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Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals Point Spread - Pick

Los Angeles Rams (8-3 SU, 7-4 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (5-6 SU, 3-7-1 ATS)
Week 13 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 4:25PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
TV: Fox

By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Point Spread: LAR -7/ARI +7
Over/Under Total: 45.5

The Los Angeles Rams come to Glendale on Sunday to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in NFC West action. Both teams were victorious on Sunday. The Rams rebounded from a loss to the Vikings the previous week to re-establish themselves as contenders with a 26-20 win over the red-hot Saints, breaking New Orleans' 8-game win-streak. Arizona moved to 5-6 with a nice home win over a streaking Jaguars team, winning 27-24 on a late Phil Dawson field goal. They have shown nice resolve this season despite crippling conditions and showed on Sunday that no team can take them for granted. Who can come out ahead this week? The first game between these two teams didn't paint the Cardinals' prospects in a good light, with the Rams squashing them at the LA Coliseum on October 22 by a 33-0 score. Still, that was the game where the Cardinals lost Carson Palmer and perhaps a more-stable Cardinals at home can provide stiffer resistance this week.

The Cardinals took a 13-0 lead over the Jags on Sunday afternoon, needing to hang on, as the Jags worked their way back into the game. Early in the fourth, it looked like the wheels were coming off when deep in Jacksonville territory, a Blaine Gabbert fumble was scooped up and returned for a TD, giving Jacksonville their first lead on the game. A long TD pass from Gabbert to Jamon Brown and a two-point conversion gave the Cardinals the 7-point lead, before the Jags tied in with a TD. Running out of time after getting the ball back with few ticks remaining, the Cardinals were clutch and got back in position, with the 57-yarder from Dawson sealing the win.

On Sunday, the Cardinals' offense had some bright spots. Gabbert did throw a pick and the late fumble was almost the dagger, but you can do a lot worse for a third-string quarterback and he was big late. He hit Brown and suddenly-active rookie receiver Ricky Seals-Jones with long TD passes. Other than the two-point conversion, Larry Fitzgerald was quiet on the day. Adrian Peterson awoke from his slumber and after a few rough performances, he produced 79 yards on the ground, while also catching four balls. With all the injuries between David Johnson, Palmer and Drew Stanton, and along the offensive line, the Cardinals are trying to patch something together and weren't too bad on Sunday.

Since coming off the bye, the Arizona defense has been a shade better. They haven't been that stout, giving up the bulk of their opponents' production late in games. But it worked out on Sunday, as they got the much-needed win. They got some better play from their top guys. On Sunday, Tyrann Mathieu had an interception, while Chandler Jones was active with two sacks, along with rising defensive lineman Olsen Pierre adding another sack. Patrick Peterson was better on Sunday in coverage, with reserve linebacker Josh Bynes stepping up with a big game. Karlos Dansby has been very active, as has rookie safety Budda Baker. Somewhat quietly, they've managed to get better over the past month or so, but some more clutch late could go a long way moving forward.

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The Rams really needed a win on Sunday after looking so bad against the Vikings. Looking back now, the loss to the Vikes isn't that bad, with Minnesota playing really well. To beat a Saints team that had won eight in a row the way they did certainly clears out whatever remaining odor that lingered from that loss. The offense woke up on Sunday with a good showing aerially and on the ground. Defensively, they were dicey late, but did a good job in keeping a surging Saints' offense in check with only 20 points on the game. Outside a couple big plays from Saints' back Alvin Kamara, they were pretty solid. They look for more of that this week after shutting the Cardinals out the first time around.

On Sunday, the Rams got a good showing from Jared Goff, who threw for 354 yards, connecting with Sammy Watkins and Josh Reynolds with TD passes. Cooper Kupp led all receivers with 116 yards, while Watkins was finally active on the day with 82 receiving yards. Todd Gurley was effective with 74 rushing yards and 54 through the air. Add Tavon Austin, tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee, along with rising talent like Pharoh Cooper and Reynolds, we're seeing a Rams' offense that has been a ton improved this season, basically doubling their output from last season, with Goff perhaps the most-improved player in the league. With WR Robert Woods having such a good season, missing him for this time does hurt.

The Rams' defense started the season in ragged fashion, with their newfound success on offense carrying the action. But they've turned it around and even with issues late, the 20 they gave up to the Saints has to qualify as a quality performance. They were victimized by some big plays, but that is to be expected. Overall, they were very solid. At linebacker, Mark Barron, Samson Ekubam and Alec Ogletree were very active on the day, with Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn tough up-front and both getting sacks. Corners Kayvon Webster and Trumaine Johnson were also solid against the Saints.

This could be a trappy spot for the Rams, especially if they fall prey to marveling at how easy this game was the first time around. Granted, they match up well across most areas with the Cardinals, but they will have to be at their peak mentally to thrive in this road divisional spot. The Cardinals are nice and dug in at home and the prospects of getting back to .500 have to be exciting for a team that has experienced so much adversity. I see the Cardinals keeping this one respectable.

Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting on the Arizona Cardinals plus 7 points. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today and bet the Rams vs. Cardinals 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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