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NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — Arizona Cardinals vs LA Rams

La Rams

Arizona Cardinals Won’t Have Easy Climb vs the LA Rams

By Charles Jay

If BetAnySports customers were looking for a playoff squad with the proverbial “head of steam” to back in their NFL wildcard playoff betting, the Arizona Cardinals would be a poor choice.

The Cards lost four of their last five games, and looked a lot different than the team that opened the year like a house afire, with seven consecutive wins.

They lost an opportunity to win the NFC West when they lost 38-30 to Seattle in the regular season finale. And so now they travel to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA for a wildcard game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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Game time is 8:15 PM ET on ESPN, and in the wildcard playoff betting odds, the Rams are a favorite:

Los Angeles Rams – 3 (-120)
Arizona Cardinals  +3 (+100)

Over 50 points – 110
Under 50 points – 110

NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — Watt’s back in action…. at least that’s the word

JJ Watt, who played the first seven games of the season for the Cards – all wins – had a bunch of terrible injuries around the shoulder area for which he had surgery. His rehab period was expected to be 4-6 months, but he has been activated by Arizona for Monday’s game.

Watt, a three-time defensive player of the year, is going to be an inspirational boost if nothing else. His recovery has been termed “improbable.” But obviously what you have to ask about guys like this is whether he is coming back too soon.

NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — Hopkins is a “no go”

DeAndre Hopkins has been one of the league’s best receivers for a long time. But the Cardinals have had to endure his absence from the lineup since Week 14. Hopkins had knee surgery, and even though there had been some talk about him being able to play, that talk has been nixed.

The Cards have lost three of four games without him. Their yardage totals have been 398, 378, 399 and 305. Hopkins caught 42 passes for 572 yards in ten games. In Week 14 Kyler Murray found AJ Green and Christian Kirk for a combined 188 yards.

Kirk (77 catches for 982 yards) will be a primary target, as will AJ Green (15.7 per catch), who may have lost a little since his days in Cincinnati but still has something left. And Zach Ertz was a nice addition (56 receptions) playing the tight end, which, as BetAnySports patrons may know, isn’t generally part of an Air Raid offense.

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NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — Conner and his ribs

The Cardinals are hopeful that James Conner will be able to play as well. He led the NFL with 18 touchdowns, so he is certainly valuable around the goal line. And he is also a key to the ground game overall. Not many people really consider that an offense constructed by Kliff Kingsbury could run the ball very much, but Arizona was ninth in the league in rushing and tenth in rushing play percentage.

NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — The Murray Factor

Kyler Murray is one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks when it comes to throwing long, and maybe that becomes a factor here against a Los Angeles defense that is missing two safeties. He will have to stay out of trouble first.

In the second meeting these teams had (Week 14), Aaron Donald literally terrorized him, with three sacks and three “hits.” So he will face a challenge being able to escape.

On the season Murray was a 69.2% passer, with 3787 yards and 24 TD’s. But he had an ankle injury that took him out for a few games and may have made him a bit less mobile. In the first seven games of the season, he had six QB ratings over 100. He’s been over 100 only once in his last five games.

NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — Defense: Stopping the run

It is perfectly conceivable that the Rams could establish something on the ground here, because Arizona has had that kind of difficulty at the line of scrimmage. The Cards have allowed 4.6 yards per carry, and if you recall, a Green Bay team that had almost no receivers racked up 151 rushing yards and ended their seven-game unbeaten streak to start the season.

The Cardinals have allowed the opposition at least 150 rushing yards on six different occasions. That includes 202 yards to Seattle last week.

NFL WildCard Playoff Betting — Road Sweet Road

It might have been a good turn for the Cardinals that they didn’t win the division, because they have been a consistently better team on the road.

Arizona has actually lost its last five home games. But on the road they have gone 8-1, both straight-up and against the pointspread.

Is this the biggest factor Arizona has in its favor right now? Remember that they have 31 players on the roster who have never appeared in a postseason game.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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