Rams To Maintain Impressive Start To Season

Gurley has been in fine form

The 2017 International Series continues at Twickenham on Sunday when the Los Angeles Rams face off against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams have been one of the surprise packages of the season. New head coach Sean McVay has brought life to the offense with Jared Goff flourishing in his second term.

Los Angeles have the highest-scoring offense in the NFL, averaging just a shade under 30 points per game. Goff and running back Todd Gurley have been operating at a high level, being the driving force behind their side’s success.

McVay’s men bounced back from their disappointing defeat at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. Special teams played a vital part in the victory, but against a talented defense Goff still put enough points on the board to overcome a stout defense.

The Rams will face another tough challenge against the Cardinals, who have talent on their defense.

Arizona put forward a dominant performance for the opening three quarters of their clash against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They led 31-6 heading into the fourth quarter, but almost allowed a comeback from Ryan Fitzpatrick. They needed an onside kick recovery to fend off the Bucs, holding out for a 38-33 victory on home soil.

Adrian Peterson had an impressive debut following his trade move from the New Orleans Saints. He rushed for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the contest, proving that he is still a quality back in the NFL.

The 32-year-old could be a vital player for the Cardinals without the presence of David Johnson. Peterson can ease the pressure on Carson Palmer, allowing the quarterback time in the pocket to make his throws downfield.

It should be a close contest between the two sides and we’ll now break down the match using the latest betting odds.

Los Angeles Rams

Gurley has been in fine form

The Rams needed their special teams to come to the fore to defeat the Jaguars last week. Pharoh Cooper took the kickoff back for a touchdown, while the Rams also blocked a punt that was returned for a score by Malcom Brown.

Goff was not needed to be outstanding last week as he completed just 11 of his 21 throws. He threw one touchdown to Gerald Everett, taking his tally to eight for the campaign. Los Angeles relied on the running ability of Gurley to win the contest.

The 23-year-old had a down year in his second season in the NFL. However, he has returned to the form of his rookie season, notching his third 100-yard game of the term.

Gurley already has 521 yards under his belt and is well on course to register over 1,000 yards, while his receiving yard totals have also been impressive.  He could be a quiet contender for Offensive Player of the Year if he maintains this pace throughout the rest of the campaign.

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Rams’ offense this term has been the form of Sammy Watkins. The Buffalo Bills traded up in the 2014 Draft to select the wide receiver. However, he was unable to live up to expectations there before being traded to the Rams in the off-season.

The 24-year-old had a decent start to the season, but over the past three matches he has caught just two passes for 28 yards. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have been Goff’s main two outlets down the field, and Watkins has work to do to prove himself in Los Angeles.

Defensively, the Rams have improved from their early issues keeping points off the board. A strong performance against the Cardinals will send the unit on the right direction to becoming solid under Wade Phillips.

Arizona Cardinals

Peterson had an impressive debut

The Cardinals have had a poor start to the season, despite their 3-3 record. They needed overtime efforts to defeat the Indianapolis Colts and the San Francisco 49ers.
After controlling the contest against the Buccaneers, Bruce Arians’ men allowed them back into the match. It resulted in Arizona needing to gather an onside kick to secure the victory after Fitzpatrick led his offense to 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Peterson’s rushing performance was encouraging as he displayed the form that will surely see him named a Hall of Famer at the end of his career. He found space with ease through the Bucs’ defense, while he had the speed to find the endzone twice. Should he maintain that form – the Cardinals could have a recipe success on offense.

Palmer had struggled at the start of the campaign. However, he was on song against the Buccaneers, completing 18 of his 22 passes for three touchdowns.  Consistency has been an issue throughout his career and he needs to remain at that level to keep the Cardinals in the hunt for the post-season.

Defensively, the Cardinals were dominant for three quarters, with Chandler Jones notching two sacks. Antoine Bethea and Tramon Williams intercepted Fitzpatrick, highlighting the talent in the secondary. However, there needs to be a marked improvement from Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu to get the unit performing at an elite level.

Betting Options

The Rams have performed well this season, but need to raise the level of their performances against their divisional rivals. They barely edged past the 49ers in their contest in week two of the campaign, while they spurned an opportunity to knock off the Seahawks.

McVay’s men have another chance to prove that they are the class of the NFC West.  Goff will have to have a strong outing, spreading the ball to his receivers. Gurley should be able to have another good day on the ground to continue his impressive level of form.

As a result, back the Rams to defeat the Cardinals at odds of -120   with 888Sport, while also taking the -3.5 spread for McVay’s men at odds of +106 . These two offenses are capable of racking up the points. Therefore expect a high-scoring contest at Twickenham – take the over for 53.5 points at odds of +220   with Betway.

Tips Summary

Los Angeles Rams To Beat Arizona Cardinals
Sunday 22nd October 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: -120

Los Angeles Rams To Cover -3.5 Spread
Sunday 22nd October 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: +106

Over 53.5 Points To Be Scored In The Match
Sunday 22nd October 2017 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Odds: +220