Carolina Panthers at St. Louis Rams, Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
Sunday, October 31, 2010, 1:00 pm EST, TV: FOX
Opening Line: Rams -3
Current Line: Rams -3
Opening Total: 35
Current Total: 37
Money Line: Rams -145 / Panthers +125
The Carolina Panthers (1-5) may be coming off their first win of the season, but the St. Louis Rams (3-4) will be going for their fourth straight victory at home when they square off on Sunday. The Rams (-3 on the NFL betting lines) have earned all three of their wins at the Edward Jones Dome and will be looking to bounce back from an 18-17 loss at Tampa Bay last week.
St. Louis led the Buccaneers for most of the game, starting from midway through the second quarter until there were only 10 seconds remaining. The Rams built a 17-3 halftime lead behind a pair of touchdown passes from rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, who threw for just 126 yards but failed to toss an interception for the second straight game. Bradford had thrown a pick in each of his first five career games, but Tampa limited him through the air even though running back Steven Jackson posted his third consecutive 100-yard game on the ground.
The Panthers own the NFL’s fourth-ranked pass defense, giving up 182.5 yards per game with 10 interceptions. However, they have struggled a bit against the run, allowing an average of 128.5 yards. San Francisco running back Frank Gore rushed for 102 yards on 19 carries in a 23-20 win for Carolina. Jackson is battling a finger injury though and has been limited to 85 yards and no touchdowns in two previous games against the Panthers.
Carolina is also dealing with injuries in the offensive backfield, as running back DeAngelo Williams is listed as doubtful with a foot injury. If Williams does not play, that will open the door for Jonathan Stewart, who rushed for more than 1,100 yards a year ago but has totaled only 148 on 50 carries this season.
Fans hoping for a rookie quarterback matchup between Bradford and Carolina’s Jimmy Clausen will also have to wait until the future. Matt Moore threw for a career-high 308 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers and will get the call again here. The Panthers are 3-0 when Moore has at least 200 passing yards and will get an excellent opportunity to surpass that level again against a Rams secondary that is allowing nearly 222 per game.
These teams have not faced each other since 2007, when Carolina earned the last of three straight regular-season wins in the series by 13 points or more. The UNDER has cashed in each of those three games and is 10-3 in the last 13 October games for the Panthers.
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