The St. Louis Rams head north for a Week 3 battle against the Chicago Bears this weekend. Will the Rams cash their third straight ticket this week, or should bettors add the Bears to their NFL picks instead? Find out who we like.
The St. Louis Rams
cashed their second of two tickets this year with last weekend’s 31-28 victory
as 3 ½-point home dogs against the Washington Redskins. Jeff Fisher’s club makes a short trip for
this Sunday’s matchup with the Chicago Bears, who have not faced St. Louis
since a 17-9 home win in 2009.
Sports books opened
Chicago as an eight-point favorite, while early ‘steam’ on the Rams dropped the
number to seven. NFL odds makers first
set the ‘total’ at 44 ½, remaining unchanged on most boards after initial
betting action was mixed.
Rams rally past Redskins
St. Louis trailed by a
21-6 deficit in the second quarter of its triumph over Washington, surging for
a stretch of 17 unanswered points to take the lead. Rams mates Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson
caught one score each, while placekicker Greg Zuerlein capped off a 3-for-3 day
with a 42-yard field goal.
St. Louis’ Sam Bradford
threw for 310 yards under center, completing 26-of-35 passes. The third-year quarterback moved the chains
for 23 first downs in his squad’s 31 minutes of possession, while finding
Amendola for 160 receiving yards on 15 catches.
The contest’s combined
59 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 42 ½, bringing the OVER to 2-0 in St.
Louis’ first two weeks of action. St.
Louis’ defense held Washington to 197 yards through the air, with cornerback
Cortland Finnegan logging the team’s sole interception.
Bears fall short in Green Bay
Chicago picked up its
season’s first loss in last Thursday’s 23-10 setback against the Green Bay
Packers, dropping the battle as a five-point road dog. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw four
interceptions, while being sacked seven times.
Bears tight end Kellen
Davis caught a late 21-yard touchdown from Cutler, while running back Michael
Bush dashed for a team-high 54 yards out of the backfield. Chicago was penalized eight times, costing
Love Smith’s club 85 yards, while finishing with 28 minutes of possession.
The battle’s combined 33
points plunged below the ‘total’ of 50 ½, moving the UNDER to a 1-1 mark in the
Bears’ first pair of games. Chicago’s
Julius Peppers registered two of his crew’s five sacks, while its placekick
coverage unit allowed Green Bay’s Tom Crabtree to take in a touchdown as part
of a fake field goal.
Back the UNDER in Chicago
Sunday’s kickoff is
slated for 1 p.m. (ET). Chicago’s Matt
Forte and St. Louis’ Steven Jackson are listed as “questionable” with ankle and
groin injuries, respectively.
I am adding the UNDER in
this matchup to my NFL picks for the week, looking for the Rams’ octane to slow
down with the switch to grass and Chicago to control the pace with sharp
St. Louis managed just
5.8 PPG in its five road dates on grass last year, including shutout defeats in
Pittsburgh and San Francisco. The UNDER
has collected at a 23-8 clip in the Rams’ last 31 contests at grass venues,
while going 5-2 in its last seven spots that followed a victory.
Chicago has been held to
298 YPG with the ball, ranking 27th, while tied for the second-most
sacks on defense with eight. The Bears
have allowed just 6-of-24 third-down conversions, holding serve against Aaron
Rodgers and Andrew Luck.
Look for UNDER tickets to get the money here, adding to an 18-8 mark for the wager in Chicago’s last 26 matchups that followed a defeat. I believe that the Week 3 NFL odds have been set a bit low here, and us bettors are in the prime spot to pick up some value.
Free NFL Pick:
Take the UNDER