Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals Preview: Prediction, Best Bets, Odds, Depth Charts (11/26/23)
The Arizona Cardinals (2-9) host their NFC West rivals the Los Angeles Rams (4-6) this Sunday (11/26/23) at 4:05pm EST. This game is essentially a pick’em as the Rams are just -1.5 road favorites against the spread, while the over/under is set at 44.5 points. This article provides Rams vs. Cardinals analysis, predictions and betting recommendations and explains why the best bet in this matchup is the over on 44.5 points.
Rams vs. Cardinals Prediction & Best Bet
The return of Kyler Murray has made the Cardinals a much more competitive team. Murray has looked good in his 2 games since returning from the ACL injury he suffered late last year, and his impact can be seen in the spread on this game.
When these teams played in week 6, the Rams were -7.5 favorites, and they easily covered that number in a 26-9 victory. Now the line is just -1.5, and that delta is not just because this game is in Arizona rather than LA. That is the result of Murray’s return and solid play, including a nice win over the Falcons in his first game back.
This game should be much more competitive than the last one with Murray under center for the Cardinals. His mobility will help to neutralize the Rams’ Aaron Donald-led pass rush and his deep ball accuracy will help spread out the pass defense.
SO NICE TO HAVE KYLER MURRAY BACK 🔥pic.twitter.com/FGxcFrhBDZ
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) November 19, 2023
The Rams should still win this game, but being on the road in a division game is always difficult, as the Rams showed the Seahawks last week. With Cooper Kupp also looking doubtful for this game, we’re hesitant to back the Rams, but we can’t trust the Cardinals either. If they were getting more than +1.5, then we would probably take the points, but at the current line we prefer to play the total than betting a side.
The Rams’ defense was excellent against the Seahawks last week, but they are still one of the weaker defenses in the league, ranking 23rd in DVOA and 22nd in EPA allowed. The Cardinals are even worse at 31st in DVOA and 27th in EPA.
We expect both Murray and Matthew Stafford to be able to move the ball effectively in this game. The expected return of RB Kyren Williams, who had a career-high 158 rushing yards in the previous matchup, will also help the Rams’ offense. Even if Cooper Kupp misses the game, there should be enough offense in this game to push the total over 44.5.
Rams vs. Cardinals Prediction & Best Bet: Rams win 26-23 | Best Bet: over 44.5 total points
Rams vs. Cardinals Betting Odds
The Rams are small favorites at -1 or -1.5 against the spread depending on the sportsbook, and that line has not budged from its opening number. For context, the Rams were -7.5 in week 6 when they won by 17 points.
The over/under is trending down after opening at 46.5 and now sits at 44.5 points.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Rams winning 23-21.
Rams vs. Cardinals Key Injuries
The most significant injury impacting this game for either team is Cooper Kupp’s sprained ankle. It’s been reported that it was not a high ankle sprain, but it still looks unlikely that he will play this week.
For the Cardinals, starting DL Jonathan Ledbetter and WR Michael Wilson each missed the last game and both remain questionable for this week.
Rams vs. Cardinals Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Rams vs. Cardinals below.
Rams RB Kyren Williams vs. Cardinals’ run defense
As noted above, Kyren Williams had a career day the last time he faced this Cardinals defense. That also happened to be the last time we saw him, as he also suffered an ankle injury in that game and has been on IR ever since.
Another big run in Kyren Williams’ breakout season
— NFL (@NFL) October 15, 2023
Williams’ return adds another dimension to the Rams’ offense, as he was having a breakout season before the injury. Darrell Henderson Jr. and Royce Freeman have been serviceable backups in his absence, but they lack the explosiveness and big play ability that Williams brings.
It’s a testament to the Rams’ confidence in Williams that they’ve already waived Henderson to clear a roster spot for him. If Cooper Kupp ends up missing the game, the balanced rushing attack that Williams should bring will be even more important for coach Sean McVay’s offense.
Kyler Murray’s mobility vs. Rams’ front seven
Kyler Murray is at his best when he is using his legs to extend plays and pick up chunk gains on the ground. We knew he was really back when we saw him do this against the Falcons.
In his first game in 335 days, Kyler Murray led the Cardinals to a come-from-behind 25-23 win. pic.twitter.com/0aPja690oJ
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 13, 2023
Murray has averaged 42 yards per game on 6.5 yards per carry in his first 2 games back. The Rams are among the worst teams in the league at defending running QBs, giving up the 11th most yards per game in the league. If Murray is having a good day on the ground, chances are the Cardinals are keeping this game close and will have a chance to win.