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NFL London: Arizona vs Los Angeles Money Line Prediction

L.A. Rams(4-2) @ Arizona Cardinals(3-3)

  • Where: Twickenham Stadium. London, England
  • When: October 22, 2017 1:00 pm EST
  • Spread: Arizona (+3.5) vs L.A. (-3.5)
  • Moneyline: Arizona (+135) vs L.A. (-155)
  • Over / Under: Over 45.5 (-110) vs Under 45.5 (-110)

Technically speaking, this is a “home” game for the Arizona Cardinals. But it surely doesn’t feel like one.

The Cardinals will be taking on the Los Angeles Rams late on Sunday night – or noon in New York City – in London, England, for another installment in the NFL’s new tradition of sending its show to the United Kingdom.

Pomp, circumstance and the Royal Family are always great. But the Cards should be more excited about their new running back, the legendary Adrian Peterson, who could potentially turn a lousy season into a vintage one.

Carson Palmer looked old and dead in the first 5 games as the Cardinals could not run the football, and could not protect their QB. Only a pair of anxious OT wins over less-than-stellar opponents had kept the squad from going 0-5. When GM Steve Keim traded for Peterson, it was seen as either a last-ditch desperation move or a publicity stunt. But Peterson showed up for Week 6 and ran like he was 25 years old, leading the Cardinals as they coasted to a 38-33 victory over the Buccaneers.

The Rams have traveled to the far-away destination to play a familiar NFC West rival. At 4-2, and having beaten the Dallas Cowboys and an improving Jacksonville team in the past 3 weeks, Los Angeles could prove to be a tougher opponent for Peterson to run wild on than Tampa Bay. Bookies and bettors seem to agree. L.A. is at least a 3-point favorite at Bovada and other betting books.

Ram Tough 

The Rams have a pretty good running back of their own in Todd Gurley. Though the match-up getting all of the media attention might be Adrian Peterson versus the Los Angeles defense, the real key to the game could be whether the “visitors” (they’re all visitors in this one) can score early and get Carson Palmer out of his comfort zone.

L.A. has a high-tech offense under the new coaching staff, excellent at in-game adjustments. But over the past few weeks they’ve been just a little inconsistent, only managing 10 points in a loss to Seattle. The trick to beating the Cardinal defense is to play physical and blow them off the ball – if given favorable down-and-distance, ball-hawks such as Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu can snatch errant passes.

Gurley is having an excellent season despite fumbling 5 times. After another 100-yard performance against Jacksonville, the 3-year pro is up to averaging 4.2 yards per carry. But he’s not exactly a deadly threat in the Red Zone, having cashed-in on only a trio of touchdowns. Gurley has not reached the end zone since 9/21.

If there’s no prolific rushing threat, QB Jared Goff is not a player who can manufacture an attack on his own.

Cardinal Virtues

The Cardinals’ offense is hard to judge, since the acquisition of Peterson – and the veteran’s breathtaking performance against Tampa – has transformed the Arizona rushing attack so dramatically.

Typically, NFL coaches go 1 of 2 ways after being handed a hot new weapon at tailback – either come out in the next game and hand it to the poor soul 20 straight times hoping to continue the streak of success – or use the RB as a decoy and try to play-action pass for big gains early.

Knowing HC Bruce Arians, it will be mostly the latter. Arians and Palmer love to throw bombs, looking for “Touchdown” John Brown on post-patterns and fly routes. WR Larry Fitzgerald has never been better, looking like every bit the legend he has become over a long career.

But Palmer still has a lot to prove. The Arizona QB has looked so immobile, so hapless over the first leg of the season that any notion of a suddenly-prolific Cardinal offense should be taken with a grain of salt.

Bet on Old L.A. in Olde England

Wager on the Los Angeles Rams to win in London and get a 50% sign-up bonus at Bovada Sportsbook.

We’re liking the Rams on the money line or ATS.

L.A. has the brawn up front to limit Peterson early, and use their superior rush on the outside to keep an aging QB off-balance. The Big Red defense is not built to defend power-rushing teams outside of the Big Toaster, and an early lead for the Rams means less opportunities for A.P. to carry the football and wear down a division-rival defense.

London games are rarely this fun. Gamble at least a unit or 2 on Los Angeles to prevail, and enjoy a nice payoff with a spot of tea.

Kurt BoyerThis article was written by Kurt Boyer

A freelance sportswriter from Missouri, Kurt has covered court, gridiron, rink and ring for 10+ years. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.

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