sunday despite the fact the betting public has been all over the Saints since the opening lines were released. In fact, nearly 90% of the early betting action rolled in on the Saints despite any early line movement.

While the Saints may be the appetizing pick, the Rams are a bit unpredictable which is always a scary fade. This is the same Rams team that blew out Indianapolis 38-8 and then put up 42 points the next week in a victory against the Bears. Both of those victories were solid performances throughout November but were followed up with dismal offensive performances to both San Francisco and Arizona most recently. Quarterback Kellen Clemens is completing just 52% on the season and has tossed 3 picks with just 1 touchdown in the past two games.

The Rams defense has played pretty well considering the offensive woes yielding 23.7 points per game (14th in NFL). I personally believe the Rams defense is under rated but the numbers are not going to validate that claim. Until the Rams offense learns how to stay on the field and stop giving up the ball, the St. Louis defense will continue to have their backs against the wall. The good news is that the Rams have a very young offense with a bright future. WR Tavon Austin is a big play threat with the ball in his hands and running back Zac Stacy has been a workhorse with 174 rushes for 721 yards thus far. Obviously the quarterback play has to be better from Clemens to challenge the Saints this Sunday, but there is definitely some rising talent in the Rams’ offense.


The Saints will enter St. Louis this Sunday sporting one of the top ranked offenses in the league averaging 394 yards and 26 points per game. Behind the arm of quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints own the 2nd best passing mark in the league averaging 302 yards per game. Brees has been excellent this season by completing 68% of his passes for 4,107 yards with 33 touchdowns and 8 picks. If he continues at his current pace, Brees could extend his NFL record by capturing his 4th 5,000 yard season. No other quarterback has even posted two 5,000 yard seasons.

Of course those numbers would not be nearly as strong without the help of tight end Jimmy Graham. Graham leads the Saints in receptions (74), yards (1,046), and touchdowns (14). Coach Sean Payton has done a great job of utilizing Graham in multiple formations and getting the ball in his hands. It will be interesting to see if Rams’ defensive coordinator Tim Walton can draw up a game plan to stop Graham from getting the ball. Typically when opposing defenses have been able to stop the Brees and Graham connection, they have put themselves in position to contend. However if Brees and Graham get rolling, you can simply chalk another win to ‘Who Dat’ nation.

Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: There is a reason this line is begging action for the Saints and you do not have to look far to see New Orleans is a much different team away from the Superdome. The Saints are just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against the Rams. I believe New Orleans gets surprised in this situation with the help of a few big plays from Tavon Austin. Take the Rams +6.