NFL Game Preview: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals

Dec 13, 2021

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Game: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals   

Time: 8:15 p.m. ET 

Odds: Rams +2.5, Cardinals -2.5 

Total: 51.5 

The Arizona Cardinals can pull off the season sweep of the Los Angeles Rams with a win at home tonight. Arizona owns the NFL’s best record at 10-2, but what is equally impressive is the Cardinals record against the spread. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s team is 9-3 ATS and covered against the Rams in the first meeting this year as a four-point road underdog. 

The Cardinals welcomed back QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins back to the starting lineup last week in a win over Chicago. Both had missed the team’s previous three games due to injury. Murray and Hopkins looked good in their respective returns. Hopkins and fellow WR A.J. Green each had 67 receiving yards in the 33-22 win over the Bears.  

Running back Chase Edmonds ran for 120 yards and James Conner added 50 and two rushing touchdowns. That is something that Arizona must do tonight against what is a pretty good Rams’ run defense. Los Angeles gives up just over 100 yards on the ground per game. Running the football will make it that much easier for Murray and the Cardinals’ potent passing game. 

The Rams’ late-season acquisitions of LB Von Miller and WR Odell Beckham Jr. were made to help the team win games like this one. Miller, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has yet to record a sack for the Rams. L.A. gave up 36, 31, and 28 points in three consecutive losses before beating Jacksonville 37-7 last week. It’s hard to say whether or not the Rams defense has found itself just yet.  

L.A. will have its hands full trying to slow down Arizona. The Cardinals can put up points. They are third in the NFL in scoring averaging 28.6 points per game. Arizona has scored at least 30 points in nine of its 12 games thus far. That includes the first game against the Rams this season when the Cardinals went off for 37. 

The bigger question or questions might revolve around whether the Cardinals can cover and do so at home. Yes, Arizona is 9-3 ATS this season, but they are just 3-7 ATS against the Rams in the last ten games in the series. Playing at home against the Rams, Arizona hasn’t covered a spread in six straight. While the Cardinals are 7-0 straight up on the road this season, they are 3-2 at home. 

Arizona hasn’t done well in primetime games recently either. In their last nine games played in primetime, the Cardinals are 2-6-1 straight up. It’s interesting that Arizona has won three of its last four games and in those four games, the total went Over three times.  In the Rams’ last four games, they have lost three and the total has gone Under in three of four. The total in the first meeting this season was set at 54 and that game went Over. Three of the last four in the series have gone Over.