After a wild first few days of playoff football, we still have one game left to cap off Super Wild Card Weekend. On Monday night, the Los Angeles Rams will host the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West rematch for the chance to move on and play Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Divisional Round.
Let’s see if we can find some profitable betting angles for this highly anticipated division showdown.
Rams vs. Cardinals odds: spread, total, and preview
(5)Arizona Cardinals at (4)Los Angeles Rams
Spread: Rams -3.5
Moneyline: Cardinals +150, Rams -170
We’ve already seen these two teams face off twice this season. The NFC West rivals split their regular-season matchups, as both road teams came away with upset victories.
Back in October, the Cardinals traveled to LA and dominated the Rams on the ground en route to a 37-20 win. Chase Edmonds led the way with 120 rushing yards on just 12 carries, and James Conner pitched in 66 total yards and two touchdowns. Arizona’s defense impressively held Cooper Kupp to a season-low five catches and 64 yards in the game.
Two months later, the Rams went to Arizona and rolled to a 30-23 win behind Matthew Stafford’s 287 passing yards and three touchdowns. Kupp, after a rare off night in the first meeting, went off for 13 catches, 123 yards and a score, while LA’s defense held Kyler Murray out of the end zone through the air and on the ground.
In the rubber match, it’s hard not to like the Cardinals catching more than a touchdown here. They’ve been the best road team in the NFL all season, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them pull off the upset on Monday night.
Prop bets to consider
James Conner anytime touchdown (+130)
Conner finished the regular season with 18 touchdowns in just 15 games played. Only Jonathan Taylor and Austin Ekeler had more (20). In two games against the Rams this year, Conner found the end zone four times in total. At plus odds, you have to take a stab at Conner finding paydirt at least once.
Kyler Murray OVER 39.5 rushing yards (-115)
With Chase Edmonds banged up heading into the playoffs, I could see Murray scrambling a bit more than usual on Monday night. The nimble quarterback also rushed for 61 yards against the Rams last month with Edmonds out of the lineup. He could go over this number on one attempt.
Matthew Stafford OVER 0.5 interceptions (-120)
Stafford was a turnover machine to close the regular season. He threw eight total interceptions over LA’s final four games, and he’s thrown more than one pick in three straight. The veteran QB also has three total interceptions in three career playoff starts, so we’ll bank on him throwing at least one against Arizona.
Rams vs. Cardinals prediction and best bet
The Cardinals limped to the finish line in the regular season, as they lost four of their last five games to fall to 11-6. On the other side, the Rams won four of their last five to steal the NFC West division crown and the No. 4 seed in the conference. LA gets rewarded with a home playoff game for winning the division, but that might be a death wish against this Cardinals team.
Arizona finished the regular season as the best road team in the NFL. Murray and Co. went 8-1 outside of Arizona and covered the spread in those games by an average of 10.5 points. For some reason, this group thrives in road environments, so LA shouldn’t be getting much credit here for being in its home stadium.
Still, the Rams currently sit as a 3.5-point favorite over their division rivals in the Wild Card round. In a playoff game between two evenly matched teams that know each other extremely well, I’ll take the underdog every time.
Oh, and getting J.J. Watt back doesn’t hurt one bit.
Best Bet: Cardinals +3.5
All betting odds courtesy of DraftKings as of 1/17.