The Arizona Cardinals can solidify their spot as the top team in the NFL by taking down their division rival Los Angeles Rams when the clubs hook up on Monday Night Football. The Cards won the first meeting convincingly, 37-20, and go for their first season sweep in the series since 2014. And a victory would all but clinch the NFC West title. While the Cards are perfect on the road they haven’t been as good at home losing their previous two games at State Farm Stadium.
They didn’t have Kyler Murray in a humbling loss to Carolina last month, but Murray and DeAndre Hopkins are back giving the Cards some firepower on offense. Arizona is laying 2.5-points on the NFL betting line putting them as a favorite for the first time in 10 games against their division foe.
The Week 14 Monday Night Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ at 8:15 p.m. ET on December 13 and will be televised on ESPN.
Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals Odds
Los Angeles Rams +2.5 | Arizona Cardinals -2.5 [BET NOW]
Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals Over/Under
Over/Under 51 [BET NOW]
For only the second time this season the Rams are catching points. They were a slight 1-point dog for their Week 3 tilt with Tampa Bay winning outright 34-24. LA stopped a three-game losing streak and earned its first payout in six games by whacking Jacksonville 37-7 last week as a 14-point favorite. The Rams opened as a 3-point dog with the number wagered down to 2.5.
LA lost its last two road games to Green Bay and San Francisco by a combined score of 67-38. While the Cards are perfect on the road they haven’t been as good at home dropping their last two. They haven’t played a home game since giving up a season-high point total in a 34-10 loss to Carolina a month ago. They’ve been favored in every home game going 3-2 SU and 2-3 ATS.
Los Angeles Rams
A visit from the Jacksonville Jaguars came at a good time. With the Rams reeling after three straight losses, they took care of business in the 37-7 triumph covering the 14-point spread. The Rams failed to cover in their previous five games and the performance eased the concerns of many about the stagnant offense. They averaged only 18 points during their losing streak with Matthew Stafford throwing at least one interception in every game with a total of five. He had as many interceptions as touchdown passes in that span.
The Rams looked like a Super Bowl favorite last week. The offense was humming and the defense stepped up. Stafford threw for 295 yards with three TDs and didn’t turn the ball over. Sony Michel became the team’s first 100-yard rusher going for 121 yards on 24 carries and the defense held the Jags to 197 total yards with two takeaways.
Now the Rams must do that against the top team in the NFL. Beating woeful Jacksonville is one thing, taking down the Cards is another. Committing to the run will keep Murray off the field and Michel showed he can do it. Darrell Henderson is also expected back after missing the last game giving the Rams options in the backfield.
The Cards weathered the storm with Murray and DeAndre Hopkins out of the lineup. They were 2-1 the previous three outings without their signal-caller and Murray made a triumphant return last week accounting for four touchdowns in the 33-22 win in Chicago. The defense made things easy and Murray was eased back into the lineup. Four interceptions set up short fields and the Cards capitalized scoring three touchdowns and a field goal off those miscues.
Murray gets a lot of attention and has been mentioned in the MVP conversation. He’s thrown for nearly 2,400 yards with 19 touchdowns while completing 72.7 percent of his passes. He’s also rushed for five touchdowns all while missing three games. Murray also had a big game against the Rams in the Week 4 victory completing 24 of 32 for 268 yards and a pair of touchdowns. “If you want to be great these are the types of games you’ve got to step up to the plate,” Murray said.
The Cards are doing it defensively, too. They rank fifth in total yards allowed and have the second-best turnover margin in the NFL at plus-12. They’ve forced multiple turnovers in seven games and had two takeaways against the Rams in the first meeting.
Rams vs Cardinals Predictions
There’s a lot to prove for both teams in this game. Are the Rams back after dismantling Jacksonville last week? And is Murray the same player after his injury? Sticking to the run game with Michel will keep Murray and the NFL’s third-highest scoring offense off the field. And what’s with Arizona’s difficulties at home? I’ll back the points in this matchup, though I think the total is too high.
Prediction: Los Angeles Rams +2.5 and UNDER 51
View the NFL Week 14 betting lines.