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St. Louis vs. New Orleans NFL Preview: Week 14 Free Pick

St. Louis Rams vs New Orleans Saints NFL Week 14 NFL Gambling & Free Predictions

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Week 14: Saints vs Rams Preview & Pick

Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010
Venue: Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Broadcast: FOX
St. Louis Rams at New Orleans Saints Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Money Line: Rams +370, Saints -470
Spread: Saints -9.5
Over/Under: 47
St. Louis Rams (6-6)
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Don’t expect the 2010 St. Louis Rams to go away any time soon. They’ve established themselves as a respectable, .500 team. They win the games they’re supposed to win – like their last two matchups against Denver and Arizona – and lose the games they have no business winning.

They get by offensively on the strength of talented running back Steven Jackson and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, who makes far fewer mistakes than most first-year pivots. The Rams also play average or perhaps even above-average defense. They allow the 10th-fewest points per game in the NFL and rank 14th against the run.

Bettors – or oddsmakers – haven’t caught on to the Rams’ legitimacy yet. They’re 9-3 against the spread this season and 5-1 ATS away from home.

New Orleans Saints (9-3)

The Rams have been a nice story this season but they don’t find themselves in an easy situation this week. They travel to the raucous Louisiana Superdome, where they’ll battle the defending Super Bowl champion Saints – who just happen to be on fire at the moment.

Drew Brees has taken the team on his shoulders, throwing for at least 300 yards in five of his last six games. Against the Cowboys and Bengals over the last two weeks, he led touchdown drives late in the fourth quarter.

The Saints’ offense is rounding into form, looking more and more like last year’s juggernaut every week. Brees has re-established his rapport with red-zone threat Marques Colston. Reggie Bush, back from a broken leg, should eventually find his rhythm. Rookie running back Chris Ivory has played well enough that New Orleans doesn’t have to rush Pierre Thomas back.

Defensively, the Saints haven’t been perfect; the Cowboys and Bengals moved the ball just fine against them. But this is still the ninth-ranked defense in the league and the third-best unit against the pass. Sam Bradford will have to be on point. If he holds onto the ball too long, the Saints will try to put lots of hits on him and knock the ball loose. They’re third in the NFL with 17 forced fumbles.

The pick:

We have to tread carefully betting against the Rams because they’ve done so well against the spread this season. They’re tough on the road and they pulled off a nice shocker win over San Diego earlier this season. However, I don’t know if they can handle what Drew Brees is bringing to the table right now. The Rams are beatable through the air; they’re 19th in the NFL in pass defense.

While I don’t expect Sam Bradford to totally flop, he does have a tough matchup in a hostile indoor environment. The Rams should keep this game interesting for a while but I think Brees will help the Saints pull away and cover the spread eventually.

Rams vs Saints prediction: Saints 35, Rams 24

Money Line: Saints -470
Spread: Saints -9.5
Over/Under: OVER 47

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.