Wild Card Weekend: Next Up In the NFL

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Just like that, the NFL expanded 17 game regular season has come to an end, and sights are set on the playoffs. The Wild Card round kicks off this week; the first game being the Las Vegas Raiders hosting the Cincinnati Bengals. Both teams enter the contest with 10-7 records. The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday, and the final game of the first round will be played Monday night, when the 12-5 Rams host the 11-6 Cardinals. The Cardinals beat the Rams in LA early in the season when both teams were 3-0, but then lost to the Rams at home about a month ago. Arizona could have clinched the NFC West, but perhaps they wanted to open up on the road because they have an 8-1 away record on the year. Their lone road loss was against the Detroit Lions, who only won 3 games on the season, so The Cardinals probably should have gone a perfect 9-0 on the season away. For this third matchup on the season between these two teams, the Rams are -200 and are a 4-point favorite. Arizona is +170, and the over/ under is 49 points. They scored 57 and 53 points in their first two games respectively. I remember the first game early in October, the Rams were a 4-point favorite and I had a hunch Arizona would win, despite being on the road. But ever since the Cardinals first loss against Green Bay, they haven't looked the same, losing 4 of their final 5 games. The Rams, meanwhile, won 5 of their final 6 games, losing the last game of the season to the 49ers in OT. So, from a momentum standpoint, I like the Rams, even though the Cardinals were near-perfect on the road.

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