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St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/8/14

New Orleans Saints (11-5) at St. Louis Rams (7-9)

NFL Football: Friday, August 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Edward Jones Dome)

The Line: St. Louis Rams -2 -- Over/Under: 36.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: NFL

The New Orleans Saints and St. Louis Rams meet up on Friday for their first preseason game at Edward Jones Dome.

The Saints once again enter the season as Super Bowl contenders with Drew Brees at quarterback and a healthy Jimmy Graham. During the draft, the Saints landed wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who is sure to make a splash this season and should see plenty of reps in this matchup. The thing to always like about the Saints in the preseason is their experienced depth at running back with Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, all fighting for touches. The Saints have to improve their backfield’s production that ranked 25th in the league in rushing yards, so expect plenty of running plays to be called in this contest. Quarterback wise, Luke McCown is Brees’ backup, an 11-year veteran who has just one pass attempt in his last two seasons. Of course, the Saints have an aggressive defense with Rob Ryan calling the shots, and watch out for safety Vinnie Sunseri in the second unit.

St. Louis Rams vs. New Orleans Saints NFL Pick, Odds, Prediction - 8/8/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Rams feel like they’re talented enough to make a run for the NFC West this season but of course that all depends on how well Sam Bradford can perform. I feel like we’ve been saying this for a decade now, but Bradford does have a better offensive line with Jake Long and Greg Robinson holding down the left side. The Rams also have loaded receiver depth with Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin coming off the bench. Not bad. As far as a backup quarterback is concerned, Shaun Hill, a 13-year veteran and somebody who has just 16 pass attempts in three seasons, is your guy. Watch out for running back Tre Mason in the second unit, as he could eventually become the starter for the Rams. Defensively, the Rams have promise and should be effective throughout, especially when backups Aaron Donald and Lamarcus Joyner hit the field.

The Rams are the younger team and have a point to prove this preseason with a lot of guys fighting for key roster spots. The Rams are deep at wide receiver and have solid backups on defense, while the only real advantage the Saints have is at running back.

I think the right team is favored in this one, and I’ll take the Rams minus the small chalk.

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St. Louis Rams -2.5

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