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Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams Point Spread - Pick

Arizona Cardinals (3-3 SU, 1-5 ATS) vs. Los Angeles Rams (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS)
Week 7 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, October 22, 2017 at 1PM EST
Where: Twickenham Stadium, London, England
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: ARI +3.5/LAR -3.5
Over/Under Total: 47.5

The Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams meet at Twickenham Stadium in London in overseas week 7 NFL action on Sunday. This is the second NFL game played at this stadium, with the Rams having played in the first one last season, losing 17-10 to the Giants. This is the first time the Cardinals have played in England. It's an 80K-seat rugby stadium that was nearly filled to capacity in last season's game. Both teams enter this game with some momentum with wins last week. The Rams scored a nice 27-17 road win over a tough Jaguars team to take their record to 4-2. They look for more of the same this week across the pond, but to do so, they will need to upend a Cardinals team that is hanging in there nicely at 3-3 despite crippling injuries. They had a nice development on Sunday, with newly-signed Adrian Peterson scoring 2 TDs and running for 134 yards. On Sunday, they beat Tampa Bay, 38-33. Last season, these division teams split their two games, with each team winning on the road.

The LA Rams are in what appears to be a tough spot on the schedule. Three of their past four games were on the road. They showed their mettle away from home by winning all of them, sandwiching a home loss to the Seahawks. Now in London, that's 4 away games in five weeks—something to keep in mind. By the same token, they didn't seem the worse for it in week six, taking it to the Jaguars on the road, parlaying a strong run-game and a playmaking defense into a ten-point win. In his first season at the helm, head coach Sean McVay appears to have found a nice formula on both sides of the ball. Respected coordinator Wade Phillips has this defense whipped into shape and McVay has brought more out of Rams' quarterback Jared Goff.

The offense wasn't even that great for the Rams on Sunday, despite the ten-point win. The special teams had a lot to do with it. Jared Goff's numbers weren't that great with just 124 yards and a TD. But he didn't turn the ball over and managed a solid game. Todd Gurley has been better this year and was a big part of the win on Sunday with 116 yards on the ground. Rookie tight end Gerald Everett caught his first NFL touchdown, with Robert Woods leading Rams' receivers with 70 yards. Sammy Watkins showing some of his early-season form would really be helpful. Special teams was also a huge part of the equation, with burner Pharoh Cooper returning the opening kickoff 103 yards for paydirt. Also, reserve running back Malcolm Brown took a blocked punt in for a TD.

The Rams' defense showed a lot of power on Sunday and have now given up 16 and 17 points in successive games. Earlier in the season, it was the offense winning the day with the "D" giving up a lot of points. In the last few weeks, it's been a bit of a role-reversal, as a change in leadership on this side of the ball takes hold. The Rams' defense killed a lot of drives on Sunday and didn't allow too much damage, outside of a 75-yard score by Leonard Fournette. They clamped down when they needed to and held Jacksonville to 4-for-15 on third downs, despite giving up nearly 400 yards of total offense. Nickell Robey-Coleman had a pick, while Aaron Donald, Mark Barron, Morgan Fox, Michael Brockers, and Connor Barwin had sacks. Donald had a really big game and his presence is huge.

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The Cardinals have been resilient and it might really pay off if Adrian Peterson's performance on Sunday was a glimpse of what is to come. He looked like vintage AP and while the loss to David Johnson leaves a void they won't be able to fill, a viable Peterson would really give their 2017 cause a boost. Their 38-33 win over Tampa wasn't even as close as the score indicated, though their collapse in the 4th quarter was monstrous. It was 31-6 in the fourth quarter before Arizona went from pounding the Bucs to a slapstick unit. Reserve Tampa QB Ryan Fitzpatrick starting looking like a prime Joe Montana. A fumble was returned for a TD and if not for a mid-fourth quarter scoring drive for the Cardinals, they would have blown it. But a win is a win and they also covered their first spread of the season, underlying what a letdown they've been, especially at the betting windows.

Carson Palmer had a nice game on Sunday, on 18-for-22 passing with three touchdowns and 283 yards. Peterson's menace in the run-game opened up the pass, with Larry Fitzgerald catching ten balls for 138 yards and a TD. John Brown added 63 yards and a score. It shows what the Arizona offense is capable of when able to showcase another dimension. And with the offensive line having overcome some early-season injury woes, they might not be great, but they are more dependable than they were earlier in the season.

The Arizona defense was big on Sunday—for three quarters. Chandler Jones had yet another sack. Antoine Bethea and Tramon Williams each had picks. Jameis Winston was knocked out of the game and everything looked to be in order. Then Tampa exploded and things started going downhill quick. A secondary that hasn't been very stout this season started giving up huge plays. The Cardinals aren't the only team to collapse with a big lead, but with everything going so well and Adrian Peterson thriving in his Arizona debut, the defense almost ruined it. They play with a wide range of form, even within the same game sometimes. They look for a more-complete showing this week in London.

Over the last handful of season, as long as games have been hosted in London, we've seen some bizarre results. The NFL already has an "anything goes" vibe to it at times, where a lot of results don't follow sound reason. Games in London add another layer to that, with any number of different possibilities being completely plausible. I see an energized Cardinals team taking advantage of what might be a slightly weary Rams squad, enough to cover the spread.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Arizona Cardinals plus 3.5 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Cardinals vs. Rams game by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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