The Los Angeles Rams’ playoff hopes were dealt a severe blow in a 45-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. Los Angeles had won three of four to improve to 6-4 entering that prime-time contest. After falling to 6-5, the Rams are now two games back of the Minnesota Vikings for the final NFC Wild Card spot with tough games coming up. Before the more challenging games, though, the Rams have an excellent opportunity to get back in the win column when they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon. Can Jared Goff and the Rams get back on track, or will the competitive Cardinals surprise?
- Opening Line: Los Angeles -3.5
- Current Line: Los Angeles -3
- Over/Under: 47.5
- Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
- Start Time: 4:05 PM ET
- Last Meeting: Rams 31 at Cardinals 9 (12/23/18)
The Rams have won each of the last four meetings in this head-to-head series, but this feels different. Coming off a brutal loss to Baltimore, Los Angeles needs to shift the focus in a hurry and make sure they take care of business on the road this week in an absolute must-win game. As bad as things have looked at times this season, this Rams team still has a lot of the pieces that carried them to the Super Bowl last season. While a lot has changed since then, Los Angeles needs to get back to its strengths. Running back Todd Gurley has three rushing touchdowns in his last three games against Arizona. He’s been a disaster this season and isn’t even on pace to put up 1,000 total yards (he was over 1,800 total yards in each of the last two seasons), so we’re not sure he’s capable. However, he should see a substantial amount of touches against the Cardinals this week. Meanwhile, Jared Goff has thrown 10 touchdowns and just one interception in his last six games against NFC West opponents. At the same time, he didn’t throw a single touchdown pass in the month of November. He will need to continue to be efficient and capitalize when he gets his opportunities to put the ball in the end zone in this game.
It’s no secret Arizona has been one of the streakiest teams in the NFL through the first 12 weeks of the season. After an 0-3-1 start, the Cardinals strung together three straight wins to get back to .500. However, Arizona has lost four in a row since then to fall to 3-7-1 on the season. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray looks like the real deal. Murray leads all rookies with 2,703 passing yards and has recorded a 7-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio since Week 9. The Cardinals’ offense has kept them in the majority of their games this season. However, the Arizona defense has been a major liability giving up an average of 28.8 points per game.
- Rams have won last 4 head-to-head meetings
- Los Angeles is 9-3 SU in last 12 games vs. NFC West opponents
- Rams are 4-0 ATS in last 4 following ATS loss
- Cardinals are 2-10-1 SU in last 12 home games
- Arizona 4-1-1 ATS in last 6 vs. NFC opponents
After getting completely blown out by the Ravens on Monday night, the Rams should be motivated to rediscover the magic that made their offense so special last season. The question is whether or not there’s any magic left. The Cardinals’ defense is bad enough that we might see it.
Over is probably the best play in this game, and I’d be nervous betting the Rams in any way, shape or form, but they should find a way to win. The Cardinals have been close-but-no-cigar in a lot of games this season. This is a good opportunity for them to get a big win, but it’s hard to trust them given their atrocious defense.
Check out our other NFL Sports Betting Guides for Week 13
- Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins (+10)
- New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals (+3)
- San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
- Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2)
- Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (+6.5)
- Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-10)
- Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-2)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
- Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (+3)
- Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
- New England Patriots at Houston Texans (+3)
- Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-2.5)