Kansas City Chiefs
(8-5, 7-6 ATS)
St. Louis Rams
(6-7, 9-4 ATS)
There weren’t many NFL betting fans that really thought that this duel between Show Me State rivals was going to mean much, let alone be a clash of division leaders. Alas, that’s what has happened for Sunday, as the St. Louis Rams meet the Kansas City Chiefs at the Edward Jones Dome.
KC has had a tremendous revival this year, and it is fantastic to be talking about it this late in the season. However, with one more loss, the door swings open for the San Diego Chargers, who open this week just one game back with three to play. Last week was an embarrassment that needs to be forgotten quickly, as the Chiefs were beaten 31-0 by those Chargers to fall into this predicament. However, things are still already, as they control their own destiny and know that three wins will send them to the playoffs. The biggest question is whether QB Matt Cassel is going to be back in the fold or not. We tend to believe that he’ll be back, and the oddsmakers are confident enough in that decision to make KC a favorite in this game. Cassel has one of the best TD/INT ratios in the league, and you probably don’t even know it. He has thrown 23 TDs against just four picks, and his taking care of the football has made things tremendously easier for his duo of rushers, RB Jamaal Charles and RB Thomas Jones, who will have over 2,000 yards combined by the time this one finishes up on Sunday. As always, watch out for WR Dwayne Bowe as well, as he has 14 TD receptions to lead the team in scoring.
The Rams were certainly not a team that anyone figured would be hanging around in Week 15, and though a 6-7 record doesn’t normally suggest that a team would be playoff bound, that really could be the case. St. Louis knows that winning out would win the NFC West, and even just winning the two games after this one would get the job done as well. Whereas most of the NFL is racing to get to ten or 11 wins, the Rams are just trying to get to eight. QB Sam Bradford might be guiding one of the few offenses that still has a chance this year that is scoring less than 20 points per game, but he is clearly the undisputed leader of this franchise already as a rookie, and there is no doubt that he is winning Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Bradford has thrown for 2,884 yards and 17 TDs this year, and he has done so without having a single receiver with more than three TD grabs. He also won’t have a receiver this year reach even 800 yards in all likelihood.
The Rams might be a great story and might be a great home team, but there’s a point that you just don’t sneak up on anyone anymore. Assuming that Cassel is healthy, this is a great spot for the Chiefs to take just one more step towards that AFC West title. With two home games on tap when this one is over, the coast really might just be clear.
NFL Free Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -2