This Sunday the St Louis Rams (5-8) will host the New Orleans Saints (10-8). Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 EST at the Edward Jones Dome and will be televised locally on FOX. The Rams won the most recent meeting back in 2011 31-21 at home as a massive 13.5-point underdog. Oddsmakers will give St Louis a chance at another big upset, as the Saints are currently listed as a 5.5-point road favorite with the total set at 46.5 points.
Why New Orleans Will Cover:
The Saints rebounded from that ugly loss at Seattle on Monday Night Football with one of their better performances of the season. New Orleans put an end to the Carolina Panthers 8-game winning streak with a 31-13 home win. While the Saints only have a 1-game lead over the Panthers and have to travel to Carolina next week, they are in the drivers seat. With a win over St Louis and a home win over the Bucs in Week 17, New Orleans can lose to the Panthers and still win the division and the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
The fact that this game essentially means just as much, if not more than the game next week, you can throw out the concern about this being a look ahead game for the Saints. The Rams have had their moments late in the season, but there’s really nothing left to play for. The performance they put out last week against the Cardinals certainly has to make you wonder how much St Louis really cares about these final three games.
One of the things you have to be able to do to slow down Drew Brees and the Saints is slow down their passing attack. That figures to be a challenge for the Rams, as they have allowed at least 250 yards passing in four straight games, including 388 to the Colts and 344 to the Bears in back-to-back games. New Orleans is 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games vs pass defenses that allow 235 or more yards/game and 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games vs pass defenses that allow a completion percentage of 61% or worse.
New Orleans is 15-4 ATS in their last 19 games vs pass defenses that allow 235 or more yards/game and 16-6 ATS in their last 22 games vs pass defenses that allow a completion percentage of 61% or worse.
The big concern with the Saints is they haven’t exactly played their best on the road. New Orleans is just 3-3 away from home and only one of those wins have come by at least 6 points. However, one of the big reasons they struggle is their offense is built to play indoors in a dome. With St Louis’ home field being a dome, that definitely increases the Saints chances of covering the spread. New Orleans is 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games played in a dome.
Why St Louis Will Cover:
The Rams have been out of the playoff picture for quite a while, as they basically knew their season was done for once starting quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a season ending injury back in Week 7. That’s important to note. Once a team has had some time to come to realization that they aren’t going to make the playoffs, they will typically finish out the season strong. I see no reason why St Louis won’t give it their best shot at home against one of the top teams in the league.
This could actually be a great spot to back the Rams, as they come in having lost back-to-back games on the road against division rivals. The public perception of this team is not good right now, while the Saints are off that dominant performance at home against the Panthers. Keep in mind that prior to those two losses to the 49ers and Cardinals, St Louis has rolled off back-to-back 20-point blowout wins over the Colts and Bears.
There’s a couple of solid systems telling us to take the Rams based off recent results. Home underdogs off a road blowout loss by at least 14 points are 76-39 (66.1%) ATS in the month of December since 1983. We also see that favorites after a win by at least 14 points against an opponent off two straight losses by at least 10 points are just 9-26 (25.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
Home underdogs off a road blowout loss by at least 14 points are 76-39 (66.1%) ATS in the month of December since 1983. We also see that favorites after a win by at least 14 points against an opponent off two straight losses by at least 10 points are just 9-26 (25.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons.
While the Rams have given up a lot of yards through the air, they do have a key element to slowing down a quarterback like Brees. St Louis has one of the best defensive lines in the NFL when it comes to putting pressure on the quarterback and those pass rushers really seem to shine when playing at home. If the Rams can keep the Saints offense out of sync, they could certainly keep this game close and potentially win outright.
Early Lean – Rams +5.5