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The Rams will visit the Cardinals on Sunday in an NFC West divisional showdown. NFL handicapper Jason Yamaguchi provides his best prop bet for the game.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction, Player Prop Pick: Can We Count on Zach Ertz in Week 3?

In Week 2, the Cardinals pulled off the most improbable of upsets against the Raiders. After trailing 20-0 at halftime, Arizona stormed back in the fourth quarter, scoring three unanswered touchdowns (and two two-point conversions, to boot) to snatch a win away from Las Vegas and get to 1-1.

This week, the Cardinals will be hosting the 1-1 Rams, who followed up an opening day debacle by narrowly defeating the Falcons in Week 2. It was a nervy win for the defending champions, who allowed three touchdowns after opening up a 28-3 lead in the third quarter. Los Angeles managed to hold on for the win, and they'll look to add a second win in Arizona on Sunday.

For this prop, I'm aiming to capitalize on the fact that the Rams' defense seemed unable to stop the Falcons' progress for long stretches last week. Even in the first half, when Atlanta wasn't scoring, they were still able to move the ball effectively. The Cardinals have a better offense than the Falcons, so I'm looking for them to replicate that level of success. Using that as a baseline, here is my top prop pick for this NFC West matchup.

Cardinals vs. Rams Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Sunday, September 25
  • Time: 4:25 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: FOX

Click Here for Cardinals vs Rams Odds

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Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams Prediction

In the middle of last season, the Philadelphia Eagles dealt Zach Ertz to Arizona. Ertz was an immediate contributor for the Cardinals, hauling in 56 passes in 11 games (5.1 receptions per game). He was targeted 81 times in those 11 games, for a rate of 7.4 targets per game. For reference, Mike Evans averaged 7.1 targets per game in 2021.

Of course, Ertz's role is vastly different than that of an alpha receiver such as Evans. Ertz serves primarily to provide a security blanket for Kyler Murray in the short and intermediate areas of the field, whereas a Marquise Brown would be more likely to stretch the field. The result is that Ertz tends to get targeted a lot and catch his fair share of passes, even if he doesn't average the highest yards per catch.

We saw this pattern materialize last week, with Ertz catching 8 of 11 targets for 75 receiving yards against the Raiders. This level of usage, if sustained, would land him among the top tight ends in the league. Now, Ertz only had two receptions in Week 1. However, I consider that game as a throwaway for the purpose of projecting the Cardinals forward from a statistical standpoint — the Chiefs built a big lead early, forcing the Cardinals to pivot from their game plan and improvise. That wonky game script led to more than one anomaly on the box score.

In Week 3, though, the game script should heavily favor Ertz. The Rams are 3.5-point favorites, meaning that they're fairly likely to be leading for the majority of the game but less likely to blow the Cardinals out altogether. This type of margin on the scoreboard will allow the Cardinals to execute their plan, while also preventing them from leaning too heavily on the run. Ertz is primed for another week where he's a key component of Arizona's offense — bet the over on his receptions prop up to five flat.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams Player Prop

Pick: Zach Ertz Over 4.5 Receptions (-101) (Bet $101 to win $100)

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Article Author


Jason Yamaguchi is an avid New York sports fan. He has a proven record of providing +EV bets by combining traditional handicapping tactics with advanced statistics. You can follow him on Twitter @TopMoneyPicks to view all of his bets, including NFL, NHL, and MLB picks.


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