NFL Betting Picks Week 14: St. Louis Rams at Buffalo Bills
St. Louis Rams at Buffalo Bills
Sunday, December 9, 2012, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Ralph Wilson Stadium – Orchard Park, New York
Opening Line: Buffalo -3 (-120)
Current Line: Buffalo -3 (+100)
Opening Total: 42 1/2
Current Total: 42 1/2
Opening Money Line: Bills -145 / Rams +125
Current Money Line: Bills -145 / Rams +125
Both the 5-6-1 St. Louis Rams and 5-7 Buffalo Bills have outside shots of making the playoffs as the meet in Buffalo Sunday. However, the loser will most likely be eliminated from contention. The Rams trail the 7-5 Seattle Seahawks and a group of four 6-6 teams for the last playoff spot in the NFC. The Bills are tied with the Jets and Dolphins, but all three are two games behind Pittsburgh and Cincinnati for the last spot in the AFC with only 4 games remaining.
The Rams are coached by Jeff Fisher. St. Louis upset San Francisco last week in St. Louis 16-13 in overtime, three weeks after the two teams tied 24-24 in San Francisco. In addition to this Buffalo game, the Rams host Minnesota, before closing with tough road games at Tampa Bay and Seattle. St. Louis is 8-4 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season.
Buffalo is coached by Chan Gailey. The Bills won at home against Jacksonville last week 34-18. The Bills host the Seahawks next week, travel to Miami, and then close at home against the New York Jets. Buffalo is 6-6 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season. The Bills are 5-1 recently against the Rams, including a 31-14 win in St. Louis in 2008.
The Rams average 327.6 yards per game including 212.5 passing yards and 115.1 rushing yards. St. Louis is being outscored 22-18 this year. The Rams are -2 in turnovers. St. Louis has forced 34 sacks and allowed 30 this season. The Rams are 61/175 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, the Rams are giving up 340.7 yards per game, including 226.2 passing yards and 114.4 rushing yards. St. Louis has 4 defensive touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 60.8% of his passes for 2,668 yards with 14 touchd0wns and 9 interceptions, along with 28 carries for 100 yards with a touchdown. He has been sacked 30 times this season. Running back Steven Jackson has 195 carries, 772 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 198 yards. Jackson is probable with a foot injury. Daryl Richardson has 85 carries for 457 yards, along with 19 catches for 124 yards. Receiver Danny Amendola has 51 catches, 576 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a foot injury. Chris Givens has 33 catches, 559 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Brandon Gibson has 34 catches, 437 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Lance Kendricks has 29 catches, 296 yards and 2 touchdowns. Austin Pettis has 16 catches, 144 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Buffalo is averaging 346.4 yards per game on offense, including 198.5 passing yards and 147.9 rushing yards. The Bills are #4 in rushing and #26 in passing. Buffalo is being outscored 28-23 this season. The Bills are -6 in turnovers. Buffalo has forced 30 sacks and allowed 20 this season. The Bills are 59/149 on third and fourth down conversions. On defense, Buffalo is allowing 368.4 yards per game, including 229.3 passing and 139.2 rushing yards. Buffalo has 3 special teams touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has completed 61.1% of his passes for 2,471 yards with 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, along with 38 carries, 166 yards, and a touchdown. He has been sacked 20 times this season. Back-up quarterback Brad Smith has 95 rushing yards, a touchdown catch, and a kickoff return for a touchdown. Running back C.J. Spiller has 137 carries, 907 yards and 5 touchdowns along with 33 catches, 339 yards and a touchdown. Fred Jackson has 106 yards, 423 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 29 catches, 201 yards, and a touchdown. Tashard Choice will also get a few carries. Receiver Steve Johnson has 55 catches, 705 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He is probable with a hamstring injury. Tight end Scott Chandler has 32 catches, 417 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is probable with a groin injury. Donald Jones has 38 catches, 410 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is also probable with a calf injury. T.J. Graham has 21 catches, 203 yards, and a touchdown. Other than the running backs, no other Bill has more than 6 catches. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin has 2 punt return touchdowns. He is questionable with a back injury. Nine Buffalo defensive players and five offensive linemen are listed as questionable, doubtful, or out Sunday.
The Rams are 4-1 ATS after a straight up win, 4-1 in road games, 5-2-1 on turf, 9-4 in road games against teams with losing home records, and overall, 3-8 against teams with losing records, 1-3-1 in December and 0-4 in Week 14 games. The last 4 games in this series have gone over the total.
The Bills are 2-7 ATS after a straight up win by 14 or more points, 1-4 after allowing 90 rushing yards or less, and 250 total yards, 2-9-1 after a cover, and 1-6-1 after a straight up win.
Neither one of these teams are very good, and it will almost take a miracle for either to make the playoffs. The weather is supposed to be very cold with a 40 percent chance of freezing rain or snow. I know that rarely happens in Buffalo in December, but I like the Bills to win a close game at home.