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Rams vs. Cardinals: The best player prop bets for MNF

Profile Picture: Josh Powell

December 11th, 2021

After last week’s incredible Monday Night Football game which saw the Bills and Patriots go at it amid wild weather, we are set to get far kinder conditions in Arizona as the Rams visit the Cardinals. This is a pivotal game in the NFC West, as 8-4 Los Angeles can cut Arizona’s divisional lead down to a single game.

The Rams had an ugly mid-season slump, losing three games on the spin, but they bounced back by hammering the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 last week. Meanwhile, the Cardinals welcomed back Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins as they beat the Bears 33-22 in Chicago.

Here are the best player prop bets for this huge matchup on primetime.

Tue, December 14 2021, 1:15 AM

ARI Cardinals

Moneyline

-137

Spread

-2.5

Total

O 51.5

LA Rams

Moneyline

+114

Spread

+2.5

Total

U 51.5

Kyler Murray: Over/Under 28.5 Rushing Yards

In his return from injury last week, Murray rushed a season-high 10 times against the Bears for a total of 59 yards – another season-best performance. It was very much the Kyler of old, as Murray simply hasn’t used his legs as much this year. That sounds like it’s by choice as well – Murray took a hit from the Seahawks’ Carlos Dunlap on a play where he scrambled last year, and the shoulder bothered him for the rest of the season.

He’s of course rapid – he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at Oklahoma – but Murray is using that speed when he needs to escape the pocket rather than on designed runs.

It’s why his average rushing yards per game this year has fallen from 51.2 in 2020 to 22.9 this season. He’s rushed for 30 yards or more just 33% of the time this season, down from 69% 12 months ago.

The Rams have given up only 3.9 yards per attempt to quarterbacks this year, and Murray himself is averaging just 3.5 yards per attempt – down from 6.2 yards in 2020.

He’ll certainly scramble when he needs to, but there are fewer designed runs for him now. And with Chase Edmonds back off injury reserve to join James Conner, the Cardinals have plenty of other rushing options.

Pick: Under 28.5 Rushing Yards (-113)

Van Jefferson: Over/Under 53.5 Receiving Yards

Van Jefferson is a legit weapon in Matthew Stafford’s offense – even with the arrival of Odell Beckham Jr. He’s had at least seven targets in five of his last six games, and has caught at least three passes in his last seven starts.

Since Robert Woods’ season-ending injury, Jefferson has played two games, and put up nine catches and 136 yards from 17 targets. He’s had a 22% target share in those two games and can put up some huge yardage, with an average depth of target this season of 12.9 yards.

Cooper Kupp is the star receiver on the Rams, but that means he gets more attention than usual from opposition defenses, thus opening some lanes for Jefferson.

In the game between the Cardinals and the Rams earlier this season, Kupp was held to just five catches and 64 yards off 13 targets, while Jefferson caught all six of his targets for a team-high 90 yards. Jefferson had a 15% target share in that game as Stafford chucked the ball 41 times.

This is set to be another high-scoring affair, and with Jefferson’s uptick in usage, he has a fantastic chance to beat this line. He has accounted for 23% of the Rams’ yards through the air since the bye, and with Stafford’s passing line at 285.5, the Over is the value play here.

Pick: Over 53.5 Receiving Yards (-114)

Rondale Moore: Over/Under 23.5 Receiving Yards

The rookie out of Purdue had a record game in Week 11, as he caught all of his season-high 11 targets for 51 yards. He started the campaign with a bang too, as through his first two games he caught 11 of his 13 targets for a total of 182 yards.

But since then, it’s all gone quiet for Moore. Since Week 5, Moore has averaged 4.7 targets a game, 3.9 catches, and 21.6 yards. He’s fallen under 25 yards in six of his last seven games, and if you take out the 11-11-51 game in Week 11 – a game that didn’t feature Murray or Hopkins – his averages per game since Week 5 are 3.7 targets, 2.7 catches, and just 16.7 yards.

The biggest worry for Moore supporters is his average depth of target of just 1.5 yards. That’s the shortest of any receiver in the NFL with at least 20 receptions this season. He’s averaging 8.4 yards after the catch, which is a testament to his ability, but he is rarely used as a deep threat in this team’s offense, and gets mostly screen passes.

It’s a crowded Cardinals receiver corps with Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green, and Zach Ertz all drawing the attention of Murray. It’s frustrating for Moore, who has bags of talent, and even in a game where we expect the Cardinals to throw, I’m taking the Under.

Pick: Under 23.5 Receiving Yards (-118)

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