Arizona Cardinals at L.A. Rams : NFL Wild Card Betting Preview

Arizona Cardinals at L.A. Rams : NFL Wild Card Betting Preview

Written by on January 14, 2022

The Arizona Cardinals have played the Los Angeles Rams 87 times, including once in the postseason. Despite being two of the older teams in the NFL, the teams have only been in the same division since the Cardinals moved from St. Louis to Phoenix. Of those 87 meetings, the Rams have won 46 and the Cardinals have won 39 (with two ties). The postseason meeting took place back in 1975, when the then-St. Louis Cardinals fell in Los Angeles to the Rams, 35-23. This time around, the Cardinals come in as the wild card team, having dropped four of their last five, while the Rams are the NFC West champions with three wins in their last four games. 

Don’t miss our NFL betting prediction for the last of the six wild card games.

NFL Wild Card Preview (Monday, January 17) | Arizona Cardinals at L.A. Rams

When: Sunday, January 16, 2022, 8:15 pm ET
Where: SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
Radio: Westwood One
Live Stream: Hulu
NFL Odds: L.A. -4 / O/U 49.5 // L.A. -200 / Arizona +170

Why should you bet on the Cardinals?

The Cardinals bring a respectable 11-6 record into the postseason, but the fact that they started 7-0 tells you the downward trajectory they took in the second half of the season, dropping six of ten. Quarterback Kyler Murray has solid numbers, completing over 69 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,787 yards with a 24:10 TD:INT ratio. His top receiver has been Christian Kirk, with 77 receptions for 982 yards and five scores. A.J. Green has piled up 848 receiving yards, and DeAndre Hopkins leads the team with eight touchdown catches.

The Cardinals’ defense was opportunistic and aggressive, particularly in the first half of the season, led by 121 total tackles from Jalen Thompson and 11 sacks from Markus Golden. Chandler Jones almost caught Golden, posting 10 ½ sacks. Byron Murphy Jr leads the Cards with four interceptions. The front seven does an impressive job generating pressure, but they are susceptible to giving up big running plays, and the secondary struggles in coverage at times. On the whole, though, this is a team that can take advantage of the bounces that go their way, but they have struggled to do so in the second half of the season.

Why should you put your money on the Rams?

The Rams, by contrast, have overcome adversity to win the division title. Even though they lost their season finale, they did win three of the last four, putting them in position to take advantage when Arizona coughed up their home game against Seattle, falling to a team that failed to make the postseason. Matthew Stafford has produced in volume, throwing for 4,886 yards while completing over 67 percent of his passes. His 41:17 TD:INT ratio looks robust, but you have to remember that he only had nine picks going into Week 15. Since then, he has thrown eight in his last four games, prompting questions about whether the interception bug that plagued Stafford in Detroit followed him to Los Angeles after all.

Tailbacks Darrell Henderson Jr and Sony Michel combined to run for 1,533 yards and scored nine touchdowns between them. Cooper Kupp was the top receiver with 145 catches for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns, and Van Jefferson added 802 receiving yards and six scores. On defense, Aaron Donald led the way with 12 ½ sacks, and Leonard Floyd posted 9 ½ of his own. Jalen Ramsey swiped four interceptions to lead the team. This defense was designed to dominate, and they have the personnel to slow down the Cardinals.

Final Score and Betting Prediction

Arizona has just covered once in their last five games, but they have covered in 18 of their last 26 games away from home. The Rams have only covered three times in their last ten games as the favorite and just once in their last six games against opponents with a winning record. The Cardinals broke the 30-point barrier against Seattle in Week 18 – but gave up 38. It’s hard to see Arizona’s defense rebounding to stop the Rams. I predict a final score of L.A. 30, Arizona 20.

Rams: Bet the Game Today


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