Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals Betting Preview
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, AZ
When: Sunday, October 2, 2016, 4:25 PM ET
Line: Los Angeles Rams (+8.5) at Arizona Cardinals (-8.5); total 43.5 – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
Writer’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals (-8.5)
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Betting on the Los Angeles Rams (+8.5)
After being shut out and embarrassed on Monday Night Football by the San Francisco 49ers, 28-0, during their Week 1 matchup, the Rams have since come back to life. In Week 2, they were able to constantly hit Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, en route to a 9-3 win. They then followed it up with a nail-biting 37-32 road win over the Bucs on Sunday.
The Rams’ next challenge is division rival Arizona Cardinals. Starting QB Case Keenum will have to be more aggressive and quicker in his decision-making. His 186 yards per game average and 53.8 percent completion rate badly needs an increase. The members of his receiving corps, which are led by Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and Brian Quick, all have sprinter-like speed and could always be a deep-ball threat.
Britt and Austin are two of Keenum’s favorite targets, as the two are leading the team in receptions, with 14.
Gurley is still in a funk; although he had two TDs against the Bucs, he only had 85 yards on 27 carries (3.1 yards per carry). That said, the sophomore running back is still one of the most athletically gifted players on the Rams, expect him to keep getting the ball.
On defense, there is no question that the Rams have all the talent in the world, the execution just needs to be improved. Robert Quinn and Aaron Donald are among the best in their positions, and they will continue to lead the unit against the well-rounded offense of Arizona. In the dynamic duo’s short careers, they have been credited with over 72 sacks.
In their past three games, the Rams D are allowing an average of 21 points, 294 passing yards, and 91 rushing yards.
The Rams are 3-2 SU and ATS in their last five visits to Arizona.
Betting on the Arizona Cardinals (-8.5)
Fans of the 1-2 Arizona Cardinals should feel no worries. Yes, they had no business losing to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, 33-18, but we just have to chalk it up to a typical off-night. Cards QB Carson Palmer threw four picks and was sacked five times. The defense, meanwhile, was not able to contain Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor, who ran for a combined 186 yards and three TDs. The Cards simply couldn’t build any rhythm.
Don’t expect Palmer to be fazed by his miscues in the previous game, especially if his next opponent, the Rams, just allowed a young QB (Bucs’ Jameis Winston) to pass for 405 yards and three TDs. Expect him to get back on track with Larry Fitgerald and David Johnson, the two focal points of the Cardinals offense. Their head coach, the always offense-minded Bruce Arians will be sure to call for plays that’ll highlight the two.
In three games this year, the 33-year-old Fitzgerald is currently averaging 7 receptions and 73 yards per game, with three TDs. Johnson, meanwhile, is a versatile running back, netting 128 yards from scrimmage per game. When those two attract bodies on defense, the ones to benefit the most are receivers Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown. Together, they are averaging 19 yards per catch.
With Arizona having the likes of Chandler Jones, Calais Campbell, and Tyrann Mathieu on defense, who collectively have 88.5 career sacks under their name, Arizona will have no problem answering Los Angeles’s defensive firepower.
Entering Week 4, the Cards are allowing an average of 21 points, 199 passing yards, and 133 rushing yards per game.
The Cardinals are 7-3 SU (3-7 ATS) in their last 10 home games.
The Cardinals get their groove back with a 28-17 win.
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