Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford rolls out during the second half in an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)


Patrick Werkmeister

In this Monday Night NFC Wild Card action, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals travel to SoFi Stadium to face off against Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams. Last week, the Rams were defeated by the San Francisco 49ers in an overtime thriller and Arizona also suffered a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, 38-30. With this being the third meeting between these two this year, both teams are currently 1-1 vs one another and are quite familiar with one another. While both teams are coming off brutal losses, there is only one squad with the clear-cut advantages over the other. Here is what picks I love and why I love them for this playoff matchup.

Rams (-3.5)
The Rams opened this game as four and a half-point home favorites but they are currently favored by just three and a half-points. Although Arizona has a flawless record of 6-0 SU in their last six games as an underdog, LA has had the Cardinals number where they are 9-1 SU in their last 10 matches with Arizona. While the Cardinals were able to find their way into the postseason, they have been inconsistent and are unreliable on offense and defense. Among playoff teams, they rank at the bottom in categories such as rushing yards per attempt and passing yards allowed per attempt, at 4 yards & 6.2 yards allowed respectively. With Matt Stafford at home against one of the worst passing defenses in the playoffs, the red birds could find themselves in a hole early. Stafford and the Rams average over 28 points per game at home this season. Although this Cardinals defense has been able to force turnovers with the likes of Budda Baker and Chandler Jones, they are a top five worst unit in yards allowed, so watch out for Stafford to come out on fire. With an awful record of 1-9 against LA under coach Kliff Kingsbury, statistically the Cards stand no chance. Take the Rams minus the points to easily handle Arizona.

Draft Kings Promotion

Kyler Murray Over 40.5 Rushing Yards
After running for over 70 yards and a touchdown on the ground vs LA in their second match, Kyler Murray’s dynamic abilities have allowed him to have major success on the ground, and he’ll look to carry that into this critical game. Additionally, he only had 7 carries, so he won’t need much to pass up this amount of yards. Kyler has been an absolute stud for the Cards where he has seven touchdowns rushing and averages four yards a carry. Additionally, he has ran the ball at least six times in each game in the regular season, so the Cardinals have made sure to keep his dangerous feet involved in their offense. Although the Rams hold fairly good numbers against the run this season, Kyler has proven he can tuck it and run when there is a heavy rush, and tonight he should be facing a lot of pressure against Aaron Donald and co. However, their rush defense has been exposed on a few occasions over the year. With one of the worst offensive lines in the league, Kyler will be outside of the pocket for a lot of this game so expect him to show off his legs at some point. With his elite dual-threat ability, he should be able to easily hit this mark. Take Kyler Murray to run by this total rushing yardage prop.

Odell Beckham Any Time TD (+155)
Following a productive half season with his new team, Rams receiver Odell Beckham should be a big part of the passing attack. With wide receiver Robert Woods out for the season, Beckham has played a big role in picking up the slack since his absence. This year, he had a modest 27 catches on five touchdown receptions in just seven games with the Rams. However, he does have nearly 50 targets since joining their pass-heavy system, so he has been a big part of their offense. Odell is a great red zone threat and with his touchdown prop looking this juicy, it must be taken advantage of. With so many weapons on the Rams, all focus will be on players like Cooper Kupp or Cam Akers, leaving Beckham wide open. Although the Cards have a formidable pass defense, it will be hard to replicate what they did in the first meeting against an offense of this caliber. He has had some monstrous outings this year where he has a touchdown in five of eight starts. With how sure handed he is, he’ll make teams pay that give him any space at all. Expect Odell to have an overall solid night and take him to score one for LA. 

Same Game Parlay
Odell Beckham Anytime TD Scorer, Kyler Murray Over 40.5 Rush Yds, Sony Michel Over 58.5 Rush Yds, Rondale Moore Over 16.5 Rec Yds, LA Rams -3.5 and Over 49.5 Points.

SGP Odds +4021

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