Betting Arizona vs. St. Louis

The undefeated Cardinals appear a good bet on the road

Originally Published: October 4, 2012
By Jeff Gold | ESPN Insider
Kevin KolbMatt Kartozian/US PRESSWIREQuarterback Kevin Kolb has led the surprising Arizona Cardinals to a 4-0 start.

When the Thursday night schedule was released, the Week 5 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams was viewed as a total dud. They were expected to be two of the worst teams in the league.

Shockingly, the Cardinals are one of three undefeated teams left, and the Rams have been a respectable 2-2, including a last-minute loss to the Detroit Lions in Week 1. The NFC West is no longer an embarrassment. The San Francisco 49ers won't be able to clinch the division before Thanksgiving.

Kevin Kolb has emerged as this season's favorite for the "When did that guy become good?" award. He couldn't even beat out John Skelton to start the season as Arizona's starter. But he's playing like the guy the Cardinals expected when they traded Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick for him in 2011. Kolb has thrown seven touchdowns and only two interceptions.

What's been equally important for Arizona (3-1 ATS, 1-3 O/U) thus far has been its defense. It has given up only 15.3 points per game, the third fewest in the league.

As for the Rams (3-1 ATS, 1-3 O/U), the expectation that Jeff Fisher would make an impact has proved true thus far. Their two wins equal their typical season of recent years. St. Louis has won both of its home games outright and hasn't been a pushover on the road.

According to ESPN Insider's PickCenter, the Cardinals are a 58.5 percent consensus pick by the public, to the surprise of … no one. Wait, the betting public likes the undefeated team in an essentially pick 'em game? Nothing could be more predictable.

But who do the wiseguys think will cover?

Let's get some analysis from bookmaker Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton and Paul Bessire from predictionmachine.com.


Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

Spread: Opened at pick 'em, now Cardinals minus-1
Total: Opened at 38, now 38.5