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Louis Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals Pick.
St. Louis Rams (3-6 SU, 6-4 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-6 SU, 4-5-1 ATS)
NFL Week 12
Date/Time: 4:25 PM ET, November 25, 2012
Where: U of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
by Jason Green, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: STL +2.5/AZ -2.5
Over/Under Total: 37.5
To say the wheels have fallen off for the Arizona Cardinals is an understatement, as they have lost their last 6 games after starting the season 4-0. I mean, they lost last week to the Falcons even though they came up with 5 INT. At least in this division game they will be facing a Rams team that has not won on the road this season and has 4 losses and 1 tie in their last 5 games.
The Cardinals’ losing streak started in BBQ City in Week 5 where the St. Louis Rams beat the Cardinals 17-3. In that game the Rams had 9 sacks and even though Kevin Kolb passed for almost 300 yards he did not pass for a TD and on top of that he is out for this game and Arizona 3rd string QB Ryan Lindley will be getting his first career start. If the Rams can play solid D like they did in the Week 5 win over Arizona they will be in good shape, as the Cardinals’ passing offense ranks 26th in the league and their rushing offense ranks 30th in the league.
After having a solid game against the 49ers and their solid pass defense a few weeks back Rams QB Sam Bradford only passed for 170 yards last week, but he did have 2 TD and 1 INT. Still, he will be facing a Cardinals’ pass defense that ranks 5th in the league and picked off Atlanta’s Matt Ryan 5 times last week. It does not help that Bradford does not have a good WR corps and he will be facing a solid Arizona pass rush that ranks 5th in the league in sacks. Bradford will have a decent game with a bunch of dink passes, but he will not go deep much since the INT would kill the Rams.
In the last 2 games Rams’ RB Steven Jackson has proven that he still has some gas left in his tank and look for him to have another good game facing an Arizona run defense that ranks 21st in the league. The Rams will look to establish the run early and they will be able to do that in this game.
One of the main reasons the Cardinals lost to the Falcons is that they got bad QB play. Ryan Lindley replaced Skelton, but they could still get nothing going in the air. Lindley will get the start in this game and he has to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, who needs to get more involved in the offense. The Rams’ pass defense is decent and they played well last week in the loss to the Jets.
One bright spot for the Rams this season has been their pass rush, which has the 4th most sacks in the league. That does not bode well for the Cardinals, who have given up a ton of sacks this season. Still, something tells me Lindley will have a big game even though he will get taken down a few times.
The Cardinals’ have really struggled to run the ball this season, but in the Arizona game LaRod Stephens-Howling rushed for 127 yards with a TD. He will be counted on to really have a good game with a rookie QB under center and I think he will have just that, but he will not crack the 100-yard rushing barrier again facing a mediocre, at best, Rams’ run defense. Look for RB Beanie Wells to return to action as well.
In looking at some betting trends for this NFC West match up the Rams are only 4-10 ATS in their last 14 road games and they have an Over record of 4-0 in their last 4 games. The Cardinals are 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall and they have an Under record of 5-1 in their last 6 games.
In a couple of interesting head-to-head betting trends in the last 4 games between these 2 teams the total has gone Under ever time and the Cardinals are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games against the Rams.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: The likely result here is that the Rams win this game straight up. Lindley holds the ball too long and his lack of experience will be the deciding factor here. I’m spending the extra money to buy a half point, making this spread +3 and betting the Rams plus the points.
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