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My math model only favors Los Angeles by 1.4 points in this neutral field affair being played in London (Twickenham Stadium), and the Rams are a woeful 3-10 ATS in their last thirteen games overall and 1-10-1 ATS in their last twelve games versus NFC opposition, including 0-5 ATS against NFC West foes.
The scheduling dynamics are certainly more difficult for Los Angeles, who is traveling for the third time in four weeks and just returned from a cross country journey to Jacksonville. In contrast, the Cardinals have played three of their last four games at home, including last week’s 38-33 upset win over Tampa Bay as 2.5-point underdogs.
Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff has certainly improved from last year’s disastrous campaign, but he is still just 3-10 ATS as a starter in the NFL, including 0-8 ATS versus opposition with a secondary that is allowing 5.9 to 7.9 yards per pass attempt on the season. Let’s also note that the second-year signal caller represents an 83.3% ATS losing proposition when laying points in his NFL career.
The Rams are 0.2 yards per play better than average in 2017 (0.4 yards per play better than average offensively and 0.2 yards per play worse than average defensively). Los Angeles’ stop unit is yielding 28.7 points and 417 total yards per game at 6.4 yards per play on the road this season, and I expect the Cardinals’ rejuvenated attack to have success behind Adrian Peterson and Carson Palmer.
In his first game in an Arizona uniform, Peterson gashed Tampa Bay for 134 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. The addition of Peterson has allowed the Cardinals to utilize play-action, resulting in more explosive plays downfield to Larry Fitzgerald.
With an improved ground attack behind Peterson, Palmer will see more eight-man fronts which will create one-on-one matchups on the outside.
Arizona is averaging 369 total yards at 7.4 yards per pass attempt and 5.9 yards per play over its last three games, and that prediction should only improve with the arrival of Peterson. In fact, the Rams’ defense has been 0.5 yards per play worse than average against the run in 2017 (4.8 yards per rush attempt to teams that would combine to average just 4.3 yards per rush play against a mediocre front seven).
From a technical standpoint, the Rams are 0-7 ATS since November 20, 2016 following a game in which they had more punts than third down conversions. Since October 30, 2011, the Cardinals are 6-0 ATS as an underdog off a game in which they allowed 100+ passing yards more than their opponent’s season-average. The Rams are 3-12 ATS in their last fifteen games as favorites in this series and 5-24 ATS as a division favorite.
Finally, Arizona head coach Bruce Arians is 10-2 ATS following a SU and ATS win versus foes coming off a SU and ATS win. Grab the points with the Cardinals as one of Oskeim Sports’ NFL Picks for Sunday, October 22.
Oskeim Sports’ Free NFL Picks:
- Arizona Cardinals (+3)
- Cleveland Browns (+5.5)
- New York Giants (+4)