NFL Picks Week 10: St. Louis Rams vs. Cleveland Browns

St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns
Sunday, 11/13/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV:  FOX
Opening Point Spread:  Cleveland -3
Current Betting Line:  Cleveland -3
Opening Total:  37
Current Total:  37
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Cleveland Browns are field-goal favorites Sunday against the St. Louis Rams

St. Louis missed out on an opportunity to put together a winning streak after dropping its first seven games of the 2011 campaign, but ultimately was handed a 19-13 loss by the Arizona Cardinals last week as 2.5-point road underdogs.  The Rams defense has been playing much better the past two games, limiting opponents to under 300 yards of offense, including a season-low 262 against the Cardinals.  St. Louis is 1-7 ATS on the year and the ‘under’ is 4-3 this season.

The Rams will need to turn to running back Steven Jackson to win this game on the ground, rushing for 130 and 159 yards in the past two games.  St. Louis must stay consistent in play calling in try to exploit a Cleveland stop unit that ranks 30th against the run.  Second-year quarterback Sam Bradford has been banged up and not as sharp this year due to injuries.  “I missed some throws that I normally would make,” commented Bradford after last week’s loss.  “That’s what was frustrating to me.”

Cleveland will also look to pound the rock in facing a St. Louis defense that ranks last in giving up 153.6 rushing yards per game, but star running back Peyton Hillis will be missing a fourth game with a hamstring injury.  The Browns have their own second-year quarterback, Colt McCoy, who has tailed off since averaging nearly 240 passing yards in the first five games.  He still comes in completing 177 of 308 attempts for 1,764 yards and 10 touchdowns against six interceptions.  Cleveland is 0-3 ATS at home this year and the ‘over’ is 11-9 in the last two-plus seasons in that situation.

The Browns have had all kinds of trouble in the first and third quarters this year, getting outscored by a 90-15 margin, failing to score a touchdown in either frame.  Cleveland will be meeting St. Louis for the 19th time during the regular season, with the series tied at nine games apiece.  First-year head coach Pat Shurmur will likely try to change things up to get the offense going, as the team called a running play on this first play 11 times in 12 series last week in a 30-12 loss to the Houston Texans as 10.5-point road underdogs.

Bettors will likely back the Browns due to their 9-6 ATS mark following two or more losses, while the Rams are 1-8 ATS as an underdog.

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