Sam Bradford & Philip Rivers Square Off As Chargers (-8) Visit Rams

October 16th, 2010 – by Alex

The St. Louis Rams (2-3) and San Diego Chargers (2-3) will look to quickly forget disappointing performances from a week ago as they meet in St. Louis on Sunday. This week 6 NFL kickoff is scheduled for approximately 1pm EST and can be seen on CBS as well as DirecTV channel 708.

The Rams looked like they poised to break out behind rookie quarterback, Sam Bradford, right up until they lost to the Detroit Lions. Nevertheless, the Rams are still playing better than expected and a lot of that is the result of Bradford’s 1159 yard, six touchdown and eight interception early season. The only notable concern for the team as of now is the fact that the line isn’t protecting him particularly well, as he’s already been sacked 11 times for the year.

Running back, Steven Jackson has been instrumental in helping the young quarterback develop as he’s shouldered a lot of the offensive load for the group. Thus far in the season, he’s racked up 398 yards on the ground. Meanwhile, receiver Danny Amendola has caught 33 balls for 303 yards and Mark Clayton has pitched in 23 catches of his own.

Defensively, this group is rallying behind linebacker James Laurinaitis who leads the team with 33 tackles followed by Oshiomogho Atogwe who comes in second with 25 tackles for the year. Bradley Fletcher has done his part racking up two out of the Rams’ four interceptions on the year.

Solid play from Bradford and Jackson will be key in order to pull off a victory against the Chargers, however, defense is what will be most important. On the year, St. Louis is allowing 19.2 points and 342 yards per game. If they can keep San Diego under both of those totals, they could be in position for an upset.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are coming into this match-up still winless on the road. Quarterback, Philip Rivers has been doing his part to keep San Diego above water with 1759 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year. However, his offensive line has been having some issues as they’ve allowed him to be sacked by opposing defenses 11 times already. In the last game, running back Michael Tolbert sat in for Ryan Mathews and as a result is now leading the team in rushing with 292 yards and four touchdowns.

With wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s contractual issues, Rivers has found himself going to his most reliable target Antonio Gates early and often. The Chargers tight end has caught 29 passes for 478 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, while receiver, Malcom Floyd has chipped in with 22 catches for 498 yards and three touchdowns.

On the defensive side, Steve Gregory leads the team with 30 tackles while Kevin Burnett has chipped in 29 tackles and four sacks. Shaun Phillips leads the team in sacks with six for the year, and the Chargers have racked up seven interceptions on the year as a group.

While Rivers’ efficiency and accuracy will be important, and a solid run attack will be key, nothing will be more crucial to a Chargers victory than the defense. So far for the year the San Diego defense has allowed 21.2 points and 244.2 yards per game, and they’ll need to reduce that number significantly to guarantee a victory against the wily Rams.

Game Lines: Despite the homefield advantage, the Rams are an 8 point underdog for the game. In addition, oddsmakers at Bodog Sportsbook have set the over/under at a total of 45 points. According to the Against The Spread Standings, St. Louis enters the game with a 3-2 ATS record while the Chargers sport a 2-3 ATS record.

ATS Betting Trends: The Rams are 5-1 ATS in their last games following a game they didn’t cover in and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog of three and a half to 10 points. Meanwhile, the Chargers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a game where they didn’t cover and 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games following an ATS loss.

Over/Under Betting Trends: This one could be tricky as their are several NFL betting trends pointing in opposite directions. In the Chargers last 4 games, the over is a perfect 4-0 while the under is 5-0 in the Rams last 5 games following an ATS loss.

In the Rams last 5 home games, the under has hit in 4 out of 5 games. Meanwhile, the over is 23-10-3 in the Chargers last 36 games on the road.

See more NFL Week 6 Betting Odds for this game and others at Bodog Sportsbook.

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