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Los Angeles Rams vs Arizona Cardinals opening odds: NFC West rivalry gets started

Will L.A. improve get back over .500 with a division rival on deck?

Syndication: Arizona Republic Michael Chow-Arizona Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Los Angeles Rams will travel to the desert next week to take on their NFC West division rivals Arizona Cardinals and they opened as 4.5-point favorites according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Rams have yet to cover the spread in 2022, will they do it in Week 3?

The Rams came into Sunday’s game in a must win-situation, or at least if felt that way. The season opener was an embarrassing spectacle that sent the media on a “Super Bowl Hangover” frenzy. In the first half of this week’s game it seemed like McVay’s Rams were ready to shut the door on that narrative, but instead the “28-3” curse that has plagued the Atlanta Falcon’s organization since 2017 was very nearly passed on to the Super Bowl Champs. A fourth quarter surge from Atlanta that was sprung by a blocked punt turned Falcon touchdown made what looked like a backup quarterback’s dream into something a bit more competitive, but the Rams came away with a victory.

Jalen Ramsey stopped the bleeding with a clutch interception that showed why he is one of the best at the position and effectively put away the game with a final score of 31-27. There are still questions surrounding the Rams and for the second week in-a-row they have failed to cover the spread. Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions, the special teams attempted to give the game away, and if not for a last minute interception the defense all but crumpled under the pressure. Sure, the Los Angeles walked away with the win, but those that have put their money on the line for them have turned up empty for the second week in a row

LA will attempt to award their bettors this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals who covered the (+5.5) point spread against the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime. The Cardinals could not get anything going in the first half but found momentum in the second. Murray did what the Falcons could not and pulled off a savage 22 play final drive that was capped off with a three yard quarterback scramble. Down by two the Cardinal quarterback fired a rocket between multiple defenders and somehow managed to find AJ Green for the two-point conversion.

With the game tied at 23-23, the Cardinals got the first attempt to put away the game. A nine play drive turned into a fourth-and-1 attempt that saw a deep pass from Murray to Marquise Brown fall incomplete after Las Vegas safety Duron Harmon knocked the ball out of the ex-Baltimore’s hands with a hard-hitting tackle. Derek Carr looked primed to be the hero as he moved his offense within field goal range. Unfortunately for the Raiders Isaiah Simmons had other ideas when he forced the ball out of Hunter Renfrow’s arms allowing Byron Murphy to take the fumble 59 yards for the game winning touchdown.

Sean McVay has owned Kliff Kingsbury since becoming the head coach in Los Angeles and only faced his first defeat by the Cardinals last year in Week 4. In the playoffs LA embarrassed their NFC West competition in a lopsided 34-11. McVay goes into the matchup with a 10-1 record with only two of those games being decided by one score.

The Cardinals will again be without their most electrifying weapon in DeAndre Hopkins who continues to serve his six game suspension but still have weapons that draw attention with Brown and Green. Even though LA nearly imploded and gave away a game in which they were (-10.5) favorites in they look much improved in Week 2. Stafford made some mistakes but also threw 11 completions in-a-row and found the end zone three times. Allen Robinson finally made an appearance as his role develops within the offense and Kupp is still doing Kupp-like things.

Who do you trust more this week? Can the electrifying athleticism of Murray show through or will the Cardinals offense continue to struggle? Will Stafford protect the ball and find a way to put away the game? I trust history on this one.

My pick is for the Rams to cover the spread and for the first time this season. Who are you betting on in Week 3? Let’s discuss in the comments!