It’s Week 5 of the NFL season and it’s about the time where we start to see some of the contender separate from the pretenders. Fresh off a bye week, the St. Louis Rams will desperately look to inch their way into the contending category as they travel to Philadelphia to take on an Eagles squad that was badly exposed last week in San Francisco. Though they remain a formidable group, it is apparent this Philly team isn’t as good as initially thought, and a refreshed Rams team off a bye week could prove to be quite the handful on Sunday. If St. Louis is going to have any hope of competing in this game, or this season, they’ll need to ignite their disappointing defense that’s totalled just one sack this season. As always, it’s a full slate of NFL Sunday action and we’ll look to provide winning advice and analysis. Read on below for further game details and our official wager on this Rams/Eagles showdown.
Rams vs. Eagles Betting Odds:
St. Louis Rams +7 (-110)
@ Philadelphia Eagles -7 (-110)
Over 47 (-110)
Under 47 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
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Rams vs. Eagles Pick:
Just like my write-up last week between the Eagles and the 49ers, my argument for backing the Niners was predicated on this Eagles team being vastly overrated. Of all the teams in the NFL, I think they’re the most overrated at the moment and they shouldn’t be laying seven points against anybody. Last week, Philly was about as fortunate as they could’ve hoped for. They netted two special teams touchdowns and a return TD, and still couldn’t win. They were outgained by over 200 yards in that match-up and it’s becoming abundantly clear that their 3-1 record is better than it should be.
One big theme for the Eagles early in their season has been their atrocious offensive line play. They’ve got a depleted group at the moment and it’s one that is continually exploited. Center Jason Kelce and guard Evan Mathis have been sorely missed, and despite St. Louis’ struggles in the pass rush, their defensive line has the potential to be dynamite. Look for that group to live in the Philly backfield and create all sorts of havoc for Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy on Sunday. Speaking of McCoy, fantasy owners have to be displeased with his start to the 2014 campaign. On his last 29 carries, he’s only managed 39 yards, much of those struggles a result of his dismal offensive line. Don’t expect a breakout game for Shady on Sunday.
The Eagles are also playing with fire on the defensive side of the football. Their secondary is particularly brutal at the moment, and relative unknown Rams’ QB Austin Davis should be able to put up some solid numbers. Davis has been quietly excellent in his two outings for St. Louis thus far. He boasts a 72% completing rate, while netting 8 yards per pass attempt. He could easily be 2-0 if it wasn’t for an easy dropped touchdown by Jared Cook in Week 3, and will be able to enjoy some success on Sunday. Chad Henne and Kirk Cousins both threw all over the Eagles, and Davis should be no different.
Right now, this line represents a classic case of the public perceiving the Eagles are contenders and the Rams are nowhere near that. When in reality, these teams are a lot closer than many think. St. Louis could easily be 2-1, while the Eagles should probably be 2-2 due to their fortunate victory over the Colts in Week 2. Not to mention, the great lengths they had to endure just to come back and beat the Redskins and Jaguars. This is not that good of a team and while I don’t know if they’ll lose this contest outright, it’s hard to imagine they rolling the Rams off a bye week. Jeff Fisher is 7-2 against the spread following a bye week, and with the Eagles looking forward to a huge divisional showdown with the Giants next week, the spot could be right for the Rams. Philly is oddly losers of their last seven against the spread the week before playing the G-Men, and off a cross-country trip, I don’t like their chances in this one. The Rams will be aready and they’ll be hungry, and against a team devoid of a competent defense, don’t be surprised if St. Louis pulls the upset.
PICK = Rams +7 (-110)