New York Giants (5-9 SU, 6-8 ATS) vs. St. Louis Rams (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS)
NFL Football Week 16
Date and Time: Sunday December 21st, 2014. 4:05PM EST
Where: Edwards Jones Dome St. Louis, M.O.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NYG +4.5/STL -4.5
Over/Under Total: 44
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The New York Giants will go into St. Louis for a meeting with the Rams this Sunday in a week 16 showdown. Unfortunately, there will not be any playoff implications on the line for either team this week as both teams have already been eliminated from postseason consideration. However there is still a lot of pride and momentum on the line in this weeks contest. The Giants have won two straight games since a dreadful 7 game losing streak and are fighting to keep their winning streak intact. Meanwhile the Rams have been playing solid as of late as well despite a tough loss last week against Arizona. Before last weeks loss, the Rams posted two straight shutouts over Oakland and Washington by a combined score of 76-0. Therefore hopefully some good football will be in-store for fans this week when both the Giants and Rams collide inside Edwards Jones Dome.
Currently the Giants are listed as 4.5 point underdogs which may appear enticing for a team that is going for their 3rd straight win. However the Giants have not exactly played well on the road this year going 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road trips. The big question entering this Sundays matchup against the Rams is how will Eli Manning and the Giants offense fare against the Rams defense? As stated earlier, the Rams defense has been very impressive of late with two shutouts and they only gave up 12 points in last weeks loss to Arizona. Therefore the Rams defense has only allowed 12 total points in 3 full games and will have the luxury of going up against a rather inconsistent Giants offense that has been riddled with turnover problems this year.
The Giants have actually given up 27 turnovers this season which is the 5th worse margin in the NFL. Last week running back Rashad Jennings returned from the injury report only to reinjure his ankle after just 1 carry. With Jennings status in doubt for week 16, it appears the fate of the offense will once again fall on the arm of Eli Manning which has been a common theme throughout the season. A complementary running game would certainly help the Giants cause but it appears that Manning will have no such help in the near future. Manning is having a rather average season to his standards with 26 touchdowns and 13 picks on the year. However the emergence of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr in the passing game may give the Giants enough firepower to get the job done. Beckham was unstoppable in last weeks win against Washington catching 12 passes for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns. Beckham will likely get to go against Rams corner Janoris Jenkins this week and the Giants need another big performance from their upcoming superstar.
On the other side of the ball, the Rams offense has been much better since quarterback Shaun Hill returned back to the starting role. From a talent standpoint, the Rams are far from an offensive juggernaut but they have found ways to make things work. Running back Tre Mason has emerged as the starting tailback on a consistent basis now and the Rams have turned into a bigger offensive threat as a result. Hill played well in both outings against Oakland and Washington throwing for 4 touchdowns without a single interception. However, Hill found things much tougher last week against Arizonas talented secondary and completed just 51% of his passes for 229 yards and a pick.
The Rams offense is not strong enough to survive without a solid effort from the quarterback position. Though Tre Mason has had a few solid outings, the Rams still need Hill to perform well and due to a pretty bad offensive line his play has been hard to predict. In fact, it is the play of the offensive line that worries me in this weeks game. The Rams have given up 17 sacks in the last 4 games alone and they have been weakened with injuries. The Giants defensive front has done a great job of getting to the quarterback this season which will be important in their efforts for a victory this week.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I expect a lot of defense and ugly offensive play in this game. Expect the Rams defense to continue to play well and expect the Giants defensive line to make plays as well. Lots of defense leads to low numbers in this one. Take the under 44, good luck!