Rams vs. Cardinals, 01/01/17 – Prediction & Preview
Written by: Jeffrey Stevens
Arizona Cardinals (6-8-1 SU, 5-10 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-11 SU, 4-10-1 ATS)
NFL: Sunday, January 1, 2017 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Line: Arizona -6.5
The Arizona Cardinals will head north this weekend to take the field against the Rams in Los Angeles. Neither team is playoff bound this year but the two teams are divisional opponents, so their is some history. Arizona will look to end the season with back-to-back wins after coming out on top against the Seattle Seahawks 34-31 last week. The Rams will look to put an end to a losing streak that has been going on for weeks after falling to the 49ers 21-22 their last time on the field.
Cardinals Do Some Damage In Seattle
The Cardinals won’t be playing in the postseason this year, but they may have made the playoffs a lot more difficult for the Seahawks after pulling off a 34-31 win in Seattle. Arizona was able to take a 14-3 lead into the locker room at the half and kicked a 43 yard field goal as time expired gave them the win. Quarterback Carson Palmer was able to connect on 16 of 26 passes for 284 yards and a touchdown. David Johnson put in plenty of work on the ground, rushing for 95 yards and crossing the goal line three times on 28 carries. The Cardinals were out gained 370 total yards to 391, but did enough to come up with another win against the Seahawks.
Arizona has been able to find the endzone for an average of 24.9 points per week this season. They have been able to toss the ball for an average of 256.9 yards while rushing for 111.3 per game. On the defensive side of the field, the Cardinals defense is giving up an average of 219.5 yards passing while holding their opponents to just 97.7 yards on the ground.
Los Angeles Continues to lose
The Rams losing streak continued on this last weekend with a 22-21 loss against the San Francisco 49ers. Los Angeles was up 14-0 at halftime, but gave up a touchdown with just :31 left in the game. San Fran made the decision to go for the win and they were able to convert the two-point conversion for the win. Quarterback Jared Goff was very limited in his production, completing just 11 of 24 passes for 90 yards, a touchdown, and two completions to the other team. Todd Gurley was also kept in check, picking up just 67 yards on the ground and a touchdown on 23 touches.
The Rams have been down right terrible on offense this season, averaging just 14.5 points per game on 192 passing yards and 80 yards per game rushing the ball. The defense has had flashes of greatness this year and have managed to hold their opponents to an average of 23.3 yards per game. They have given up 231.5 yards through the air and 105.1 on the ground per contest.
- 2-7 ATS in their previous 9 games.
- 1-4 ATS in their previous 5 games on the road.
- Total has gone over in each of their previous 5 games.
Los Angeles is:
- 0-5 ATS in their previous 5 games.
- 0-4-1 ATS in their previous 5 games on the road.
There really isn’t too much to think about here. To be completely honest, I was surprised to see the spread as low as it is. It might be a smart decision to jump on this one early before the superstars in Vegas give it some extra thought.
Pick: Arizona -6.5
I look for Johnson to have a big day running the ball against the Rams defense. The more he is able to do out of the backfield, the more Arizona will achieve through the air. Arizona’s defense has been stingy at times this season and with the Los Angeles offensive line, I’m guessing this is going to be one of those days. Cards 34-Rams 10
Total: Over 40.5
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