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Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams NFL Betting Odds, Picks and Preview for NFC Wild Card Game

While 54% of spread bets are on the Rams, 77% of the money has sided with the Cardinals causing the line to move in the underdog’s favor.
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Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams NFL Betting Odds, Picks and Preview for NFC Wild Card Game

For the third time this season, a pair of NFC West Division rivals are poised to do battle. The grudge match between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams on Monday night will mark the conclusion of NFL Wild Card Weekend. The two teams finished just one game apart in the final division standings. Although the Rams won the NFC West crown and earned the right to host this playoff game, it’s worth pointing out that each team won on the other’s home field during the regular season. Despite this, the NFL betting odds favor the home side in this matchup. A spot in the Divisional Round and a date with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers await the winner of this Cardinals vs. Rams showdown.

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Cardinals vs. Rams NFL Betting Odds, Picks, and Preview

NFL Postseason — NFC Wild Card Game

Arizona Cardinals (11-6, 10-7 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (12-5 SU, 8-9 ATS)

Date: Monday, January 17, 2021

Start Time: 8:15 PM EST

Location: SoFi Stadium — Inglewood, CA

TV Coverage: ESPN

Arizona Cardinals Preview

To say the Cardinals backed their way into the playoffs would be an understatement. After starting the season 10-2, Kliff Kingsbury’s squad went 1-4 down the stretch. As a result, they lost out on the NFC West Division title and start the postseason as the 5-seed. Given that Arizona won eight of nine road games during the regular season, perhaps they’ll be right at home going to other cities. 

One major development ahead of Monday’s NFL betting matchup concerns the Cardinals’ backfield. For the first time since Week 15, both James Conner and Chase Edmonds appear to be on track to play in the same game. Edmonds was not listed on the final injury report for this NFC Wild Card matchup. While Conner is officially designated as questionable, reports from Sunday afternoon indicated that he will suit up.

Having both of their top two RBs healthy will be huge for the Cardinals. Not only have the Rams struggled defensively against formidable rushing attacks, but Arizona’s offense is predicated on pounding the ball between the tackles. In the passing game, star receiver DeAndre Hopkins will not be able to return for the Wild Card Round. Thus, Kyler Murray will have to lean on the trio of A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and tight end Zach Ertz. The latter of the three emerged as a top target down the stretch of the regular season. 

On defense, the rumors surrounding a return for J.J. Watt appear to be true. The star pass-rusher reportedly practiced all of last week and traveled with the team to L.A. Barring any setbacks, bettors can expect him to be on the field Monday night.

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Los Angeles Rams Preview

Although the Rams had to string together several wins in the month of December to surpass the Cardinals for the division crown, they too enter Monday’s NFL betting matchup off of a loss. The Rams may be hosting this playoff game, but they had better hope that their fans show out in greater numbers than they did last week. At least 70% of the SoFi Stadium crowd was supporting the visiting San Francisco 49ers in the regular-season finale.

Of course, the Rams come into this postseason facing a ton of pressure. Given the trades they have made and draft picks they have dealt, Los Angeles has essentially sold out on winning a Super Bowl this season. One of those deals came last offseason that ultimately swapped Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford. Well, it’s now time for Stafford to make good on all of the hype and expectations.

Without a doubt, slot receiver Cooper Kupp will be heavily involved in the Rams’ game plan on Monday. Kupp broke multiple fantasy football records during the season and is easily the top target for Stafford. Since signing on in the second half of the year, Odell Beckham Jr. has also proven to be a difference-maker, particularly down in the red zone. He enters the NFL betting Wild Card contest with touchdown receptions in five of the last seven games. While sony Michel figures to maintain the lead role out of the backfield, Cam Akers could see his workload expand on Monday as well.

Defensively, Los Angeles has assembled a star-studded cast spanning all three levels. Unfortunately, the Rams’ inability to stop the run was exposed badly last week. The Cardinals also piled up over 200 yards rushing in the first meeting between the teams. L.A. will also be without each of its top two safeties on Monday night. Only time will tell how much signing Eric Weddle off the street will help out in the secondary.

Cardinals vs. Rams NFL Playoffs Betting Odds and Line Movement

The following table displays the best Cardinals vs. Rams NFL betting odds available in the market.

TeamTotalSpreadMoneylineML Implied Probability
CardinalsO 49.5 (-108)+3.5 (-110)+16038.5%
RamsU 49.5 (-110)-3.5 (-108)-18064.3%

Despite the majority of spread bets (54%) siding with the Rams, the line has moved in the Cardinals’ favor. Oddsmakers initially opened Los Angeles as a favorite of -4.5 for this NFC Wild Card Game. The spread has since dropped down one full point to now favor the Rams at -3.5. While only 46% of spread bets are on the Cardinals, Arizona has attracted 77% of the money at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, the over/under of 49.5 matches the number that oddsmakers opened this game at. There has not been enough sharp action on either side of the total for the line to move. Based on current moneyline odds, the Rams have a 64.3% chance or better to win the rubber match between these NFC West Division rivals.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals Line Movement

  • Cardinals are 8-1 ATS in their last nine road games.
  • Rams are 4-2 ATS and 5-1 SU in their last six games.
  • Cardinals are just 1-4 both ATS and SU in their last five games.
  • Rams are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 head-to-head matchups against the Cardinals.
  • The total has gone over in four of the last five Cardinals vs. Rams head-to-head matchups.

Cardinals vs. Rams NFL Betting Picks and Prediction

While these two teams only finished a game apart in the standings, they face vastly different outlooks coming into Monday’s playoff game. For the Cardinals, simply taking the next step and making the postseason has already made this season a success. On the flip side, the Rams are all in on hoisting the Lombardi Trophy on their home field in Super Bowl LVI. Anything short of a championship would be considered a failure for Los Angeles. 

As a result of these narratives, the pressure to win this Wild Card matchup is squarely on the shoulders of the Rams. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are essentially playing with house money given that several NFL betting analysts projected them to finish last in the division. Expect Arizona to go out and try to run the ball down L.A.’s throats early and often. Despite having stars like Aaron Donald and Von Miller, the Rams’ defense has shown an inability to contain opposing offenses that feature a power run game. 

While Rams fans are hoping that Matthew Stafford will help push them over the edge to a championship, the veteran quarterback has shown a tendency to be erratic down the stretch of the regular season. The Cardinals present a stingy defensive secondary and will receive a huge boost in the pass-rushing department if reports about J.J. Watt are indeed true. Stopping both him and Chandler Jones on opposite ends of the line is much easier said than done. With all of this in mind, we’ll grab the Cardinals catching a field goal and a hook. Arizona is very much a live dog on the moneyline as well.


Henry has had a passion for sports that few can match for as long as he can remember. What started out as a five-year-old taking interest in the New York Jets and their green jerseys has since become a full-fledged career as a writer and sports betting analyst. His coverage primarily includes the NFL, MLB, NBA, NASCAR, college football, and college basketball. In 2020, he ranked among the top-10 most accurate experts ATS in the BettingPros NFL season contest. You can follow Henry’s sports work on Twitter and other social media platforms @HankTimeSports.


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