Cardinals vs. Rams Wild Card Playoffs Pick – 1/17/22

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rams vs. cardinals wild card pick
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Super Wild Card weekend closes out tonight in Los Angeles as the Rams host the Cardinals. The Rams were favored by -4.5 earlier in the week but the line has since settled in at -3.5. The total is 50.

The Cardinals started the year 7-0 and looked to be the cream of the crop in the NFL for 2021-2022. They then proceeded to go 4-6 the rest of the way and find themselves playing a road game in the Wild Card round.

The Rams season also had a fast start, racing out to a 7-1 record thru 8 games. They cooled off a bit going 5-4 the rest of the way and came up short when it mattered most, losing at home to San Fran last week in OT, despite a 17-3 halftime lead.

Our model looks at games using different time frame parameters and reflects everything we just mentioned.

Results From Our Model

Arizona                   50.0          24           
LA Rams                   -3.5          27 full season data
  
Arizona                   50.0          24           
LA Rams                   -3.5          29 last 4 games data
  
Arizona                   50.0          19           
LA Rams                   -3.5          32 last 7 games data

 

As you can see, when using data from the entire season, the model has these teams dead even with the Rams winning by a field goal which accounts for the home field. However, if we look at how these teams performed the last 7 games of the season, the model has the Rams by a much larger margin.

Yards Per Play

Yards per play differential is another predictive handicapping stat. The Bills, Bucs, Chiefs and 49ers all had significant yards per play advantages over their opponents coming into this week. All 4 won and covered. The Bengals and Raiders were even.

With that in mind, the Rams yards per play differential is +0.9 while the Cardinals number is +0.4. That +0.9 of the Rams is tied for 2nd best among all playoff teams this year with the Bills #1 at +1. Edge to to Rams.

Yards Per Point

Yards per point is yet another predictive stat we like to look at. When looking at the yards per point stat for the entire season these teams are essentially even. Which would favor the Cards from a betting standpoint. However, when we look only at the yards per point over the last 7 games we see something very different.

az off 16 def 13.3
rams off 12.9 def 16.5

 

The Cards differential is -2.7 while the Rams is +3.6. That’s a 6.3 point edge for the Rams and that’s before we factor in home field.

The Conclusion?

Well, if the Cardinals can recapture some of their early season magic and play at the same level they played at when they were 7-0, they are a very live dog getting +3.5 or more. In other words, at one time this year, they played at a level that suggests they can pull the upset on the road.

However, if you put more emphasis on current form, the numbers suggest something very different. Looking only at numbers from the last 7 games of the season suggests that the way these two teams are playing right now, the Rams win this game comfortably and earn themselves a trip to Tampa Bay next week for a date with the Bucs.

So which teams do you think will show up?

Good Luck and Enjoy the game!