St. Louis Rams vs. Carolina Panthers Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

St. Louis Rams (3-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-3 SU, 2-3ATS)
NFL Week 7
Date and Time: Sunday October 20, 2013 1pm EST
Where: Bank of America Stadium Charlotte NC
by Tim, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: StL. +5.5/Car. -5.5
Over/Under Total: 42

The Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams meet this Sunday in Bank of America Stadium bringing up an interesting question, Didnt we bail-out BofA in 2008 and again in 2012? This party is getting ready to bust out in Charlotte! Lets take a quick look at the proper numbersnot ALL the numbers—because we all know that numbers, sometimes, can mislead or lie!

Carolinas offense has been both explosive and dormant in 2013. The Panthers are 19th in points scored, 21st in total yards, 27th in passing yards, and a stout 7th in rushing yards. St. Louis comes into this house 15th in points, 30th in total yards, 20th in passing yards, and 4 steps from the NFL cellar in rushing yards at 28th. St. Louis is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 on the Road. Carolina, on the other hand, is 3-6 ATS in their last 9 at Home. Carolina is 5-1 ATS when playing St. Louis. The Total has gone Under in the Last 4 out of 5 meetings between these 2 teams AND, the Total has gone Under in Carolinas 4 out of the last 5 games. Lets see what makes these teams tick!

Cam Newtonor if you prefer the Bama hillbilly label Scam Newton (very goofy and an insult to Bama hillbillies everywhere!) shows up, takes the field, and has such a dominant presence, Cam dictates the game for both teams with just his attitude. Some suggest that Cam Newton is overratedNo Chance! Doubtful there has been a single player so important to the success or failure of a team than QB Cam! The Panthers know it too; the Panthers have drafted defensive player after defensive player in an effort to provide the team with a known quantity. The unknown quantity? QB Cam Newton! Newton can make ordinary receivers look extraordinary, and extraordinary receivers look ordinary. Newton forces defense to scheme directly for Cam Newton and Newtons decisions, interest, enthusiasm, or lack thereof keeps both teams coaching staffs in hot pursuit of the Cam Meter (is he hot, cold, or lethargic?). Cam Newton is a Superstarwhenever he wants to beor Cam Newton is Jay Fiedler or Jumpin Joe Pisarcik! When deciding this game–and well go through some more statsthe only stat that matters is What kind of QB Cam will show up this Sunday? Lets go over a few things before picking a winner!

St. Louis is 30th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed. This is a highly important stat. Carolina is 7th in the NFL in offensive rushing yards. When Cam doesnt like his check-downs, Newton looks for a place to runand hes great at running the ball! Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher knows a thing or 2 about big, fast, running QBsenter Titans QB and often misunderstood Diva >> Mr. Vince Young. Fisher will scheme for Newton sufficiently but this focus on Newton will free up DeAngelo Williams for a few counters, quick screens/bubble screens, or sit in the flat catches destroying St. Louis with pick-and-pop run/pass stretch plays. This is the problem in Carolina: WR Steve Smith can still playbut Steve Smith is not the Go-To guy with Cam Newton; Cam Newton is the Go-To guy with Cam Newton. Head Coach Ron Rivera along with unoriginal, uncreative, and why is he still coaching in the League Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula have been comatose, unaware, and ignorant of how to exploit Cams strengths showering other players with opportunities. Cam is like Will I. am with the lyrics All eyes on us! All eyes on us means Me, Myself, and I for Cam to DECEIVE the defense, draw them to Newton, and burn them with DeAngelo in the flat or shuffle pass and/or torch the defense with Steve Smith quick slant or dig route! Frankly, I believe Panthers followers can place blame on the 1972 Miami Dolphins perfect season for their current problems with winning! If it wasnt for Don Shulas huge success with the Colts (Baltimore) and his successes in Miami, NOBODY would ever pretend that Mike Shula could coach a kid to eat cookies and candylet alone be qualified in 2011-2012 as Newtons QB Coach!!!! Are you kidding me? Thats like asking Lord Chamberlain (the Nazi Appeaser) to advise Napoleon!! But this is what really gets me: Rivera elevates Shula to OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR in 2013!! Unrealtruly a remarkable set of circumstances.

St. Louis is playing pretty well and, like a well-kept and effectively administered household, the Rams seem to be energetic and positive. The numbers suggest St. Louis holds a TD edge in this game. As a 5.5 visiting dogg, Im scratching my head for an answer to the line. Typically, this is a pretty easy pick for St. Louis. This week, Im rollin the Cam Newton dice counting on Newton to change Shulas plays at the line and exploding for tons of points. I dont like doing itbut Cam Newtonlike him or hate himis a special player and holds the keys to this hotrod encounter in his own hands!!

Tims Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Carolina Panthers -5.5