There are some things to like about Arizona heading into the NFC wild card Cardinals at Rams betting matchup – and there are also some concerns. A couple of the positives for Kliff Kingsbury’s team is that they are 8-1 on the road this season and the away team has won both of the head to head meetings in this series. What you don’t like is that Arizona has lost four of their last five and is without DeAndre Hopkins.
Los Angeles had won five straight to wind down the season but we will see if last week’s 27-24 loss to San Francisco in the regular season finale has any residual effects. SoFi Stadium should be rocking in the NFL’s first ever Monday night playoff game, but the Rams were just 5-3 at home this season. Either way, L.A is a -3.5 favorite
Playoff Debut for Murray
We’ve seen Joe Burrow have success in his playoff debut this weekend, but Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones not so much. Now it’s Kyler Murray’s turn to show what he can do as Arizona plays their first postseason game since 2015. Murray has thrown 5TD passes to just one INT over his last five games, but Arizona is also just 1-3 over that span.
DeAndre Hopkins went down with a knee injury in 30-23 loss to the Rams on December 13th, and the Cardinals are just 1-4 since then. That includes a 38-30 loss at home last Sunday to the Seahawks as -5.5 favorites, a game in which a win would have given Arizona the division.
Murray was 32/49 vs. the Rams in week 14, throwing for 383 yards but with 2 INTs. A.J. Green had 7 catches for 102 yards in that game but has a ceiling of 74 since then. Christian Kirk only has 1 TD catch since Hopkins went down but that’s still 1 more than Zach Ertz has in that span.
Judgement Day for Rams
The Rams made a lot of moves this year to get into this position and one and done in the playoffs isn’t going to cut it. The man with the biggest weight on his shoulders is QB Matthew Stafford, who is 0-3 in his career in the postseason. Stafford had another great stat year (4,886 yards, 41 TDs/17 INT) but it’s about winning in the NFC wild card Cardinals at Rams betting matchup.
Stafford did throw 7 INTs over the last three games of the season so there are some concerns in that aspect. Either way, Cooper Kupp (145 rec, 1,947 yards, 16 TDs) is going to give the Cardinals #7 ranked pass defense fits while Odell Beckham, Jr. has five TD catches over the last seven games.
The Rams major concern is that their secondary is so thin that they had to pluck 37-year old Eric Weddle out of retirement. Los Angeles is down their two starting safeties, but they have the type of pass rush in Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd that can alleviate that a bit.
Free NFC Wild Card Cardinals at Rams Betting Pick
This looks like a game the Rams should run away with, at home and playing much better than Arizona down the stretch. Stafford has been turnover prone lately though and it’s hard to overlook how thin the Rams are in the defensive backfield aside from Jalen Ramsey. This feels like a FG game.
Rams 27 – Cardinals 24
Free Pick: Cardinals +3.5