Mike Dyce of NFLSpinZone.com and Procomputergambler.com continue to bring you our different takes on the marquee NFL match ups weekly. We accurately predicted how to bet last Thursday’s Browns vs Ravens match up and we face a tougher task this week.
Arizona Cardinals -1 @ St. Louis Rams Over/Under 39.5
What makes this game particularly tough is that the spread is only 1.5 points. What made the Browns/Ravens game so easy was that despite knowing Baltimore would win covering the spread was a much more sizable challenge. This is almost trying to pick a team to win straight up which is almost more difficult.
MIKE DYCE SAYS:
The Cardinals are on a hot streak of sorts and have raced out to an impressive 4-0 start. People who don’t know the NFL will see Arizona at 4-0 and the match up against the Rams, a team thats struggled for a while and think it’s an easy play. Arizona’s 4-0 record is very misleading and they could easily be 2-2. Certain things to look for in regards to Arizona are where they rank both offensively and defensively.
- 25th in passing yards per game (203 yards)
- 29th in rushing yards per game (68 yards)
- 21st in opponents passing yards per game (256 yards)
- 15th in opponents rushing yards per game (101 yards)
A lackluster offense with an average at best defense isn’t a recipe for success. They narrowly escaped Miami with a win and even allowed rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill to throw for 431 yards. However according to ESPN “Arizona ranks third in the NFL with 15.2 points allowed per contest and is fourth with 10 turnovers forced, including a league-high six fumble recoveries.”
The Rams offense is averaging 19.8 points a game. When mixed with Arizona’s defense it looks like the scoring will be shut down even despite Stephen Jackson’s return last week. That makes me personally inclined to take Arizona to win since the spread is so small, however this game is a toss up and my gut is torn with thinking Arizona is do for a loss, and the Rams have home field advantage.
That’s why I’m personally going to avoid picking a team with the spread and will instead settle for the Over/Under play.As I said I think St. Louis might struggle to score, I see this one being a low scoring contest so I am picking the Under. I don’t have much faith in St. Louis to put up more than 10 points, and I don’t see Arizona posting 30 either.
I’ll predict a score of Arizona 20 St Louis 13
THE COMPUTER SAYS:
The public loves Arizona and the over here. Arizona has had a roughly 9% more difficult schedule and they are 4-0; It seems to make a lot of sense to take them, but something smells fishy and -1 seems too easy and the line hasn’t moved from 1 even with the public hitting the Cardinals.
About Jeff Fisher, the St. Louis Rams new coach:
- 20-12-0 (+2.1 ppg, 62.5%) ATS as a home dog (with Tennessee and now 2-0 with the Rams).
- 6-0 ATS after winning as a division dog or PK since 1994.
However, the Rams are just 0-8-0 ATS simply after playing at home their past 8 games but that includes games before Fisher’s tenure began.
How big was the Rams win last week?
We have to remember that Seattle came out flat possibly because of their huge win with the NFL kicking the replacement officials to the curb win against the Packers and so the Rams might be getting too much credit after that win.
Picking the winner here is just not in our best interest. There are too many conflicting points that just don’t add up to wagering our money wisely on the winner in this spot.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “ya but the computer says Zona… I want to bet Zona!” Consider this: the Cardinals are just 4-11-0 SU and 2-12-1 (-7.3 ppg) ATS after 3 or more straight wins since 1990. The Cardinals are in unfamiliar territory right now.
However, there is a play the computer and ProComputerGambler.com still like on the primetime game, and that’s on the under 39.5.
- Since 1989, the UNDER is 35-13-0 (-6.2 ppg, 72.9%) on Thursday games when the total is between 35 and 41.5.
- Since 2008, the UNDER is 26-16-0 on Thursday games flat out. And if the total was under 41.5 that’s 11-1-0 (-11.9 points per game).
- The Cardinals are 20-5-0 80% UNDER as road favorites or PK since 1989; 7-1 87.5% -6.88 points per game) since 2008.
- Since 1989, the UNDER is 35-13-0 (-6.2 points per game, 72.9%) on Thursday games when the total is between 35 and 41.5. Since 2008, the UNDER is 26-16-0 on Thursday games flat out, and if the total was under 41.5 that’s 11-1-0 (-11.9 points per game).
- Since 2008, the Rams are 0-6-0 ST (1-5-0 (-6.2 ppg ATS) and 0-6-0 (-7.2 ppg) UNDER and dogs facing the Cardinals.
Look to find the best number still, and shop around if you are going to bet, 40 is the key number you’d like to get if possible.
The Computer Prediction:
Arizona Cardinals 18 @ St. Louis Rams 10
We actually agree which should make you maybe more confident in this play.
The Computer Play
1 Unit Under 39.5 ($11 to return $10)
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“ATS” – “Against the Spread” – To win, the team that “covers” the spread is the team that beats the imaginary “head start” given to the stronger team.
Eg. The Cowboys are a 7 point favorite against the Redskins – If you bet the Cowboys, they must win by MORE than 7 points, if you bet the Redskins, they must Win outright, OR Lose by LESS than 7 points. If the Cowboys win by 7, all bets are returned, and is known as a “Push”
“Fading” = Betting against
“Teasers” allow you to “buy” points on the sides that you like, and gain a bit more edge, but lose odds. Typically Teasers are played from anywhere from 2-8 games, and are teased from anywhere between 6-10 points.
“ROI” – Return on Investment – Given in Percentage
“SU” – Straight Up Winner
“Total” – In an “Over/Under” or “Total” Bet – you pick whether or not the combined score of BOTH teams are higher (Over) or lower (Under) than the line given.
“Unit” – Whatever given value one bets on average on a game. Used to show profit and loss a the end of a season. (See ROI)
“The Computer” – A powerful tool used to predict outcomes to sporting events. .
“Public” – The “general” consensus of the common folk who essentially dictate the price of the two teams once the odds are set. Note***The Pubic rarely wins.