St. Louis Rams vs. Detroit Lions Point Spread – Pick Against the Spread

St. Louis Rams (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Detroit Lions (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Sunday, September 9th, 2012/1:00 p.m. EST
Where: Ford Field, Detroit, Mich.
TV: FOX Network
by Badger, Football Handicapper,

Point Spread: St. Louis +8/Det. -8
Over/Under Total: 47

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The St. Louis Rams are anxious to put the demons of failures past and begin a new era with Jeff Fisher at the helm, but they have to survive a major test from one of the NFLs most promising young teams when they travel to take on the Detroit Lions in an NFC season opening clash at Ford Field in Detroit.

The game will also feature two former No. 1 overall picks and two of the NFLs most promising young guns at quarterback, when Mathew Stafford and Sam Bradford duel for a 1-0 start to 2012.

The Rams-Lions matchup also features one of the more interesting betting lines in the NFL in week one. With an initial release of Detroit as 8.5-point favorites back in July, now sportsbooks are on both sides of the number since you can find the Lions dropped to minus -8 at some books while others have moved it up to minus -9.

The same movement has occurred on the over/under total too, opening at 46.5 to where it currently stands either down to 46 or up to 47 depending on where you book your wager.

Offensively you would have to think the Lions should be able to exploit the Rams corners with Robotron Calvin Johnson, especially since one of those corners looks like it will be rookie Janoris Jenkins. The other, vet Cortland Finnegan, is only 5-foot-10, so Stafford should be able to throw it up for grabs every now and then when they need to make a play. The Lions will likely need to throw Johnson jump balls, because with Mikel Leshoure (suspended) and Jahvid Best (concussion) already out of commission the Lions will need to ride Staffords arm all afternoon.

Detroit is also expected to give Bradford trouble on defense, with the front four led by Cliff Avril and Ndamukong Suh that will try and limit the damage Rams running back Stephen Jackson inflicts on early downs.


These two teams last met in 2010, in a 44-6 Detroit beat-down in Ford Field. Although it didnt help that the Rams were already behind two scores midway through the second quarter, but Bradford didnt help matters by throwing two picks and looking rather average with 23-of-45 for 215 yards. Stafford didnt even play, as it was Shaun Hill that carved up the Rams defense that day (227 yards, 3 TD).

Other than the 2010 whoopin, this series is actually really even over the decades (5-5 SU in last 10 games dating back to 1987). The Lions took a 6-4 ATS advantage in the series with the big win two years ago, so the series has been nearly even at the window as well.

If youre a fan of betting trends then youll love the Lions in this game. Not only have the Rams been bad recently on the road (1-9 ATS in last 10), but they are also notoriously slow starters (1-10-1 ATS in last 12 week 1 games). Add on the fact that the Lions are solid at home (11-5 ATS in last 16) and have been fast starters in recent years (7-2 ATS in week 1), and youve got multiples fingers on one hand all pointing in the Lions direction.

Badger’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Everyone seems to think that this is Bradfords year to step up and take the Rams to the next level, but Im not so sure the pieces around him have been upgraded enough to help take away some of the burden. Detroit will make it hard again on Bradford on Sunday, rolling to a relatively easy 28-10 or 31-17 type of victory at home. I dont like laying so many points in an NFL game, but Im taking Detroit minus the 8 points.

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