When the Rams (8-4) go to the Cardinals (10-2) to close NFL Week 14 on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET), they will be looking to stay alive and well in the NFC West race. The Cardinals hava a two-game lead and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with only five weeks left to play
Should Los Angeles win, Arizona’s lead will drop to only one game. Should Arizona win, it will increase its lead to an unsurmountable three games.
Matthew Stafford and the Rams are coming off a get-well game against the Jaguars. A healthy Kyler Murray and the Cardinals enjoyed a fine tuneup against the Bears in Week 13. The defenses also are capable of making statements with plenty of veteran playmakers on that side of the ball, too.
Here’s everything to know about betting on Rams vs. Cardinals in Week 14, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Monday Night Football.”
Rams vs. Cardinals odds for Monday Night Football
- Spread: Cardinals by 2
- Over/under: 51.5
- Moneyine: Rams +116, Cardinals -135
The Cardinals have been less than field-goal favorites from the initial lines. They have seen the number drop by a half-point. This is essentially a pick ’em game, with Arizona not even getting the full home-team edge.
(betting odds per FanDuel Sportsbook)
Rams vs. Cardinals all-time series
The Rams lead 45-39-2 in the history of the teams playing each other in the NFC, through many years and many cities. The Cardinals crushed the Rams 37-20 in the Oct. 3 meeting in Los Angeles. Before then the Rams were riding an eight-game winning streak to take the lead in the series. The Cardinals are looking for their first two-game sweep in seven years.
Three trends to know
—58 percent of spread bettors are siding with the Rams to create regression to the mean between the two best teams in the NFC West.
—56 percent of over/under bettors are looking at the quarterbacks and offensive firepower and going with high number still being too low.
—Los Angeles is only 4-6 against the spread and 6-4 straight up in the past 10 games. Four of those games have gone over. Arizona is 8-2 ATS and SU in the past 10 games with only half going over.
Three things to watch
The Rams will again be without top running back Darrell Henderson (COVID-19) list but they should feel confident about backup Sony Michel. Michel ran well against the Jaguars last week (121 yards, TD) and got more confidence from Sean McVay that he can trust the running game again to take pressure off Stafford. He also can help the Rams play ball control and set up more favorable play-action downfield shot.s.
James Conner has been a power rushing and scoring machine in his first season with the Cardinals. He’s picked up where he left off during his best days in Pittsburgh, either with the collegiate Panthers or NFL’s Steelers. He’s gotten great run blocking and might get help with Chase Edmonds (ankle) possibly being activated off injured reserve. The Rams have a dangerous pass defense but Conner burned them for 50 yards rushing and 2 TDs in Week 4 while Edmonds rumbled for 120 more yards.
Murray has been restrained with his running given he battled an ankle injury that caused him to miss a good chunk of midseason. But he showed some of that familiar speed and quickness against the Bears last week with two rushing TDs to match two passing TDs. Should he take off more against the Rams’ linebackers, he can have a massive impact even with 8-10 scrambles or designed runs.
Stat that matters
205.1. That’s how many average passing yards per game the Cardinals give up, good for No. 4 in the NFL. They also have 32 sacks and 12 interceptions. They were disruptive in the first meeting, even though they had zero sacks with an INT on Stafford. They are aggressive in general in forcing takeaways. They should be active hoping for Stafford to hold the ball long looking for big, lower-percentage plays.
Rams vs. Cardinals prediction
The Rams will give the Cardinals a much better game than the first meeting with Stafford staying focused and the running game becoming a wire-to-wire factor to facilitate the downfield passing game. The Cardinals will stay balanced and keep tipping more toward the run with Murray supporting Conner and maybe Edmonds, too. They also have more volume of defensive playmakers to make a few crucial stops.
Cardinals 27, Rams 24