The flurry of week 1 NFL preseason action begins to wind down today as the Rams and Colts are the only two teams slated to take the field (1:30pm ET start time; coverage provided by NFL Network). This afternoon’s game between the two 2011 bottom feeders features the NFL debut of No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck as well as Jeff Fisher’s head coaching debut with the beleaguered Rams. NFL Preseason St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts odds have the hosting Colts listed as a -1.5 against the spread favorite; St. Louis is drawing +100 odds ($100 to win $100) to spoil Luck’s coming out party. Today’s game total is set at 34.5 points.
After what felt like a century of consecutive double digit win seasons under the direction of Peyton Manning, Indianapolis fell and fell hard without his services last season, closing out the year with a 2-14 record. The abysmal conclusion brought about huge changes in Indianapolis as outspoken owner Jim Irsay elected to trade Manning and fire head coach Jim Caldwell.
He hired former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to fill Caldwell’s shoes and he drafted Luck to take the place of Manning. While Andrew Luck has been as celebrated a draft pick in recent memory, he most certainly has his work cut out for him in making people forget about Manning.
By all accounts, though, he has both the physical and mental skill set to succeed in the NFL and do so relatively quickly. Luck has already wowed Pagano both at OTAs and training camp and he will get his chance to impress the Indy fan base this evening albeit in the usual limited preseason reps for starting quarterbacks.
Jeff Fisher will not share the same kind of spotlight as Luck tonight, but he is probably enjoying rock star status in St. Louis. The Rams are coming off the worst five year stretch in the history of the NFL, and Fisher is seen, rightfully so, as a sort of pigskin savior.
His 16 year tenure in Tennessee featured just five losing seasons and he also guided the Titans to six playoff appearances and one Super Bowl during that time. Coincidentally, the then Oilers were 2-14, the same record the Rams produced last season, when Fisher took over as head coach in 1994.
Despite its recent run, St. Louis has a few other things to feel good about too. Sam Bradford, who earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2010, is said to be past an ankle injury that plagued him most of last season. The Rams also have a solid core of young defensive talent in Chris Long, James Laurinaitis, and Robert Quinn. They added to that group in the off-season by signing free agent defensive back Cortland Finnegan and drafting defensive tackle Michael Brockers and cornerback Janoris Jenkins.
NFL Preseason St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts Odds:
St. Louis Rams +1.5 (-110), Over 34.5 (-110), +100 (Moneyline)
Indianapolis Colts -1.5 (-110), Under 34.5 (-110), -120 (Moneyline)
NFL Free Picks: St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts Betting
What Football bettors need to know about St. Louis Rams at Indianapolis Colts on Sunday (8/12/12) - with Pregame.com's Vegas Runner and host Marco D'Angelo.