Sanchez on what Stafford, Rams need to do to find success against Cardinals
The first NFL super wild-card weekend has certainly lived up to its name to this point.
After five games on Saturday and Sunday, we still have one more stop with the Los Angeles Rams set to host the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West showdown tonight.
If you tailed my best bets in this column from last week you went 2-1, with the Mike Evans Anytime TD and a two-team tease that featured the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers both cashing.
If you follow me on Twitter, we went 16-15 with a couple of plus-money props, including Patrick Mahomes over 2.5 touchdown passes at +150.
That number would have been better if we could have avoided a couple of dead money props with Chiefs running back Darrell Williams, who clearly wasn’t “good to go” for a game in which he had one touch for four yards before sitting out the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Scotty Miller finished one yard short on over 8.5 receiving yards and Tom Brady finished two pass attempts short of the over 39.5 in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ blowout win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
We also jumped on a couple of live plays, including the Hammer Halftime from Davis Sanchez, which improved to a ridiculous 17-3 this season.
If you can find someone out there who is hitting on their live plays at 85 per cent or better, please let me know so that I can follow them and tail their picks for the rest of the playoffs the way that I have with Chezzy all season.
Here’s the TSN EDGE Morning Coffee for Monday Jan. 17, 2021.
Best bets for Cardinals versus Rams
Tonight’s game between the Cardinals and Rams opened with Los Angeles -4, but as of this morning it looks like -3.5 across the board.
Arizona lost four of its final five games of the regular season but split its two meetings with the Rams and has the potential to at least keep this game close.
Kyler Murray is 16-7 against the spread as an underdog in his career, and the Cardinals went 6-0 ATS as a dog this season.
Meanwhile, I’m still seeing the total at 50 at most places, but some spots have dropped to 49.5.
In terms of my best bets, I’ll start with Murray to go over 38.5 rushing yards.
Murray went over that number in both games against Los Angeles this season, rushing for 39 yards in the first meeting and then 61 yards in the rematch.
He finished the regular season with at least 35 rushing yards in three straight games, including 44 against the Dallas Cowboys and 74 against the Indianapolis Colts.
I think Murray will be more willing to take off and use his legs as the underdog in a playoff setting, so I’ll take the over.
Sticking with Murray props, I’ll double down with Murray to go over 252.5 passing yards.
The Cardinals’ quarterback averaged 325.5 passing yards in two meetings with the Rams during the regular season, going over that prop number in both.
He went over 252.5 in all but one of his games in indoor stadiums this season.
I think Arizona’s best chance at pulling off the upset will require a superhuman performance by Murray, so I’ll add the over 252.5 passing yards.
With DeAndre Hopkins out and Rondale Moore a game-time decision, I think Murray will continue to lean on his tight end Zach Ertz, who has piled up 22 catches on 32 targets over his past three games.
I’ll take Ertz to go over 52.5 receiving yards as a key target for Murray.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the football, it’s impossible not to go back to the well with Cooper Kupp after the remarkable numbers that he put up this season.
Kupp averaged nine catches for 93.5 yards in two meetings versus Arizona during the regular season.
I’ll add Kupp to go over 7.5 receptions tonight.
I also like Sony Michel to go over 55.5 rushing yards, a number he went over in five of the final six games of the regular season, including 79 rushing yards on 4.0 yards per carry in the last meeting versus the Cardinals.
So, to recap, here is my card for tonight’s game:
Kyler Murray Over 38.5 Rushing Yards
Kyler Murray Over 252.5 Passing Yards
Zach Ertz Over 52.5 Receiving Yards
Cooper Kupp Over 7.5 Receptions
Sony Michel Over 55.5 Rushing Yards
I’ll add to this card tonight before game time, so make sure to give me a follow on Twitter at @DomPadulaEDGE.
Early divisional round lines
We got our first look at the early NFL divisional round lines late last night.
I didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on two numbers, and we have already seen some movement in both games.
The Tennessee Titans opened -3 against the Cincinnati Bengals. That number has already moved to Titans -3.5.
Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs opened -2.5 against the Buffalo Bills with the total at 53.5. The total has moved a point to 54.5.
Finally, the Green Bay Packers are -4.5 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The total for that game has moved a half-point up from 47 to 47.5.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are awaiting the winner of tonight’s game between the Rams and Cardinals in the final matchup of the divisional round.
Matsuyama wins Sony Open
While my focus was squarely on the NFL playoffs this weekend, I had to shout out our guy Adam Scully for picking another winner on the PGA Tour.
Scully picked Hideki Matsuyama to win the Sony Open at +1800.
Matsuyama rallied to win the event in a playoff for Scully’s third winner of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season already!
Scully and the Golf Talk Canada guys will be back on Tuesday with their best bets for The American Express.
We’ll see if they can keep the hot streak going and find us another winner at long odds.