Able to boast a strong start to the season, the (6-1) Seattle Seahawks look for their divisional dominance to continue against the (3-4) St. Louis Rams (Monday, 8.40pm ET).
Considering the road success Seattle has had this year and the recent QB issues facing the Rams, the sportsbooks’ 11-point spread favoring the Seahawks is justified. In fact, it seems there is little the Rams will be able to do in order to stop Seattle from remaining perfect within the NFC West.
Replacing Sam Bradford
Earlier in the week, the St. Louis Rams got the news that starting QB Sam Bradford would miss the rest of the year with a season-ending injury. While the news itself was a blow, it was magnified by the fact that the Rams had no real backup to replace him.
St. Louis even reportedly inquired about the services of the 44-year-old retired grandfather Brett Favre as well as placed a call to Tim Tebow. Neither option panned out.
It is not that Bradford is irreplaceable. Over the course of his now four years in the NFL, Bradford has been average at best. The former Oklahoma standout has a completion percentage of 58.6 and just 11,065 total passing yards. He has 59 TD and 38 interceptions.
In 2013 however, despite the Rams having just the 18th best passing offense in the NFL, Bradford had actually been enjoying the best year of his career. After seven games and 14 TD, the 25-year-old QB was on pace for a career high in yards, completion percentage, TDs and passer rating. He was steadily improving with every game and really, so were the Rams.
But now, Kellen Clemens, an eight-year veteran and career backup will be under center taking snaps. Throughout his career, Clemens’ numbers really haven’t been anything special. Perhaps better than the alternative of Tebow or Favre, Clemens really is no threat offensively. For this reason, the Seahawks and their second best passing defense, one that has allowed just over 190 yards a game and that has sacked the quarterback 23 times in 2013, stands to have a significant advantage when facing the Rams and their backup.
Run Marshawn, Run
They call him “Beast Mode” and it is with good reason because in 2013, Marshawn Lynch (pictured) has absolutely been a beast when it comes to his impact in running the football.
Lynch, now in his seventh year in the NFL, is currently enjoying his best season. He is top three in the league in a handful of rushing categories including most notably, third in RUSH YPG (82.6), 2nd in TD (6) and 2nd in YDS (578).
Lynch, who is second only to LeSean McCoy this year as the NFL’s best back, has four 100 yard games, including both rushing and receiving stats. He has rushed alone for 90+ yards in four games as well, including 91 and 98 in two games against NFC West opponents.
Lynch has been tough to stop for a majority of this season but against battered run defenses, he has exploited holes to his advantage. Against the Rams, he’ll be facing the NFL’s second worst run defense, a group that has given up on average 126.4 rushing yards per game. As a result of the matchup, Lynch could be primed for a monster, or should I say, “beast” of a day against St. Louis.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams Betting Picks Verdict
This year, the Seahawks have been the team to beat especially when it comes to playing at home, but also on the road. In fact, the team’s only loss this season came against a tough (5-2) Indianapolis Colts team who have the distinction of being the only team to have defeated the (6-1) Denver Broncos this season.
With that loss as the exception, the Seahawks have won each of their road games, doing so for the first time since 2006. If Seattle wins Monday night like expected, it will bring their road record to 4-1 which will tie a franchise record for most road wins in a single season.
Overall, the biggest strength for the Seahawks is that running game. Their passing offense is ranked just 25th in the league. Against the Rams though, Seattle will be facing a passing defense that gives up well over 200 yards a game, yet another matchup that favors the road warriors in this one.
Defensively, the Seahawks are near the top of the class in the NFL. Overall, their team defense ranks fourth as individually Seattle is second in stopping the run and fifth in defending the pass.
Moving to the sportsbooks, the Seahawks have certainly improved upon last year’s results when it comes to facing St. Louis and in general. In 2013, the Seahawks are 5-2 ATS to match their 6-1 record. The Rams meanwhile are just 2-5 ATS, a trend that despite a lofty 11.5 points, should stand.
- Take the Seahawks -11.5pts @ betting odds of -110 with BetOnline to cover the spread (Bovada are -12pts for the same odds). If you are not an American resident then you can place this bet with Bet365.
- As for the total points, Seattle could easily find themselves running up the score. Consider the over at 42.5pts which is one of the lower totals of the weekly matchups. Again this is best @ -110 with BetOnline (Bovada are over 43 @ -115). Non-USA citizens can do it with Bet365.
RESULT UPDATE: Seahawks won 14-9.