It’s an all NFC West match-up in Glendale on Sunday, as the Arizona Cardinals welcome the Los Angeles Rams to the State Farm Stadium. The Rams are in second place in the division with a 7-4 record, a place ahead of their hosts, who stand at 6-5. Both sides will be keen to return to winning ways after last-minute losses in week 12. The Rams and the Cardinals have each had problems with consistency this season, so this is a tough game to call. We’ll give you some stats and betting tips here to help you make your own, so read on!
Goff inconsistent while Murray loses his spark
The Rams pulled off an impressive victory at Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Monday, but followed it up with a poor defeat at home to San Francisco a few days later. Rams quarterback Jared Goff epitomises that inconsistency. Coach Sean McVay was critical of Goff after the loss to the 49ers, but he also asserted that he was confident the QB could handle the criticism and produce a response. Goff had two passes intercepted against the 49ers as well as fumbling once, and his ability to improvise off-play does not look as sharp as it did earlier in the season. McVay will want to see a positive reaction from Goff this Sunday. The QB’s current completion rate for the season is 62.7 (15th in the NFL) and he has passed for 16 touchdowns (17th in the league).
The Cardinals have a 1-3 record in their last four games, and it looks like teams have at last worked out how to stop Kyler Murray. The quarterback’s rushing game has been a big part of his earlier success this season, but the New England Patriots managed to keep a close eye on him in their 20-17 win over the Cardinals last weekend. He rushed just five times for 31 yards - a season low. While Murray insists that his running game being shut down is not an issue, it clearly is. The Rams will be looking closely at the defensive template deployed by the Patriots last week, and Murray can expect to be targeted once again.
The Rams’ run defence has allowed an average of under 100 yards per game, while their pass rush defense ranks sixth in the NFL for sacks. The Rams have won their last six encounters with the Cardinals, so also have history on their side.
Our Pick: Rams to win by 7-12
With two inconsistent teams facing each other on Sunday this is a tough game to call. We suspect that the Rams defense will show up big time, though, and that means that Murray will once again struggle to work his magic. It will be close, but it is the men from California that we expect to win on Sunday. We’re backing the Rams to win by 7-12. 888Sport are offering a price of +450 on that prediction coming true, and those look like tempting odds to us.
Our pick: Rams by 7-12 @ +450 with 888Sport