Seahawks at Rams
October 28, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The focus in St. Louis (and most of the Midwest) will be on Busch Stadium tonight with Game 5 of the World Series between the Cardinals and Red Sox. However, the Rams don't want to be forgotten as they wrap up Week 8 in the NFL with a division showdown against the NFC West-leading Seahawks. The task will no doubt be tough for Jeff Fisher's club, who turns to their backup quarterback tonight.
In last week's 30-15 beatdown at Carolina, the Rams not only lost their fourth game of the season, but lost Sam Bradford to a torn left ACL. The former top pick from Oklahoma suffered the knee injury in the fourth quarter, as the St. Louis offense only mustered one touchdown, while failing to cover as 7 ½-point road underdogs. In spite of the defeat, the Rams sit just one game below .500 at 3-4, but St. Louis will turn to Kellen Clemens to steer the ship at quarterback against a tough Seattle defense.
The Seahawks took care of another division foe on the road last Thursday in a 34-22 rout of Arizona to cash as five-point favorites. Seattle built a 14-0 advantage before Arizona cut the deficit to 17-13 several minutes into the third quarter. The Seahawks erased any Cardinals' hope of a win by scoring the next two touchdowns to maintain a double-digit edge. Pete Carroll's squad improved to 7-1 overall and 5-2 against the number, while the Seahawks look to stay hot on the road again.
Seattle has won three of four games away from CenturyLink Field this season, equaling its victory total on the road from last season already. The Seahawks jumped a huge hurdle in last week's triumph at Arizona, snapping a four-game skid against NFC West opponents on the road dating back to 2011, but Seattle has been up and down when it comes to visiting the Edward Jones Dome.
Last season, the Seahawks were tripped up by the Rams in a 19-13 defeat as 2 ½-point road favorites. That loss came less than one week following the infamous "Hail Mary" touchdown against the Packers with the replacement officials to give Seattle the improbable victory over Green Bay. Following a Marshawn Lynch rushing touchdown, the Seahawks were outscored 19-6 the rest of the way, as Russell Wilson was intercepted three times by the St. Louis defense. The Seahawks have lost two of three visits to the Edward Jones Dome in Carroll's tenure, including twice in the favorite role.
The Rams have won two of three home contests, but the two victories have come against the Cardinals and winless Jaguars. The only defeat came to Seattle's chief rival, San Francisco back in Week 4 in a 35-11 setback. Under Fisher, the Rams have covered all four times as an underdog of at least nine points, including in a Week 6 rout of Houston.
From a totals standpoint, St. Louis has cashed the 'over' in six of seven games, including all three at the Edwards Jones Dome. Seattle drilled the 'under' in the first two weeks of the season, but the Seahawks are riding a 4-1 'over' run, while going 'over' the total in the last three road contests.
Favorites own a 5-3 SU and 3-4-1 ATS record on Monday night football this season, while the Raiders (push at Denver) and Jets (won at Atlanta) saw success as double-digit underdogs. The 'over' cashed at a 5-1 clip to start the season on Mondays, but the 'under' has come back in the last two weeks thanks to strong defensive performances by the Chargers and Giants.
The Seahawks are listed as 11 ½-point favorites in most spots, but that number is hovering around 13 in other locations. The total is set between 43 and 43 ½, as the game kicks off at 8:30 PM EST and can be seen on ESPN.
Week 9 Look-ahead:
-- Five teams opened as road favorites, including the Bengals (at Miami), Saints (at Jets), Chiefs (at Buffalo), Ravens (at Cleveland), and Colts (at Houston). The longest favorite is New Orleans, who is laying 4 ½ points at New York in an interconference matchup.
-- Seattle will be listed as a double-digit favorite for the fourth time this season next Sunday with a visit from winless Tampa Bay. The Seahawks opened as 16 ½-point favorites, while going 1-1 ATS against Jacksonville and Tennessee at home in large 'chalk' spots.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.