2012 St. Louis Rams Betting Preview
The St. Louis Rams have won 15 games total over the last five seasons, and seven of those came in one season, 2010. They’re also now on their fifth head coach since 2005, after dumping Coach Spagnuolo and bringing in former Oilers/Titans HC Jeff Fisher to see if he can do something with this crew. He’ll have his hands full, although he does have, supposedly, a “franchise” quarterback, a perennial 1,000-yard rusher and one of the best young defensive linemen in the league to build around. It’s just going to take some time, and some luck, and some better health, and some good drafts. Nothing too tough, right?
Last Season in Review
St. Louis has a good claim at being a victim of the schedule-maker last year. The Rams started off with games against the Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Packers, Cowboys and Saints all within the first seven weeks of the season. Not surprisingly, they lost their first six games, five of them by a lot. St. Louis then played its best ball of the season, if you could call it that, when it upset New Orleans, lost in OT to Arizona, then beat Cleveland. But the Rams then lost their last seven in a row, as the offense went into early hibernation, to finish at 2-14.
For the season St. Louis played eight teams that eventually made the playoffs, plus the Eagles and Cowboys.
The Rams ranked 31st in the league last year in offense at 284 YPG, 23rd in rushing at 104 YPG, 22nd in defense at 358 YPG and 31st vs. the run at 152 YPG.
So overall they ranked 30th in total yardage at -74 YPG, in total rushing at -48 YPG and in time-of-possession at -3:46 per game.
Over the league as a whole last year teams that got outrushed covered the spread just 31 percent of the time, and teams that lost the TOP battle covered just 34 percent of games. So it comes as little surprise that St. Louis was the worst team in the league to bet on last year, going a dismal 3-12-1 ATS.
The Rams also ranked dead last in point differential at –13 PPG.
Also, as St. Louis games averaged 37.5 points, fifth-fewest in the league, they went 6-9-1 on the totals.
Individually, QB Sam Bradford, behind a banged-up offensive line, operating for much of the season on a sprained ankle and missing six games, completed just 54 percent of this throws last year, with a 6/6 TD/INT ratio. But RB Steven Jackson ran for 1,110 yards, his seventh-straight thousand-yard season, and DE Chris Long bagged 13 sacks.
Over the off-season St. Louis did some house-cleaning, parting ways with leading receiver Brandon Lloyd, three starters from the O line and six starters from the defense. In the acquisitions department the Rams signed former Packers C Scott Wells, former Chiefs OT Barry Richardson, former Dolphins DT Kendall Langford, former Saints LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar and one of Coach Fisher’s former CBs at Tennessee, Cortland Finnegan.
Then at the draft the Rams, with six choices in the top 100, took Louisiana State DT Michael Brockers at No. 14, Appalachian State WR Brian Quick at No. 33, North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins at No. 39, Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead at No. 50, Montana CB Trumaine Johnson at No. 65 and Wake Forest WR Chris Givens at No. 96.
Let the rebuilding begin.
2012 Rams Schedule
St. Louis will play the fourth-toughest schedule in the league this season, according to last year’s W/L records, but that might be a bit misleading because of games vs. the 15-1 Packers and 13-3 Patriots, plus two with the 13-3 Niners. The Rams only have five games vs. teams that made the playoffs last year, although they do also have to play the Bears and Jets. St. Louis opens at Detroit, then plays five straight against teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year. They then go Packers-Patriots-Niners-Jets, but finish with the Bills, Vikings, Bucs and Seahawks. So while there are a handful of clear mis-matches, there are also at least a half-dozen or so opportunities for victories.
2012 St. Louis Rams Betting Odds and Prediction
Bovada is listing St. Louis at +900 to win the NFC West this season, 40/1 to win the NFC and 75/1 to win the Super Bowl, while Bookmaker has pegged the Rams with a regular-season wins ‘over/under’ of six (-115 both ways).
We’ve been fans of Coach Fisher for quite some time, and though we have some doubts as to whether he’ll be able to turn this outfit around, he’ll most certainly get more out of this group than his predecessors. But for this season it’s hard to figure how they’ll go from two wins to seven. So we’re leaning toward the ‘under’ on six wins for the Rams this season.