Cardinals vs. Rams: NFL Week 4 betting odds, preview, and pick
Arizona and Los Angeles will square off for sole possession of the NFC West on Sunday, as the unbeaten Cardinals visit the unbeaten Rams. Let's examine this matchup, beginning with the latest betting odds.
Sun, October 3 2021, 8:05 PM
Cardinals caught looking ahead but survive
Given how bad the Jaguars have been this season, one can forgive the Cardinals for looking ahead last week to the matchup with the Rams. However, they trailed 13-7 at the half on the road, following a decision to attempt a 68-yard field goal as time expired, which turned into one of the most unbelievable plays in NFL history.
Kyler Murray came out in the second half and had a much stronger performance, powering Arizona to 24 points after just scoring one touchdown in the first half. However, despite throwing for more than 300 yards, Murray failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time all season, scoring one on the ground to ensure he wasn’t fully shut out.
Murray might find the going much tougher against the Rams, with Jalen Ramsey likely lined up on DeAndre Hopkins. Arizona’s star receiver has just 13 catches for 158 yards this season, and caught just three passes against Jacksonville as he dealt with a rib injury. If Hopkins is not at full strength, Ramsey could take him completely out of the game. The good news is that A.J. Green and Christian Kirk are there to picked up the slack, if needed.
Kyler Murray has yet to defeat the Rams in his short career. Last year getting pressure on Murray while not allowing him to make big plays out of seemingly dire situations proved pivotal. The front 7 will once again have to be at their very best this weekend against a rising foe pic.twitter.com/FrxYOils2Y— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) September 29, 2021
Defensively, the Cardinals will need to get pressure on Matthew Stafford more than they did against Trevor Lawrence. They sacked the rookie just three times, but were able to force two interceptions. They will also need to shore up their run defense, after allowing 5.5 yards per carry to a Jaguars team that ran for more yards than they had in their first two games combined.
Rams can finally win on both sides of the ball
The trade for Stafford has paid off handsomely for Los Angeles, as he has thrown for 942 yards and nine touchdowns in his first three games with the organization. He was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time, following his 343 yard, four touchdown performance against Tampa Bay. Stafford completed passes of 20 or more yards to four different receivers, including a 75-yard connection with DeSean Jackson.
Matthew Stafford & DeSean Jackson (75-yard TD)— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 26, 2021
Jackson had 7.0 yards of separation from #32 Mike Edwards when the ball arrived, Jackson's most separation on a TD reception in the NGS era (since 2016).
🔹 Stafford (2021): 6th vertical route TD (1st in NFL)#TBvsLAR | #RamsHouse pic.twitter.com/vX598Vb0bX
Los Angeles has now scored at least 27 points in each of its first three games, and wide receiver Cooper Kupp is off to a phenomenal start with more than 122 yards per contest. He will face off with a Cardinals’ secondary that ranks eighth in the league in passing yards allowed per game, but running backs Darrell Henderson and Sony Michel might be given more opportunities in this one, with Arizona having the fourth-worst rush unit in the league.
Defensively, the Rams continue to be a force, but they did allow Tom Brady to throw for more than 400 yards and sacked him just three times. That said, they became the first team to ever beat him when he topped the 400 yard mark without any interceptions, and also limited TB12 to just one passing touchdown.
It will be vitally important the Rams’ defense keep Murray in the pocket, and the loss of linebacker Justin Hollins will be felt in this area as he prepares for surgery on his pectoral muscle. If they can keep Murray contained, it should allow for Aaron Donald and Sebastian Joseph-Day to collapse the pocket and cause him problems.
Cardinals vs. Rams Injury Report
|Arizona Cardinals||LA Rams|
OT Kelvin Beachum: Probable (ribs)
LB Leonard Floyd: Questionable (ankle)
G Justin Pugh: Questionable (back)
RB Darrell Henderson: Questionable (ribs)
WR DeAndre Hopkins: Questionable (ribs)
LB Justin Hollins: Out (pectoral muscle)
Cardinals and Rams Betting Trends
- The Cardinals are 4-8 ATS in their last 12 games
- The Under is 4-1 in Arizona’s last five games
- The Cardinals are 0-7-1 ATS and 0-8 SU in their last eight games against the Rams
- The Rams are 4-2 ATS in their last six games
- The Over is 5-1 in the Rams’ last six games
The Rams will make life miserable for Murray
Murray has struggled against the playmaking Rams’ defense in his career, averaging less than 190 yards passing and just 11.5 yards rushing per contest. He’s also thrown four picks in those games, and has lost by an average of nearly two touchdowns.
The real concern for the Cardinals is that their defense was usually going up against the Rams when they didn’t have a quarterback like Stafford. The performances he has put in so far this season show LA can score early and often, and if the Rams’ defensive line is allowed to pin their ears back, Donald and company could make life miserable for Murray.
The Cardinals are much improved this season, but Murray’s inability to throw touchdowns against a putrid Jaguars’ secondary does not bode well for him this week. Even if he has a perfect game, it would be asking a lot of this Cardinal defense to do what Tampa Bay’s could not.
Finally, the Rams carry two important trends into this game. Not only have they won each of their last eight games against the Cardinals, they have also scored 30 or more points in seven of those games. Take Los Angeles to cover the spread, and pair it with the Rams’ team total of over 29.5 for a profitable Same Game Combo wager.
Score prediction: Los Angeles 31, Arizona 17
Cardinals vs. Rams Pick Powered by The Quant Edge
Our predictive engine is calling for a Rams' clean sweep on Sunday.