TNF: Arizona Cardinals +4.5 -108
Seriously, it scares me to see so many guys I respect being on the Rams. No problem if the majority is right, but I can’t back the Rams tonight. IMO, there is little to no difference between both teams as a whole. This game is likely going to be decided by a few little things. So I like going with the points. I agree that Arizona is not a 10-3 team right now, they have been overperforming a lot. But do the Rams have enough offensive firepower to cover that spread against a decent defense fighting for a playoff birth ? The Arizona defense collapsed just twice in 13 games. AT Denver and AT Atlanta. That’s nothing I am worried about. Denver and Atlanta have both top ten offenses in terms of yards per play. In all their other eleven games they allowed not more than 20 points. Rams have the #22 total offense. Cardinals have a stellar run D , but so do the Rams. Based on numbers, this game is likely to come down to the better airing game. I will take Drew Stanton and a better receiving core over Shaun Hill and company. In their last four games, the Cardinals faced THREE of the top seven passing defenses. Well, you can say they just scored 18 points at Atlanta, that’s right. But Atlanta pass defense is better at home than on the road and 18 points are enough to cover the spread of 4.5 points at St. Louis IMO. Their passing game will look way smoother today than it looked in their recent games. Arizona are beasts in sending blitzes at the right time, that will force Hill to make a few mistakes and bad decisions. Cards force a fifth-best 3.5 interceptions per 100 throws. I can see a defensive score for the Cardinals. The Rams come out of two shutouts over teams in complete disarray. Oakland were in a terrible spot. They won their first game since over a year at home on national prime time and had the Niners on deck. The Washington team chemistry is destroyed. Also, they turned the ball over twice in the Rams red zone. Will the Rams players be 100% focused on Arizona ? Maybe they will take them a little bit too light. It’s human nature, they just held two teams to zero points. Arizona won a very close one against KC and they need this win so badly to get a playoff spot.
Teams off consecutive blowout wins (21+) who held their opponents to 10 points or less, are 19-34 ATS since 1997
If the first win was by a margin of 31+ points, teams went 4-16 ATS since 1992
If teams were favored, they went 3-12 ATS since 1992
Since the 2001 season, favorites are on a 0-7 ATS run in that situation
All in all I believe there are small things that can decide this game. For example the Rams have the worst penalty rate in the league at 0.48 while the Cardinals have a pen rate of just 0.31. Could be a factor tonight. I will take the Cardinals and the points.
I think the Chiefs are going to steamroll the Raiders at Arrowhead. Last time they caught the Chiefs in a terrible spot. Short week after playing the Seahawks and Denver on deck. Chiefs need this win badly after three straight losses and they will be focused because they know they can lose against Oakland. Raiders also coming off a dominant win against the Niners – letdown spot here. I can smell a 21+ win.
Pats at home, revenge game, home advantage during playoffs on the line, a loss at Green Bay at the right time.. Give me the home team all day long. I highly respect the opinion from earthwake on his Fins, but I believe they are in a downward spirale right now. They were outgained heavily in three straight games, giving up 407 yards per game and now have to play at the toughest place in recent history. Also I like the matchup for the NE pass defense against Ryan Tannehill. NE playing some tough defense at home, will be difficult for the Fins to hang on on the scoreboard.
Some for Sunday:
Kansas City Chiefs -10 -108 (2x)**
Johnny Football PK -110
Buffalo Bills +4 -105
Lions -3 / Patriots -3 -120
That’s it for now. If things work out, I will probably add something involving the Seahawks and SNF game. Bumped KC to a “big play” yesterday. My first big play this season was Detroit -2.5 over Miami. Hope to go 2-0 on them.