Rams Cardinals Spread Line and Betting Predictions

The Rams win a second straight game on the road here — against a team they should have beat in Week 1 — and the journey to the NFC West title could go through St. Louis. The Rams have the most improved defense in the NFL and Sam Bradford is coming off a 300-yard slicing of Denver. The Rams need divisional wins as badly as any team in the NFL as they have not faired too well in the weak division. The (5-6) St. Louis Rams will look to drive the final stake in the (3-8) Arizona Cardinals this Sunday and improve their chances of reaching postseason play, kickoff slated for 4:15 PM EST.

The Rams suddenly find themselves tied for first place in the NFC West despite having a losing record at 5-6. While their offense has struggled to consistently put points of the board, the defense continues to improve as the season goes on and is now ranked 15th in the league in points allowed. St. Louis has been an average team in this league so far this season coming out to a 5-6 record and a 2-3 record in their last five games. However, average for this team has been one maybe two or three wins over the last few years. Now the Rams have a shot at a division title and a playoff birth that would see them play at least one home game. One big reason for the Rams big turnaround comes on the arm and mind of rookie QB Sam Bradford. Bradford might not be destroying records with his arm this season, but his decision-making and ability to read the defense have allowed his to be successful in the NFL. Add in a power back like Stephen Jackson and you automatically have an offense that can score some points. The St. Louis Rams are coming off a victory on the road in Denver where they were able to hold off a late surge from the Broncos to win 36-33. Denver is not an easy place to go and play and for the Rams to come out on top as well as produce 36 points is a tremendous accomplishment. With Bradford playing well this season and the defense also playing solid football the Rams find themselves -18 in point differential but sitting atop their division. Inside the division the Rams are 1-2 and they will be facing a team who has already beaten them in the first week of the season. The Rams offense watched how well the 49er’s were able to run the ball against the Cardinals last week and will likely try to recapture that success. Jackson will have a big part of this offense come Sunday, and pressure on the opposing QB is expected to come often.

The Cardinals offense is downright atrocious and is ranked near the bottom of the league in every major category. The defense is pretty much in the same boat making this team easily one of the worst in the league. The Arizona Cardinals are coming into another home game this weekend after being somewhat embarrassed on Monday Night Football last week against the 49er’s. San Francisco lost their premier running back in Frank Gore for the season in the first quarter, and backup Brian Westbrook came into the game and was still able to dominate the run game. The big-bodied defensive line of the Cardinals were getting tossed around like little kids allowing their opponents to run the ball at will including numerous times for first downs on third and very long. The offense did little to get off the ground and QB Derek Anderson was spotted on the sidelines late into the game laughing while the game was no laughing matter for Arizona at the time. The Cardinals opened up their offense with a botched handoff to Beanie Wells where mistakes were made by both Anderson and Wells and the Cardinals night just continued to get worse. On the very next play, Troy Smith threw a bullet to Michael Crabtree in the endzone for a touchdown and a lead that the Cardinals would never get close too. Arizona has now lost six straight games and in a division that is still not out of their reach at 3-8 it would be as perfect a time as any to defeat the division leading Rams who only sit two games ahead of them and realistically only 1.5 games ahead. Against the Rams, the Cardinals know they have to stiffen up their run defense from last week or the results will end up the same. The offense needs to find a rhythm and whether it be in the run game or the pass game the game plan needs to be ironed out quickly.

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Rams vs Cardinals Spread, Line and Betting Odds:

Spread:

St. Louis Rams -3.5
@ Arizona Cardinals +3.5

Game Total:

Over (-110)
44
Under (-110)

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Rams vs Cardinals Prediction for Week 13:

Game Total Prediction (TOP PLAY) – There is a lot on the line this Sunday, the Rams will be playing to keep atop the NFC West, while the Cardinals will be playing for respect and pride. The Rams defense has risen to the occasion this year after a dismal 2009 campaign and they are becoming increasingly dominant each passing week. The UNDER is 5-2-1 in the Rams last 8 games in December. Also, the UNDER is 9-2-1 in the Rams last 12 vs. NFC West opponents. These clubs have an extensive history of producing defensive battles and close games, they are divisional rivals however. The total has gone UNDER in 5 of St. Louis’s last 5 games when playing Arizona. To add to this notion, the total has gone UNDER in 5 of St. Louis’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Arizona. I expect the Cardinals to test Sam Bradford and his arm by mixing in some exotic blitz packages and stunts to put the rookie on his toes. This will turn into a ground game by the half and the game clock will work in the favor of the UNDER. Take a strong look at the UNDER in Arizona this Sunday.

Top Play Prediction = UNDER 44 Total Points

Spread Prediction – For all of the “hoop-la” concerning the Rams lopsided win in Denver last Sunday we should really take things into perspective. They were playing a very banged up and defensively poor club. The Broncos were also coming off of a week of intense scrutiny and controversy for the alleged video taping of a 49ers practice. The Rams are a resurgent and good football club, but they are not legitimate contenders at this points and I believe a let down performance is on their verge. The Rams have been atrocious when lining up against divisional opponents, the weakest division in the league may I add. The Rams are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 vs. NFC West opponents. St. Louis is a combined 81-111 ATS against conference opponents since 1992. The Cardinals have had some bad luck and key injuries this season, which has all but gone to ruin their 2010 hopes of postseason play. They are one of the most dismal offensive units in the league and the quarterback position needs to be addressed this off-season. One thing we have come to know about the Cards is that they are resilient and they will not go lightly. Arizona is 36-17 ATS in home games after 2 or more consecutive losses since 1992. St. Louis is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Arizona and is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Arizona. We will consider the Cardinals keeping this one closer then most think.

Prediction = Cardinals +3.5

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