St Louis Rams Odds Preview

Mention the Greatest Show on Turf to St. Louis Rams fans today and they may not even know what you’re talking about. That’s how far away the Rams’ glory days seem; the team has been so bad the last few years that it’s made St. Louis fans feel hopeless and the St. Louis Rams odds situation heading into the season reflect that. Odds at books like Bovada still reflect that bleak viewpoint for the Rams, but there could be help on the way. First overall pick Sam Bradford could be that prodigal son that leads St. Louis out of its dark ages. But will that happen this year?

Odds to Division: +2700 Regular Season Win Total: 4.5 (OV -125, UN -105) Super Bowl Odds: 110 to 1 Flash back to 1999. The Rams entered that season fresh off a 4-12 campaign and riding nine straight losing seasons. Then some guy named Kurt Warner became their starting quarterback and they went from perennial losers to Super Bowl champs in a single year.

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It’s fun to imagine that Sam Bradford can engineer a similar miracle turnaround for a current Rams team that hasn’t had a winning season since 2003 and has won six games in its last three seasons combined. But it’s hardly realistic. Yes, Bradford looks good so far; he dazzled in his recent preseason game against the New England Patriots. And yes, rookies Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco and Mark Sanchez all quarterbacked surprise playoff teams in the last few seasons. But the team around Bradford is far worse than the ones that were around those aforementioned quarterbacks, including Kurt Warner in 1999. Bradford has no reliable receiving targets; even shifty Donnie Avery is likely done for the season after injuring his knee this week. The Rams also had the NFL’s 29th-best defense last season and allowed over 27 points per game.

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Bradford’s only real support will come from big running back Steven Jackson. Who knows how successful Jackson’s career would’ve been if he played on a better team? He somehow topped 1,400 rushing yards last year despite facing tons of eight-man fronts. The guy deserves a medal. It’s mildly surprising to see the Rams’ 2010 win total as high as 4.5. This team won a single game last season; is it really four wins better because of Bradford alone? The Rams do have an easy schedule, facing just three teams who reached the playoffs last year. But if they’re the NFC’s worst team, everybody they play is better than them anyway. There are no actual easy games for St. Louis. The early signs suggest Bradford will eventually lead the Rams back to respectability. But it won’t happen overnight.

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