Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams
Date and Time: Sunday, January 1, 2017, 4:25 p.m. ET
Location: Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Week 17 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Cardinals -6, 41
Cardinals vs. Rams TV Coverage: FOX
Losers of two straight to the Dolphins and Saints, the Cardinals were effectively eliminated from postseason play. That however didn’t stop them from putting forth one of their best and most exciting efforts of the season last week in Front of the 12th Man where they handed the Seahawks a 34-31 defeat at the gun. It was sweet revenge for Chandler Catanzaro who missed a number of crucial field goals in the team’s first meeting that resulted in a tie.
As bad a season it’s been in the desert, fans of the Cardinals seemingly have something to look forward to for the foreseeable future. David Johnson has burst onto the scene as the league’s best duel threat running back in the league. He’s compiled over 2,000 yards of combined offense and scored a whopping 20 touchdowns. Regardless of whose under center for the Cards next season, he’ll have a fantastic running back to lean on.
The dismissal of Jeff Fisher did absolutely nothing to light a fire under the Rams collective behinds. Since he was served his walking papers following the 42-14 home thrashing at the hands of the Falcons, the Rams fell at Seattle 24-3 as 15 point underdogs and then coughed one up to the 49ers at home last week as 6 point chalk.
The best part of the Rams season was the first month when, if you can believe it, they sat atop the NFC West standings at 3-1 straight up and against the spread. That included falling at San Francisco 28-0 in their season opener. Since then, they’ve tallied just one win and pointspread cover; that coming in the 9-6 win at the Jets in a pick ‘em affair. Since beating Seattle in their Week 2 home opener, the Rams have dropped six straight and failed to cover each game.
LA was relentless in the first meeting with the Cardinals forcing five turnovers and accruing three total sacks en route to securing the 17-13 outright win as 10 point underdogs. The win had many buying into what the Rams were doing, but little did we all know how bad Arizona truly was. The rest of the season shows how much LA utilized a smoke and mirrors approach to get out to such a hot start.
The key to the game was limiting Johnson on the ground with him being held to just 83 yards on 17 carries, while being held in check through the air as well.
Cardinals vs. Rams Free Picks
If ever there was a time the Cardinals defense could flex its muscles, this just might be it. Zona allows just over 317 yards per game (No. 3) and owns the No. 3 pass and No. 11 rush defense. Jared Goff has shown next to nothing since taking over the starting reins. In his return under center last week, he completed just 11 of 24 passes for a pathetic 90 yards and a 1:2 TD/INT ratio versus the Niners poor excuse of a defense. He was also sacked four times. These division rivals have played to low scorers against the closing total odds at BookMaker.eu in two straight and three of four. Look for both stop units to once again set the tone.
Cardinals vs. Rams ATS Pick: Under 41 at BookMaker.eu
Cardinals vs. Rams Score Prediction: Cardinals 20 – Rams 13