Rams-Cardinals Odds, Predictions, NFL Picks: Top Expert Monday Night Football Bets, Feat. Spread, Total & ML
Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cardinals RB James Conner celebrates a touchdown against the Rams
- The Cardinals and Rams will face off in Monday Night Football, what are the top plays for this matchup based on updated NFL odds?
- One expert is betting the spread, another is on the moneyline and a third is on the total. See their expert betting previews and picks below.
Rams vs. Cardinals Odds & Picks
|Cardinals ML -129|
Brandon Anderson: Over the past six weeks, the Rams offense ranks only 28th in EPA, and the team is only clearly ahead of four teams. Matthew Stafford has been abysmal. Using EPA + CPOE as a measure of overall quarterback goodness, the man who was once an MVP favorite has stumbled to 30th of 33 quarterbacks in that metric during this stretch, ahead of only Tyrod Taylor, Trevor Siemian and Trevor Lawrence. Woof.
As for the Cardinals? They rank second overall in EPA during that same stretch — and lest you forget, they were missing Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins for the entire month of November. So before you make excuses for the Rams, remember that the Cardinals lost their MVP candidate and maybe the league's best receiver and barely even missed a beat.
That's the mark of a great all-around team. The Cardinals rank first in passing EPA during that six-game stretch despite spending three of them without Murray and Nuk, another with both hurt, and a rainy return game in Chicago.
Arizona's defense has been great all season, and though the run D has been leaky lately, the Rams aren't built to beat them there, especially with Darrell Henderson banged up.
The one thing that gives me pause is that the Rams have dominated this division rivalry, winning eight in a row until Arizona's 37-20 win in L.A. two months ago. The Cards scored single digits in five of those losses, and the Rams are playing to stop the season from getting away.
But this sure feels like a very different Cardinals team, maybe even the best team in football, so I'm not sure the past four years mean much. While all the other good teams around the NFL stumble and fail, is it possible the Cardinals are the one juggernaut this season? It's starting to feel like it. I’d play this to -2.5.
Stuckey: I do think the Cardinals are slightly overvalued due to some fortunate bounces I detailed in my full matchup breakdown you can read here. As a result, I probably don't have them power rated as high as others do and still have the Rams rated higher, though not by much.
There isn't much home-field advantage in a division game without weather, so I made this game essentially a coin flip. That's why I wanted a field goal (+3) with the Rams, but don't think we'll ever see that number.
I personally teased the Rams when they were +2.5, getting them to above a touchdown if you have the option to bet an open teaser or want to tease them with something for next week, assuming you can tease them above +7.
If you're looking to bet this game in isolation, the under is worth a look. Yes, these are two fast-paced teams with the Rams ranking first in situation neutral pace and the Cardinals ranking eighth.
However, I show value in the under at 51 or higher (pre-game or live). I also don't mind the first-half under one bit.
This is an important late-season division game between two teams very familiar with each other that has massive playoff implications. Sean McVay has hinted he wants to establish more of a power running attack late in the season, so you may see a heavy run script here, especially early on. And the Rams have done a very nice job containing Kyler Murray in the past outside of their last meeting.
Additionally, questions still linger about whether both quarterbacks are fully healthy. Yes, Stafford looked good last week, but that came against the Jaguars. And yes, the Cardinals rolled in Murray's first game back from injury, but he didn't have to do much thanks to four Andy Dalton interceptions that essentially gift-wrapped the game to Arizona on short fields.
I'll say we see some of that late-down and fumble regression for the Cardinals and the Rams get this win by a final of 27-20. I’d only play this to 51.
Michael Arinze: Don't be fooled by the Rams' 37-7 victory over the hapless Jaguars in Week 13. Jacksonville scored a total of seven points in its last two games. I'm still not convinced that Matthew Stafford is the right quarterback to lead the Rams back to a Super Bowl.
Stafford has been a bit of a liability as he's thrown a pick-six in three of his last four games. He and the Rams will head to Arizona for a divisional clash on Monday night. In their previous meeting in Week 4, Stafford threw an interception in a 37-20 loss. This elite Cardinals team ranks third overall in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA. Arizona is currently tied with the Colts in turnover margin at +1 per game.
The key for me in this matchup is Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. All four of the Rams' losses have come against quarterbacks who offer a threat in the running game. Arizona is one of the toughest teams to play against because they're so balanced on offense. Per TeamRankings, the Cardinals run the ball 48.31% of the time, which puts them second in the league in this category. In contrast, the Rams rank 23rd with a run play rate of 38.56%. In their earlier meeting, Arizona rushed for 216 yards on the ground against a Rams team that's ranked second in DVOA against the run.
While the trends don't necessarily favor the Cardinals, my power ratings make Arizona closer to a four-point favorite. And with Arizona currently laying two points, I'll bypass the point spread and play them on the moneyline for a half-unit. SugarHouse has the best price at time of writing at -129, so I'll look to place my action there (check real-time NFL odds here).