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Columns - Magazine

The Gambling Solution: 12/11

by Jeff Baldwin
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

Jeremy nailed both the side and total last Thursday Night as the Cowboys defeated the Bears 41-28.  Jeff fell short with his Bears selection, but was able to get a split as the game went over the total.  Tonight's game features the surging the Rams as they host the Cardinals who currently lead the NFC West by one game.  The Cardinals offense will have their hands full as the Rams defense has recorded back to back shutouts.  Can the Rams make it three straight wins?  Let's get to the picks for tonight's game.

 

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Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (-4.5)
Total Points: 40

Jeff: The Rams will look to continue their strong play as they host the Cardinals on Thursday Night Football.  The Rams defense has come alive after getting off to a slow start to begin the season.  During their two game win streak, they have delivered back to back shutouts against the Raiders and Redskins.  This is a team you don't want to face right now as they'll look to play spoiler the last three weeks of the season.  The Cardinals came up with a huge win against the Chiefs as they came back from an eight point deficit to win the game by three.  The win enabled them to maintain their one game lead in the NFC West over the surging Seahawks who'll they'll be hosting in Week 16.  The Cardinals are clearly not the same team as they have suffered key season ending injuries to QB Carson Palmer and RB Andre Ellington.  This matchup features two very good defenses so points will most likely be hard to come by.  The Rams ability to put pressure on the quarterback is one of their strengths as no team has had more sacks in the NFL since Week 7 (34).  They have also been very efficient in the slowing down the opponents running game as they are only giving up roughly 3.5 yards a carry over the past six weeks. I think the Rams continue their strong play here as they will look to make a statement to the rest of the league with a national audience tuned in to this game.  In what will be a low scoring defensive battle, look for the Rams to force some key turnovers and make a big play in special teams as they'll come away with the victory.

 

Pick: Rams -4.5
Total points: Under 40

Jeremy: The surprising St. Louis Rams host the Arizona Cardinals in this NFC West matchup on Thursday night. Both teams are coming off wins last week. The Cardinals got a much needed 17-14 win over the Chiefs that pushed their record to 10-3 and kept them in first place. The Rams, meanwhile, put together their second straight shutout with a 24-0 victory over the Redskins. These two teams met back in Week 10 with the Cardinals earning the 31-14 win. Both teams have gone through major changes since that game. The Rams defense is allowing less than 8 PTS/G during that stretch while developing a strong pass rush led by Robert Quinn who has 10.5 sacks on the year. On offense, the continued emergence of running back Tre Mason has been a key factor in the Rams’ recent success. In his last four games, Mason is averaging 108 yards from scrimmage and has scored in three of those contests. He will face a difficult challenge from the league’s sixth ranked run defense. The Cardinals’ secondary which ranks 27th in the league could be without CB Antonio Cromartie who will be a game time decision after suffering an ankle injury last week. I see this game being a close hard-fought defensive battle that could be decided by a field goal late. Scoring will be at a premium in this one as the Cardinals are averaging 12.5 PTS/G in their last four. The Rams have averaged 30 PTS/G in their last four but that number is a bit skewed as they put up 52 on the Raiders and 24 on the Redskins.  I expect those numbers to return to a more realistic level as they face a higher quality defense than they have in recent weeks. I like the Rams to continue their successful run with the outright win but I like the Cardinals to cover with a 20-17 final.

 

Pick: Cardinals +4.5
Total points: Under 40

Jeff Baldwin
Jeff Baldwin has written Rotoworld's 'Gambling Solution' on Season Pass since 2011. He can be found on Twitter @JeffBaldwin4.