(7-2, 5-4 ATS)
St. Louis Rams
(4-5, 7-2 ATS)
One of the teams with the best record in football takes on one of the teams with the best ATS mark in the game, as the Atlanta Falcons fly north to take on the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday afternoon.
Atlanta is coming off of a tremendous win over the Baltimore Ravens at home to keep control of the NFC South. The problem is that the rest of the teams just don’t seem to go away! The Falcons are just a game up on both the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and in spite of the fact that they have the best record in the conference, one loss can knock them totally out of the playoff picture. QB Matt Ryan is making a case to be the league’s MVP this year. He has thrown for 2,265 yards in the first nine games of the campaign, and he has a 16/5 TD/INT ratio. WR Roddy White has done a lot of damage for the Boston College product, catching 70 of his passes for 934 yards and seven scores for some of the best marks in the NFL for a wide receivers. This has been a solid year from RB Michael Turner to boot. Turner has come off of his suspect 2009 season by running for 733 yards and five TDs, and it is becoming more and more apparent that he will be back amongst the 1,000 yard rushers by season’s end.
The Rams continue to show some spunk, and that’s why they are still just one game out in the NFC West race. QB Sam Bradford has been up and down this year, but for a man that has already thrown 334 passes in just nine games, the rookie out of Oklahoma is doing a fine job. Bradford has thrown for 1,925 yards and 12 scores, and he has only turned over the pigskin eight times via picks. Once again last week, he generated a game tying field goal drive when all seemed to be lost, and though St. Louis ultimately went on to lose that game, it was a great sign for the future of this franchise. We’d like to see more than 3.9 yards per carry on the year out of RB Steven Jackson, but this is an offensive line in progress that he is working with. Still, Jackson, pending that his health still stays solid, will get to 1,000 yards once again as well. He also has just three scores, something that will have to change for the Rams to reach the postseason.
Here’s what you need to know about this game that can point you in the right direction. Atlanta has been a fantastic home team, but a mediocre road team. St. Louis has been a fantastic home team that has really played significantly better ball in front of its home crowd. These two teams aren’t separated by all that much, and we think that giving the Rams the full field goal at home is very, very generous.
NFL Free Pick: St. Louis Rams +3