NFL Wembley betting preview
The New England Patriots take on the St Louis Rams tomorrow in NFL’s annual game at Wembley (the sixth International Series match in London) and you can watch it live on Sky Sports 2 at 5pm.
The Patriots currently sit on top of the AFC East, whilst the Rams prop up the NFC West, although that’s rather an unfair representation of their seasons so far, as New England have a 4-3 record and St Louis are just 3-4.
St Louis, nominally the "home" team, opted to arrive in England early in preparation for this game and have been based at Arsenal’s Colney training headquarters all week (Rams owner Stan Kroenke is also Arsenal's majority shareholder). Thus, the Missouri team may just have acclimatised better than the Pats, who made the journey on Friday.
But the Patriots have experience of this transatlantic trip, having demolished the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in the 2009 International Series game, and the bookmakers strongly favour Bill Belichick’s side again - with odds of just 1/3 offered generally. The best odds available on the Rams are 13/5 with Ladbrokes, while in the point spread market the bookies give them a touchdown start. Betfred offer the best odds of 20/21 on the Patriots with that -7 handicap.
Key to the outcome on Sunday will be whether the Rams defense can contain the heralded Patriot offense, led by legendary quarterback Tom Brady. Last season Brady led his team to the Super Bowl for a fifth time in 11 seasons, despite having one of the worst defenses in the NFL and BetVictor offer odds of 10/11 that the Patriots score more than 27 points at Wembley. They have done that in 5 of their 7 games this season and also exceeded that total in 7 of their last 8 regular season games last year (with exactly 27 points in the other).
The Rams only scored 193 points in 2011 and finished the season just 2-14, but new coach Jeff Fisher has already overseen an improvement on that record this season. Last week they put up a good performance against Green Bay, despite going down 20-30 and Fisher will know a lot more about his defense after they have faced Aaron Rogers and Tom Brady in successive weeks.
As mentioned, the Patriots reached Super Bowl XLVI despite a poor defense and a series of missed tackles against the New York Jets last week highlighted that this is still a problem for them, so Rams quarterback Sam Bradford could well find the space to cause them problems. However, be wary if you are betting on 'total points' as the bookmakers set the line at 47 and only one of the five International Series games at Wembley has exceeded 42 points, so odds of 10/11 available generally on ‘under 47 points’ seem fair.
|New England Patriots (-7)
||Patriots To Score 27+ points
||Over/Under 47 points