Saturday, Aug. 24, 8 p.m. (ET)
Pointspread: Denver -7
Total Line: 43
The Rams face a tall task of making their presence felt in the same division as San Francisco and Seattle, but optimism for a winning season after going 7-8-1 last season remains high. They started the preseason with a 27-19 loss to Cleveland as 3.5-point road underdogs and fell to 0-2 with a 19-7 loss to Green Bay last Saturday as four-point favorites at home.
Much of the excitement in St. Louis this offseason revolved around the addition of a pair of former West Virginia wide receivers in the first and fourth round of the draft. The top pick, Tavon Austin has caught four balls for 28 yards while Stedman Bailey has two receptions for 27 yards. Look for Sam Bradford to try and get the ball to both of these playmakers more often on Saturday night given that the fourth-year quarterback should see his most playing time of this preseason.
Denver comes into the third week of the preseason with multiple concerns that are sure to carry over into the start of the regular season in just two weeks. Its top defensive player Von Miller is facing an extended suspension for drug use and the Bronco’s offensive line has already lost two centers for the year due to injury.
The injury situation does not end there. Cornerback Champ Bailey is dealing with a serious foot sprain and wide receiver Wes Welker has been hobbled with a mild ankle sprain. Add in the fact that the Broncos just got pasted 40-10 by Seattle as 5.5-point road underdogs last Saturday and some of the shine on these Super Bowl favorites has definitely been worn a bit off. The good news is that this team still revolves around the play of Peyton Manning and he has looked sharp in limited action so far by completing 13-of-20 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown.
Free NFL Pick
Despite all its current issues, Denver remains one of the top teams in the NFL and a legitimate favorite to go all the way this year. Seeing how this game serves as the dress rehearsal for the regular season opener, look for the real Broncos show up on Saturday night with a much better performance in front of the home-town crowd.
Denver 24 St. Louis 14
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.