Rams 2008 Gambling Preview August 5th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Futures Betting – 2008 St. Louis Rams Wagering Outlook
The St. Louis Rams, (3-13 SU, 5-11 ATS, 7-9 O/U) recorded a dismal 3-13 straight up mark in the Top Sportsbooks Sportsbook for the Top Sportsbooks NFL online sports wagering community in 2007 and posted equally uninspiring wagering statistics across the board last season, going just 5-11 against the spread, (ATS), and 7-9 in all Over/Under wagers, (O/U) last season, including a 2-6 ATS home record, 3-5 ATS road record, as well as a 5-3 O/U home mark and 2-6 O/U road record.
Despite their floundering last season, the Rams believe they can improve in a big way in 2008 no matter what anyone else says.
Here is a look at the St. Louis Rams’ upcoming 2008 NFL season, followed by a look at their 2007 NFL statistics, 2008 NFL draft picks and 2008 NFL Odds in the Our best Sportsbooks.
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St. Louis would appear to be in good shape at quarterback – should starter Marc Bulger not get injured in 2008. If he does go down at some point, which is a strong possibility, the Rams could be in big trouble as they brought back former starting quarterback, veteran Trent Green, to back Bulger up.
The problem with this scenario is the fact that Green is still playing after suffering two absolutely horrific concussions the last couple of seasons and genuinely looks like he could be one more shot away from being seriously injured if you ask me.
With respected NFL offensive-minded coach Al Saunders taking over the Rams’ offense this season, the Rams should play to Bulger’s strengths – if they can get some decent blocking up front, which could be a huge question in 2008.
The health of All-Pro tackle Orlando Pace will be more crucial than ever after the gifted, but injury-prone offensive lineman went down in the first game of the 2007 regular season and missed the entire season. If Pace misses any more time in 2008, another near-certainty, St. Louis will be in trouble with both, their passing and rushing attacks.
The offensive line’s troubles last season were the root cause of the Rams ranking just 24th overall, (297.5 yards per game) and 19th in passing, (202.1 ypg) and a dismal 25th in rushing.
The Rams brought in veteran Jacob Bell to play left guard, but this team still has plenty of questions up front with center Richie Incognito, right guard Mark Setterstrom and right tackle Alex Barron.
Steven Jackson starts at running back with a lot to prove in 2008 following an inconsistent and injury-riddled season in which he rushed for just 1,002 yards and fell far short of the 2,500 combined yardage total he set prior to the 2007 season after putting up a whopping 2,334 combined yards in 2006.
If Jackson gets injured at some point, (another solid likelihood), the Rams signed veteran back, Antonio Pittman after he was cut by New Orleans, to back him up, despite the fact that Pittman averaged just 3.5 yards per carry on 86 attempts last season.
The Rams have an unimpressive group of tight ends in Steve McMichael, Joe Klopfenstein and veteran Anthony Becht, signed this offseason.
St. Louis parted ways with longtime wideout Isaac Bruce, (not a popular decision) following the 2007 but still have one of the best wideouts in the game in veteran Torry Holt.
St. Louis will likely start veteran Drew Bennett opposite Holt with veteran Dante Hall back to return punts and young receivers Donnie Avery, Dane Looker and Keenan Burton all competing with veteran Reche Caldwell for the remaining receiver roster spots.
No matter who lines up for the Rams in 2008 at any position, improving their 28th-ranked scoring offense, which averaged just 16.4 points per game last season, will definitely be a top priority for Saunders.
Defensively, the Rams ranked just 22nd overall last season and may not be much better under defensive coordinator Jim Haslett in 2008 after allowing a whopping 341.9 total yards per game, including 226.6 passing yards, (21st), 115.2 rushing yards per game, (20th) and whopping 27.4 points per game to rank next to last in that category.
The team drafted defensive end Chris Long with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft and he will start immediately along a veteran-laden defensive line featuring Leonard Little playing the other end and La’Roi Glover and Adam Carriker manning the tackle positions.
The Rams are hoping Long can make an instant impact as a pass rusher with this unit, but the team’s backups are largely question marks in Victor Adeyanju, James Hall, Eric Moore and Clifton Ryan.
St. Louis has an uninspiring group of linebackers in starters Pisa Tinoisamoa and Chris Draft, though outside linebacker Will Witherspoon played at a high level in 2008.
This unit will need to perform much better in 2008. More question marks spring up with St. Louis’ mediocre core of backup linebacker, Quinton Culberson, Tim McGarigle and rookies Chris Chamberlain and Marc Magro will undeniably get more than their fair share of chances to beat out one of the veterans.
The Rams struggled with the health of their defensive secondary last season, though talented free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe led the NFC with eight interceptions in 2007.
Cornerback Fakhir Brown had problems with the league’s substance abuse program and the team’s other starting corner, Tye Hill, missed eight games last season after a complicated wrist surgery. Backups, Ron Bartell and David Macklin are solid if not spectacular.
Place kicker Josh Brown and punter Donnie Jones are steady.
2007 NFL Statistics
297.5 Total Yards per game: Rank 24
202.1 Passing Yards per game: Rank 19
95.4 Rushing Yards per game: Rank 25
16.4 Points Scored per game: Rank 28
341.9 Total Yards per game: Rank 22
226.6 Passing Yards per game: Rank 21
115.2 Rushing Yards per game: Rank 20
27.4 Points Allowed per game: Rank 31
2008 NFL Draft Picks
1. 2 (2) Chris Long, DE – Virginia
2. 2 (33) Donnie Avery, WR – Houston
3. 2 (65) John Greco, G – Toledo
4. 2 (101) Justin King, CB – Penn State
4. 29 (128) Keenan Burton, WR – Kentucky
5. 22 (157) Roy Schuening, G – Oregon State
7. 21 (228) Chris Chamberlain, LB – Tulsa
7. 45 (252) David Vobora, OLB – Idaho
2008 NFL Odds in Our best Sportsbooks
The 2008/09 NFL betting season is coming, and if you like to bet on the NFL, you are in the best possible place for online betting. The BetUS sportsbook has NFL odds up on a ton of games, totals and propositions, and you will also find NFL future lines up for the Super Bowl as well. Join our sportsbooks today and we’ll help guide you right through to Super Bowl XLIII and beyond!
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