NFL Week 10 Odds, Picks: Rams vs Cardinals
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Stafford (left) and Sean McVay (right).
Editor's note: Matthew Stafford and Kyler Murray are inactive.
Rams vs Cardinals Odds
Schedule makers likely assumed Week 10’s match between the Rams and Cardinals would be a battle of teams jockeying for playoff position. Instead, it’s a fight for relevancy with the loser facing a steep uphill climb to make the postseason.
The Rams seemingly have the advantage. They’re 10-1-1 ATS and 11-1 straight up against the Cardinals under Sean McVay, and 6-1-1 ATS and 7-1 straight up vs. Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray.
Yet you can throw all that out the window as we might not know who’ll be under center for each team until right before kickoff. Murray is a game-time decision with a hamstring injury while Matthew Stafford’s been in concussion protocol all week.
The murky quarterback situation is one of several reasons the point total has shrunk to 40.5, and why the public’s hammering the under with 92% of the money on it. Let’s take an even closer look at this matchup.
Cardinals vs. Rams Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how the Cardinals and Rams match up statistically:
Cardinals vs. Rams DVOA Breakdown
We’ve come to expect fireworks from the Rams and Cardinals in recent years, but both are among the most disappointing offenses in the league. Los Angeles ranks 26th in offensive DVOA (-13.5%) according to Football Outsiders, while Arizona is 29th (-15.1%). Pro Football Focus grades them similarly at 26th and 30th, respectively, as well.
Arizona’s defense is slumping, surrendering at least 30 points over it’s last three games, but there aren’t many reasons to think the Rams can capitalize even if Stafford is cleared. Los Angeles averages an unfathomable 16.5 points per game — fourth-worst in the NFL — and has eclipsed 14 points only once in the last five games. Stafford is 26th among quarterbacks in DVOA and is on pace to throw just 17 touchdowns. That’s a far cry from the 41 he threw last season.
John Wolford will get the nod if Stafford can’t go. Ironically enough, his lone NFL start came two years ago against the Cardinals when he led the Rams to an 18-7 victory that clinched a playoff berth in the last game of the season. McVay wasn’t afraid to let Wolford air it out that day. He attempted 38 passes, which suggests Los Angeles won’t alter its offensive gameplan even if Stafford is inactive.
It’s not like they have much of a choice, though. The Rams can’t run the ball a lick, ranking 30th in rush DVOA (-21.6%). They’re comically awful in fact, ranking 31st in average yards before contact (2.0) and last in average yards after contact (1.2). That’s hardly a recipe for success.
Cardinals +3 | Rams -3
Meanwhile, the Cardinals offense has been on fire the last three weeks since DeAndre Hopkins returned from suspension, averaging the sixth-most points in the league over that span (29.7). However, Kingsbury alluded that Murray might not be his usual self even if he suits up, suggesting he may need to stay in the pocket more than normal.
A one-dimensional Murray significantly alters the Cardinals on offense. Murray’s 25 scrambles on designed passes are the fifth-most in the NFL. He’s also the team’s leading rusher as his 359 yards account for 34% of their total yards on the ground. Arizona’s rushing attack faces a tough test overall going up against a Rams run defense ranked third in DVOA (-20.6%). They also give up the fourth-fewest yards per game (98.4).
It'll be the Colt McCoy show if Murray can’t go. McCoy filled in admirably for the Cardinals a year ago when pressed into starting duty, guiding Arizona to a 23-13 win over the Seahawks. He completed 35-of-44 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Still, that Seattle defense was a far cry from the challenge Los Angeles presents this week.
I’m with the public on this one.
Arizona road unders are 3-1 on the year while Los Angeles home unders are 2-3. That trend should continue. The teams combined for just 32 points in the Rams’ 20-12 win in Week 3, and that was with two healthy starting quarterbacks.
The Rams struggle to put up points even with Stafford under center. And if he can’t go? Well, Wolford doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opposing defenses.
Meanwhile, the Rams are only the second top-10 overall defense the Cardinals have played all season. Throw in the fact that Los Angeles has had Murray’s number over the years and the under is the clear play.
That being said, pay close attention to each quarterback’s status leading up to kickoff. If both suit up, consider playing the under up to 43.5, which was the number before the injuries became public.
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