After battling for the NFC West division title all season long, the Los Angeles Rams (12-5 SU, 8-9 ATS) will play host to a familiar foe in the Arizona Cardinals (11-6, 10-7 ATS) to see which team will advance to the divisional round. This will be their third meeting this season, with each team winning on the road. See below for analysis and insight as well as a Cardinals vs Rams prediction.
Cardinals vs Rams Odds & Analysis
As expected, the home team opened as a 4.5-point favorite. Early money seems to be leaning toward Arizona, though, as most sites saw the spread quickly fall to 4.0. The Rams have won nine of the last 10 matchups vs the Cardinals and are 8-1-1 against the spread. The total opened at 50.5, but it also dropped slightly early in the week.
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Cardinals Hope Ground Game Leads To More Road Success
Arizona became just the ninth team in NFL history to win eight road games in a single season (8-1), including victories at Tennessee, Dallas and of course at SoFi Stadium. In their Week 4 win over the Rams, the Cardinals rushed for 216 yards, including 120 by Chase Edmonds.
Their ground game is a three-headed monster featuring Edmonds, James Conner and quarterback Kyler Murray, who have combined for 1,767 rushing yards this season. As a team, Arizona is averaging 122 rush yards per game and has scored 23 rushing touchdowns, third most in the league.
JJ Watt may return after missing the last 10 games with a shoulder injury. The Cardinals were 7-0 in games he played this season and went just 4-6 without him.
Will The Real Matthew Stafford Please Stand Up
Yes, Matthew Stafford is 0-3 in his playoff career, but let’s not forget those three losses came as a member of the Detroit Lions. All Stafford did this year was break the Rams’ franchise record for passing yards with 4,886 and finish second to Tom Brady with 41 touchdown passes.
But the numbers don’t lie and Stafford isn’t trending in the right direction. In Weeks 1-9, he was the league’s most efficient quarterback with a passer rating of 111. But since Week 9, he’s thrown a league-high 11 interceptions, including four pick-sixes. Stafford finished with 17 INTs, tied for the most in the league. He will be hoping to replicate his Week 14 performance against the Cardinals when his passer rating was over 139.
Stafford certainly has weapons to play with. Cooper Kupp led the league with 1,947 receiving yards, Van Jefferson had a breakout season and Odell Beckham Jr. has shown some flashes of his old self since coming to Los Angeles.
Cardinals vs Rams Pick & Insights
Cardinals: Keys To Cover
Win the turnover battle. Murray was flawless in their victory over the Rams earlier this season, but he threw two interceptions in their loss to LA. And here’s a stat for you: Murray was tied for second for the most fumbles with 13 but somehow he never lost any. If he can hold on to the ball and control the game, it would make your Cardinals vs Rams pick that much tougher.
Rams: Keys To Cover
Their star players need to shine brightly. The team went out and added Stafford, OBJ and Von Miller for games like this. And let’s not forget the game-breakers they already had in Jalen Ramsey, Aaron Donald and the aforementioned Kupp. This truly is a dangerous football team. If they play at the level we know they can, betting on the Rams should be money in the bank.