Monday Night Football Picks: Seahawks at Rams Week 8 Odds
by Alan Matthews - 10/24/2013
I think the St. Louis Rams are desperately seeking any and all publicity. The team doesn't draw well and is third fiddle in town behind the Cardinals and Blues. There's been some talk the franchise could move back to Los Angeles. Team ownership didn't get some $700 million in public funds to renovate the Edward Jones Dome, and the Rams' lease can be up after next season should they chose. Maybe the London Rams?
I bring this up because the Rams nearly broke the Internet this week. Quarterback Sam Bradford, who was starting to finally play well, was lost for the season to a torn ACL in last week's loss to Carolina. That thrust former Jet Kellen Clemens into a starting role for this week. That's not too exciting. So there was talk the Rams might sign Tim Tebow, which thankfully they didn't pursue. If there's one player who riles up the talking heads more than Tebow, it's Brett Favre. And indeed, the Rams did call Favre's agent, but the 44-year-old Favre -- THANK GOD! -- said he was retired for good. That's how bad things are for the Rams, to call a guy who last played in December 2010 and who wasn't good at all that season. But it certainly would have filled the seats.
So it will be Clemens under center, unless Randall Cunningham or Phil Simms or Troy Aikman or Steve Young or Kurt Warner are signed by Monday, when the Rams host the Seahawks on Monday night. It's another stinker for ESPN, which pays around $105 million to telecast each MNF game. Since Week 4 when the unbeaten Saints and Dolphins faced off, we've been stuck with Jets-Falcons, Chargers-Colts (OK that one was pretty decent, but the game itself was dreadfully boring) and Vikings-Giants.
I think it's fair to say that Monday's game won't sell out or be watched by many people in St. Louis with Game 5 of the World Series scheduled that night at Busch Stadium. I still guarantee the NFL game will crush the baseball in terms of national ratings. Even Vikings-Giants was higher than Wednesday's Game 1 of the World Series, albeit barely. It's a football nation, to be sure.
Seahawks at Rams Betting Story Lines
This will be the 12th career start for Clemens and first since Bradford missed three games in 2011. Predictably, St. Louis lost those three. Clemens played the final five minutes or so against the Panthers and was 2-for-4 for 19 yards. In his career, the former second-round pick out of Oregon has completed 51.8 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and 13 picks for a rating of 62.2. So essentially he's Josh Freeman/Brandon Weeden/Blaine Gabbert. Should Clemens get hurt? The Austin Davis era may be upon us in St. Louis. Davis, who has never thrown a regular-season pass, is listed ahead of Brady Quinn on the depth chart -- both were signed this week. Quinn spent all of training camp and the preseason with Seattle, so maybe he can give a few hints at least about the Seattle offense.
If the Rams score double-digits it may be an upset. Clemens is going against certainly the NFL's best secondary and a team that is tied for the NFL lead with 19 takeaways. In addition, the Rams are No. 29 in rushing, although they may have found a serviceable No. 1 in Zac Stacy. He's averaging 4.3 yards per carry in the past three since taking over as the starter. Maybe the Rams are finally starting to use rookie receiver Tavon Austin as well. He played 32 snaps last week and had a 63-yard TD negated by penalty. Austin has been a bust.
The big news for Seattle is the potential season debut of Percy Harvin. He has been practicing this week after undergoing hip surgery this summer; Harvin is definitely a few weeks ahead of schedule, but Pete Carroll says the team won't rush him back. I don't see why Seattle should. It can beat St. Louis without Harvin and certainly can win next week at home against Tampa Bay without him. The Seahawks are just No. 25 in passing, but part of that is they are so good running the ball (No. 2).
The Rams gave Seattle fits last year. They won the Week 4 game in St. Louis 19-13, but Russell Wilson was still a green rookie then and threw three picks. In Week 17, the Seahawks won only 20-13 when they were playing their best football of the season. Wilson scored the winning touchdown with less than two minutes left. Seattle has won 14 of the past 16 meetings overall.
Seahawks at Rams NFL Week 8 Betting Odds and Trends
At Bovada, Seattle is an 11-point favorite with a total of 42.5. The Seahawks are 5-2 ATS (3-1 on road) and 4-3 “over/under” (3-1 on road). The Rams are 2-5 ATS (1-2 at home) and 6-1 over/under (3-0 at home). Seattle is 5-0-1 ATS in its past six Monday night games. It has covered just four of its past 15 after scoring more than 30 points in its previous game. St. Louis is 6-0-1 ATS in its past seven home games against teams with a winning road record. The Rams are 1-4 ATS in their past five after a loss of more than 14 points. St. Louis hasn't covered its past four on Monday night. The over is 8-2 in Seattle's past 10 road games. The over is 4-1 in the Rams' past five after a loss of more than 14 points. The underdog has covered in five of the past six meetings. The under is 5-1 in the past six.
Monday Night Football Picks: Seahawks at Rams Week 8 Betting Predictions
I thought the Rams had a shot to upset the visiting 49ers on a short week Sept. 26, and St. Louis laid an egg. So I'm not going to fall into that trap here, especially with Seattle having a few extra days to prepare. Maybe if Bradford was around the Rams could cover. Not with Clemens. Seattle wins something like 27-6, so take the under.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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