The Panthers finally won a game last week, but doing it away from home is something else. Rams rookie sensation QB Sam Bradford has been very stable in the comfort of the Edward Jones Dome and be fighting for his Rams to get back to .500 football. The (1-5) Carolina Panthers will lean on QB Matt Moore for another week as they seek their second win of the season against the resurgent (3-4) St. Louis Rams, kickoff slated for 1PM EST. Carolina has outscored St. Louis 62-20 during a three-game winning streak in the series. The Panthers won the most recent meeting 27-13 at St. Louis on Sept. 9, 2007.
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The Panthers could have the momentum to shut down Jackson and the Rams after rallying for a 23-20 home win over San Francisco last weekend. Back as the starting quarterback after being benched in favor of rookie Jimmy Clausen following Week 2, Matt Moore threw for a career-high 308 yards and two TD’s to lead the Panthers to 10 points in the final 1 minute, 53 seconds. Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against St. Louis. The five-year veteran did not practice all week due to a foot sprain that he suffered in last Sunday’s 23-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The injury occurred when he landed awkwardly on a short run on the final series of the game, which the Panthers eventually won on a 37-yard field goal by John Kasay with 39 seconds remaining. Williams has run for 361 yards and a touchdown on 87 carries and has also caught 11 balls for 61 yards in six games so far this season. Wide receiver Devin Thomas, who was limited in practice Thursday and did not take the field Friday, is also listed as doubtful for Sunday’s contest.
St. Louis is definitely an improved team this year and are 3-1 at home. Much of that upgrade is due to the addition of Sam Bradford at quarterback, but due to injuries he’s now pitifully thin at the wide receiver spot. In fact, the Rams are thin at most positions either due to injuries and a lack of talent. Credit to the team for doing what they’ve done so far, but they’re probably a draft or two away from being a contender. A season-opening 17-13 loss to Arizona extended St. Louis’ home skid to 14 games dating to a 34-14 win over Dallas on Oct. 19, 2008. Two weeks after the defeat to the Cardinals, the Rams snapped the skid with a 30-16 victory over Washington. They’ve followed that effort with home victories over Seattle and San Diego. St. Louis has averaged 23.3 points during its home winning streak, compared to 12.3 per game while going 0-3 on the road. The Rams have not won four straight at home in a season since Nov. 14, 2004-Jan. 2, 2005.
Panthers vs Rams Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Carolina Panthers +3
@ St. Louis Rams -3
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Panthers vs Rams Prediction for Week 8:
Spread Prediction (TOP PLAY) – The St. Louis Rams have proven the fact that rebuilding doesn’t have to be a decade long process. After a dismal 2009 campaign, the Rams have already rattled off 3 wins and are right in the thick of things in the NFC West. The Carolina Panthers have proven that it is hard to win in this league without a stable and functional pivot in place. The Panthers exiled ex-QB Jake Delhomme in favor for QB Matt Moore and have suffered the worst start in ten years. Carolina is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games and are 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road. The only thing that is clicking for the Panthers, as usual, is their rushing offense but they will be running against one of the most dominant rush defenses in the league. St. Louis is 5-2 ATS this year and should have a healthy RB Steven Jackson in place this Sunday, who is now the franchises leader in rushing yards. Also important to note, the Rams are absolutely dominant at home this year as they are on a 3 game winning streak in the Edward Jones Dome. I like the chances of the Rams covering at home against the Panthers this Sunday.
Game Total Prediction – Sam Bradford is not the most flashy of QB’s in the league or the most flamboyant, but the kid does know how to pick his spots and manage a game exceptionally well. His offense was able to hang up 20 points respectively against San Diego and Seattle, two legitimate NFL defenses, at home this year and now will be going up against the 18th ranked defense in the league. I also see RB Steven Jackson finding the endzone on several occasions come Sunday as he will be running against the 24th ranked rushing defense. As for the Panthers, they also possess a fine running game and should be able to find their spots against a suspect Rams defense. When coming off of a loss, the Rams are 12-4 O/U over the last two seasons, while coming off of a win the Panthers are 10-6 0/U over the last two seasons. We will consider the OVER as both these teams will be gunning for wins this Sunday.
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