NFC West rivals face off again on Wild Card Weekend
The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams will face off in their third matchup of the season. They’re both coming off of losses, forcing them to play on Wild Card Weekend. These teams have split the series this year, with each road team picking up the win. Arizona came out ahead in early October before Los Angeles won in mid-December. Here are the NFL odds and my pick and prediction for Cardinals vs. Rams on Wild Card Weekend.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams pick, prediction | Wild Card Weekend
- Spread: Rams -4 (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Moneyline: Cardinals +165, Rams -195
- Over/Under: 50
Arizona’s road success
The majority of teams in the NFL find more success at home, as they have the backing of their fans throughout the stadium. That hasn’t been the case for Arizona. They own a 3-5 home record while going 8-1 on the road record in 2021.
The Cardinals boast a +4.9 scoring margin on the season, which ranks ninth in the NFL. With that said, they’ve recorded a below-average -1.8 scoring margin in Arizona this season. They do possess a +10.8 scoring margin on the road, which ranks second behind only the Buffalo Bills.
The Cardinals are averaging only 22.8 points per game at home this season. That number balloons to 29.7 on the road, which is the third-highest in the NFL. Arizona’s also averaging .074 more points per play on the road than at home this year.
Unsurprisingly, they’ve been better defensively on the road as well. The Cardinals are allowing 5.6 more points per game in Arizona than elsewhere. Furthermore, they are giving up .092 fewer points per play on the road in 2021.
Cardinals vs. Rams betting trends
Arizona’s found plenty of success against the spread (ATS) this season. They enter this game with a 10-7 ATS record. They also possess a league-best 8-1 road ATS record, covering by an average of 10.5 points per game.
Los Angeles has struggled a bit throughout the year, posting an 8-9 ATS record over 17 games. Although they’ve found success at home in 2021, the Rams only own a 4-4 home ATS record. They’re failing to cover by an average of 1.6 points per game.
These teams are on opposite sides of the game total. Arizona’s found the under in 52.9% of their games, while Los Angeles has found the over in 56.3% of their contests. Surprisingly, the Rams own a negative total +/- throughout the season.
Cardinals vs. Rams prediction
This is one of the more difficult games to predict, given that these teams are divisional opponents. Nevertheless, there is quite a bit working in the Rams’ favor.
The Cardinals are sputtering as a team, losing four of their last five games. A big win over the Dallas Cowboys was their only victory over that span, but their offense has struggled without DeAndre Hopkins.
Even though they’ve performed better on the road in 2021, home-field advantage still has to be seen as an edge for the Rams, who owns a 5-3 record in LA this season.
Finally, and most importantly, I give the head coaching edge to Sean McVay over Kyle Shanahan. With two talented teams, home-field and head coach advantages should be enough to pick up the victory.
Cardinals vs. Rams Prediction: Rams 28, Cardinals 24