LA Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals Pick - Week 13 Betting Preview

December 6, 4:05 PM EST

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Rams -2.5/ Cards +2.5

The Arizona Cardinals let another close game slip through their fingers last week. Despite jumping out in front 10-0 over the Patriots, the Cardinals' offense stalled in a 20-17 defeat. At 6-5 SU, the Cardinals have lost three of their last four games and find themselves in a desperate situation to turn things around in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. On Sunday, the Cardinals will host the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium in an important NFC West showdown. The Rams and the Cardinals are both within striking distance to take down the NFC West or at least salvage an NFC Wildcard spot in the playoffs. However, both teams are on the heels of disappointing losses, which makes this Sunday's divisional contest a must-win scenario to keep their postseason hopes on optimistic terms.

The Rams took down the Seahawks in Week 10, which put them at the top of the NFC West. However, the Rams untimely 23-20 loss to the depleted 49ers set them one game back in the division. The Rams are in the best position to make a run at the division behind the Seahawks, considering the Cardinals are now two games behind. With that said, both teams understand the magnitude of this Sunday's showdown at State Farm Stadium and the implications riding on the outcome. Both the Rams and Cardinals will meet for a 2nd time in the season finale in week 17, but by that time, both team's postseason fate could already be decided.

Cardinals struggles deeper than performance

By most accounts, Arizona has experienced a wildly successful season. WR DeAndre Hopkins has been everything the organization expected from the huge trade over the off-season. QB Kyler Murray has developed into one of the NFL's most dangerous dual threats, and the Cardinals have a loaded backfield with Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds. Despite all of the glaring positives, the Cardinals' offense remains extremely inconsistent.

In last week's 20-17 loss to the Patriots, New England QB Cam Newton completed just nine passes for 84 yards and threw two interceptions yet the Cardinals still only managed to score 17 points in the loss. A similar storyline developed in the Cardinals' Week 11 contest with the division-leading Seahawks. Arizona's defense did a fantastic job of limiting Russell Wilson's big-play ability, yet the Cardinals consistently failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities in another close loss. In fact, the three losses in the last four games have been by a combined 13 points, and the Cardinals defense, for the most part, has played well.

So what is the issue? In my opinion, there is only one direction to point, and that is the Cardinals coaching staff starting with Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury. Over the last few weeks, there have been numerous situations where Kingsbury has sided on the edge of conservativeness when the Cardinals needed to be aggressive. If you think I am making this up, Kingsbury's conservativeness in close situations is nothing new. Look at his history. Simply put, Arizona has to be more aggressive in these close games. Right now, if you tell me that this Sunday's game will be tied or close going into the 4th quarter, I will take Sean McVay's ingenuity and coaching any day of the week with an offense that does not have nearly that talent as Arizona.

Rams vs. Cardinals Betting Analysis

Aside from my opinion on the Arizona coaching staff, I also believe the Rams have the advantage in the match-up against the Cardinals this week. Despite Kyler Murray's improvement, he still forces the ball into coverage and is quick to tuck the ball away when under pressure. The Rams defense is among the best groups in the NFL towards getting after the quarterback. The Rams rank 3rd in sacks (34) and are among the best defenses against the pass. If you add in the fact, CB Jalen Ramsey will likely shadow WR DeAndre Hopkins. This game will be a tough challenge for the Cardinals offense on top of their current struggles.

Obviously, this match-up is far from a slam dunk in either direction. Though I like the match-ups that favor Los Angeles, Rams QB Jared Goff has been plagued with turnover issues in recent weeks. Goff has thrown at least two interceptions in three of the last four games. Goff has also lost four fumbles during that same stretch to compile 11 giveaways in the Rams' previous four games. It's hard to win any football game when you are giving up that many turnovers, and that is definitely something to think about for bettors as an inherited risk for the Rams offense. However, if the Rams can limit the turnovers, this is still a match-up where they should have the upside. WR Robert Woods has the best match-up on the field considering the Cardinals recent struggles against slot receivers, and we should not forget that Arizona has been severely beaten up along the defensive front, which could pave the way for clean pockets for Goff.

Rams vs. Cardinals Betting Trends

  • The Rams are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games on the road.
  • The Rams have hit the "under" in seven of the last eight games.
  • The Rams are also 5-0-1 ATS in the last six games against Arizona.
  • The Cardinals are just 3-6 ATS in the last nine games.
  • The Cardinals are just 1-4 ATS in the last five games.
  • The Cardinals are 0-5 ATS in the last five home games against Los Angeles.
  • The Cardinals have hit the "under" in six of the last nine games

Rams vs. Cardinals Prediction 12/6/20

The Rams have to limit the turnovers. If they do that, I think they are the best bet in this match-up.

Free Pick: 
Take the Rams -2.5