Dec 072013

Arizona Cardinals (7-5) at St. Louis Rams (5-7)

I’m completely split on this one. On one hand, the Rams are in a great spot as road underdogs off of a road loss, after last week’s loss in San Francisco. Teams are 101-59 ATS in that spot since 2008 and cover at about a 65% rate historically, no matter what year you use to cut off your sample size. Teams seem to grow accustomed to playing away from home and that nullifies some of the negative effects.

However, the Rams have to host the Saints next week so they might not be able to be focused enough to compete here. Teams struggle mightily before being big home underdogs. Teams are 48-86 ATS before being home underdogs of 4 or more since 2010, 31-70 ATS before being home underdogs of 5 or more, 26-59 ATS before being home underdogs of 6 or more, and 13-37 ATS before being home underdogs of 7 or more. The early line is currently at 5 in favor of New Orleans.

We’re also not getting any line value either way as this line is right around where it should be. The Cardinals rank 10th in the NFL, moving the chains at a 73% rate, as opposed to 71% for their opponents. The Rams, meanwhile, 20th in the NFL, moving the chains at a 72% rate, as opposed to 74% for their opponents. I have this line calculated at 6, which is exactly where it is. We can’t even fade the public because the public is also split almost completely. Gun to my head, I’m taking the Cardinals because of how fluky some of the Rams’ victories have been this season, but I have no confidence at all.

Arizona Cardinals 17 St. Louis Rams 10

Pick against spread: Arizona -6

Confidence: None

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