Pick Rams as Home Chalk vs. Cardinals on Thursday

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 8:39 PM GMT

Both the Cardinals and Rams look to extend their winning form into week 15 NFL betting when they collide in an NFC West showdown. Find out what NFL odds are currently trading as we analyse the clash and serve up our NFL betting verdict.

Arizona Cardinals (10-3 SU, 3-3 away)
Arizona Cardinals emerged victorious in week 14 NFL betting after beating the Kansas City Chiefs 17-14 at home. The win was pivotal towards their title aspirations, maintaining their current edge in the NFC West standings ahead of preseason betting favourites Seattle and San Francisco. Rejuvenated and peaking at the right time, the Seahawks are closing the gap on the Cardinals, putting up a right challenge for the divisional title down the stretch. It goes without saying that with Seattle breathing down their necks so, Arizona can't let up anytime soon.

Cardinals opened as the 2.5-point home chalk in week 14 NFL betting only to have the NFL lines move against them as they were bet down and over to the other side of the fence, closing as the 2.5-point home pups. In the end, the Cardinals quelled the doubters with a solid, gutsy win over the Chiefs.

Up next are the St. Louis Rams, divisional foes similarly infected with the injury bug this season. Indeed, the pair have had their share of major injury woes. Yet, haven't let those define them. By the numbers, the NFC West leading Cardinals appear more successful than the Rams, who prop up the edifice. But it wouldn't be wise to underestimate the Rams. They've knocked down some legitimate contenders this season, not to mention they are riding incredible form over the last two rounds of the NFL 2014-2015 season.


St. Louis Rams (6-7 SU, 3-3 home)
Just like the Cardinals, Rams are putting forward a campaign without their starting quarterback Sam Bradford. Unlike the Cardinals, the Rams were dealt the setback in the preseason and that's probably why they are just 6-7 SU on the season. Still, they've found a way to win football games behind a couple of different starters, including impressive wins over  the Seahawks, Niners and Broncos. Games in which the NFL odds were seriously stacked against them and that few NFL bettors considered backing the Rams in against the spread, let alone to win straight up.

Most recently, the Rams are enjoying unprecedented verve and swagger. They've won back-to-back games without allowing the opposition to score over eight quarters. Granted they've faced modest if not subpar opposition over the last two weeks with the Raiders and Redskins respectively. Still, beating the pair by a combined score of 76-0 is spectacular, to say the least. If that doesn't resonate with NFL bettors, consider the very same Raiders they eviscerated 52-0 in week 13 NFL betting went on to beat the Niners 24-13 in week 14 NFL betting.

What the Rams have accomplished over the last few weeks certainly resonates with odds makers because the NFL betting lines rolled out for this game are as tight as an accountant's purse. What's more, you couldn't tell by the NFL odds which team leads the division with a winning record and which trails with a losing record. The Rams are installed as the -200 SU favourites to and the 3.5-point home chalk.


NFL Betting Verdict
Arizona Cardinals look to be back on form at the most opportune time, which augurs well for them going into a short week and a date with the St. Louis Rams on Thursday Night Primetime Football. However, you couldn't tell by the NFL betting odds that they are the 10-3 SU NFC West leaders. It's smoke and mirrors where the Cardinals are concerned, or so say the bookies, sending them into this divisional game as the +170 underdogs to win outright and the 3.5-point road pups. Since Carson Palmer's season ended, they've been inconsistent. And NFL bettors aren't ready to trust in Drew Stanton as their leader down the stretch.

Clearly, the bookies are buying what the Rams are selling right now. Why else would they be deemed the home chalk against divisional leaders and potential playoff contenders if not. Question is should NFL bettors bankroll the Rams as well? We think so. At the moment, 57% of the betting public is behind the Rams, which is understandable when their defense has really risen to the task over the last few weeks. You can't ignore shut outs quite like their last two. And if the defense rises to the occasion on Thursday Night, Drew Stanton and the Cardinals may be in for a rude awakening. Take the Rams on your NFL picks both SU and ATS.

Free NFL Pick: Rams -200 and -3.5