St. Louis Rams vs. Baltimore Ravens Free Pick 8/29/13
Baltimore Ravens (10-6) at St. Louis Rams (7-8-1)
NFL Football: Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Edward Jones Dome)
The Line: St. Louis Rams -8.5 -- Over/Under: 38.5 See the Latest Odds
The Ravens and Rams meet in St. Louis as both teams look to avenge a loss sustained in last week’s preseason matchups.
Baltimore enjoyed one of its most successful and unexpected seasons in franchise history last year, as they backpedalled into the postseason, but coasted through the playoffs en route to their second Super Bowl trophy. However, the team has been dismantled, with a number of pieces finding new homes and it could be a couple years of rebuilding in Baltimore, especially if they have a subpar year to follow up their championship. The Ravens do have a solid running game, which should take pressure off Joe Flacco, who signed a ludicrous deal in the offseason. The defense still has some bite, but I think it’ll be a tough go around for Ravens fans this year, just a season removed from winning it all. Heading into St. Louis, the Ravens will look to reassert themselves as a contender, but it won’t be until September that we see what they’re made of.
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The Rams, meanwhile, are moving in the opposite direction and they’re taking a solid young team and building towards the future as they look to get back to the “Greatest Show on Turf” days that were dominated by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and the gang. Sam Bradford has had an up and down start to his NFL career, but he looks like he can still turn things around and become a legitimate starter in the NFL. With Daryl Richardson now becoming the feature back in St. Louis and rookie sensation Tavon Austin looking to make a name for himself, the future is definitely bright in St. Louis. With the Ravens coming to town, I like this as an opportunity for the Rams to show the league they’re ready to make a push and while it won’t matter in the standings quite yet, I can see this being a psyche builder for St. Louis. However, this line is out of control and there's no way the Rams should be favoured by more than a touchdown even, in St. Louis. Taking the Ravens to cover.