Each year, millions and millions of dollars are bet, won, and lost on NFL games, whether they be simple bets on over/unders or game-by-game picks for/against a spread. Well, the LVH Superbook has finally released their season “win totals” for each of the 32 teams. Can the St. Louis Rams “take the over” in 2013?
Well first, you might want to know the bet! The Rams over/under is marked at 7.5 wins. In layman’s terms, that means if you were to take the over, you are banking on St. Louis winning eight or more games; taking the under means you’re hoping for no more than seven wins.
Naturally, we at Ramblin’ Fan would put our hypothetical money on over, just out of shear fandom. But, is eight wins a real possibility in 2013?
The schedule appears to be pretty favorable to the Rams, especially headed towards their Bye in Week 11. In the first 10 games, there appear to be 5 “should-win” matchups: Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, and Tennessee Titans. On top of those games, they will host both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in the Edward Jones Dome. Last season, the Rams were undefeated within the NFC West at home, losing only to the ‘Hawks in Seattle and tieing the ‘9ers in San Francisco. That leaves three away games, against the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans, and Indianapolis Colts. Playing the Falcons early in the year could be the Rams shot at an upset, especially with all of their moving pieces on defense. Even so, it is unlikely that St. Louis will be favored in any of those games, and with good reason, at least if we are using last season as a measuring stick.
So, coming out of the first half of the regular season, the Rams have a reasonable shot at four to seven wins. In a best-case-scenario, the St. Louis Rams’ rookie skill players will acclimate quickly, Richardson and Stacy to fill the Steven Jackson void seamlessly, and the rookie defensemen, Ogletree and McDonald, will step in and play like rockstars. If the offense and defense are firing on all cylinders, it wouldn’t be unthinkable to see the Rams start off the season with seven or eight wins; beating the teams that they should beat, and repeating their 2012 success against NFC West opponents.
After their “week off,” the Rams jump back into the schedule against the Bears in a rematch from last season. In 2012 against Chicago, the Rams were still “in the game” headed into the 4th Quarter, but a stagnant offense and an untimely interception sent St. Louis’ chances of winning into a down-spiral. After the Bears, the Rams have a double-header on the road against the NFC West, taking on the 49ers and Cardinals in back-to-back weekends. All in all, St. Louis appears to have only two “should win” games in the latter half of the season: Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They could have a shot at the Bears, considering they are playing at home, and might be an “even” matchup against the New Orleans Saints, especially if their defense doesn’t drastically improve from last season. Assuming the Rams split the series with San Francisco and Seattle, the Rams have a shot at three to four wins in the latter half of the season.
So, based solely on our way-too-early, not-so-bold predictions for the upcoming season, the St. Louis Rams are looking at somewhere between seven to eleven total wins in 2013. That puts them right on the cusp of the over/under scenario, with a slight lean towards the “over.” If the St. Louis Rams handle their business in all of their should-win matchups [Arizona Cardinals (2x), Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Tennessee Titans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers] and split their series with the rest of the NFC West, the Rams are already looking at nine wins.
With all of that in mind, what would you put your money on: Over or Under 7.5 wins next season?