Cardinals vs. Rams Odds, Picks, Predictions For NFL Playoffs: 3 Ways Experts Are Betting Wild Card Monday
Getty Images. Pictured: Rams QB Matthew Stafford, Cardinals QB Kyler Murray
- The Cardinals and Rams will close out Wild Card Weekend with a Monday night showdown in Los Angeles.
- Based on the latest Cardinals-Rams odds, where's the betting value on this NFL playoff mathcup?
- Our experts agree on how they're betting the spread, total and an A.J. Green receiving prop.
Cardinals vs. Rams Odds
|Time||8:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings as of Monday. Find real-time NFL odds here.|
The Cardinals and Rams will close out Wild Card Weekend on Monday night with a chance to face the Bucs in the Divisional Round on the line.
Given the familiarity between these NFC West foes, where’s the value on this NFL playoff showdown? Our experts break down three ways they’re betting the game below.
Cardinals vs. Rams Picks
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|A.J. Green Receiving Over|
written by Raheem Palmer
This matchup is unfortunate in the sense that these are two teams I came into the postseason wanting to fade. Nonetheless, they’re playing each other, and there’s only one way to truly approach this — by backing the road underdog.
Matthew Stafford has struggled against winning teams throughout his career, going just 31-51-2 (38%) against the spread (ATS) and 26-58-0 (31%) straight up, per our Action Labs data. This is the spot he finds himself in against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, who the Rams split games with this season.
Stafford continues to struggle with turnovers as he has eight interceptions and one fumble over the last four games of the season. Things won’t get any easier against the Cardinals, who are sixth in Football Outsiders’ DVOA and fifth against the pass.
The biggest issue for the Cardinals defense is their inability to stop the run. They’re still 17th in Rushing Success Rate (39.9%) and dead-last in explosive run play rate, allowing 15% of rushing plays to go for 20 or more yards. But unfortunately for the Rams, they aren’t very good at running the ball — they’re 19th in Rushing Expected Points Added (EPA) per play and 20th in Rushing Success Rate. They’re also only 24th in yards per carry (4.0), which means they’ll be heavily reliant on Stafford, which has led to disastrous results of late.
The Cardinals have fallen off a cliff on both sides of the ball.
With the absence of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, we’ve seen this offense decline from second in EPA/play and third in Success Rate to 16th in EPA/play and 14th in Success Rate without him. He’s out for Monday, and now running back James Conner is questionable after leaving Week 18 with a rib injury. Should Conner play, it would go along way toward their chances at beating the Rams.
Although the Rams are first in ESPN’s pass rush win rate, Murray has proven the ability to neutralize elite pass rushes as he did in both of their regular-season matchups.
Overall, both of these teams are extremely flawed, but given the familiarity, we’re likely looking at a close game that lends it self to taking the points. Plus the Cardinals have dominated on the road, where they’re 8-1 ATS and straight up this season.
It’s tough to buck all the trends in favor of the Cardinals.
written by Billy Ward
These teams have met twice already this season, combining for 57 and 53 points in their prior matchups.
While the Cardinals struggled offensively after losing DeAndre Hopkins, their offense adapted nicely down the stretch. They’ve scored progressively more points in each game without Hopkins, as Kyler Murray and Co. figure out other ways to attack opposing defenses. That streak included a 25-point performance against the Cowboys, who by DVOA, are a tougher defense than the Rams.
Similarly, the Rams offense has played well down the stretch. They’ve averaged 27 points per game since their bye, with the only hiccup being Stafford’s interceptions (seven over the last three games.) But that shouldn’t really suppress overall scoring, as those frequently put the opposing offense in a good position to score, and forces the Rams to play more aggressively when they get the ball back.
Finally, these teams are ranked fourth (L.A.) and seventh (Arizona) in situation-neutral pace, so there should be no shortage of action in this one.
A.J. Green Over 42.5 Rec Yards (-110)
written by Sean Koerner
Green offers sneaky value in clearing his receiving yards prop on Monday night.
He’s already topped this number in both meetings against the Rams this season: In Week 4 (5/67/1) and Week 14 (7/102/0). One reason he’s fared well against the Rams is likely their heavy use of zone coverage (second-highest rate), considering Green has fared much better against zone coverage this season (data via PFF):
- vs. zone: 2.23 yards per route run
- vs. man: 0.95 yards per route run
The Rams’ heavy use of zone also means shutdown cornerback Jalen Ramsey doesn’t shadow a specific wide receiver (most of the time), so I don’t expect Green to warrant shadow coverage from Ramsey.
According to Sports Info Solutions, curls/posts/fly routes make up 38.5% of Green’s route tree (eighth-highest rate out of 139 wideouts). The Rams have allowed a league-worst 116.4 QB rating to those routes to opposing WRs on the right side (the side Green typically lines up on).
All of this extra digging makes me feel confident in my bullish projection for Green, which is closer to 51.5 yards (see more of Koerner’s projections here).
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