NFL playoff props: Will Kyler Murray run wild on Monday night?

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·Betting analyst
·3 min read
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The NFL's first super wild-card weekend proved to be as unpredictable and unique as the 18 weeks that preceded it. After hearing numerous trends about the success of underdogs in the first round of the postseason, favorites feasted by covering in four of five games. There is still one more game remaining.

For the first time, the NFL has blessed bettors with postseason action on Monday night. The Los Angeles Rams are -4 point favorites versus the Arizona Cardinals, who are a perfect 6-0 as a road underdog this season. With both teams regressing after hot starts this season, it was challenging to find value on either side.

Sometimes the best bet is the one that you don't make. Rather than force myself to get comfortable with a side, I decided to utilize the wide selection of bets that BetMGM offers in the prop markets. I found three solid bets at plus-money odds that will provide a nice return. Let's take advantage of some of the on-field matchups so we don't have to sweat out the final score.

Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 02, 2022. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals carries the ball during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 02, 2022. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Kyler Murray to record 50+ rushing yards (+140)

If Arizona is going to have a chance of beating the Rams, it's going to be on the legs of Murray. The Cardinals offense has regressed from the most explosive air attack in football to the 18th-ranked unit, according to Football Outsiders weighted DVOA metric. The absence of WR DeAndre Hopkins has been massive. TE Zach Ertz has become Murray's primary target over the last month of the season. The Rams rank fourth-best in football in covering tight ends and held Ertz to 42 yards in their Week 13 meeting.

The Cardinals will have to get creative to attack the Rams with designed runs. Ravens QB Tyler Huntley rushed over 54 yards in Week 17 and Murray scooted his way to 61 yards against this same Rams defense. The Cardinals QB has the perfect skill set to counter L.A.'s aggressive pass rush led by Aaron Donald and Von Miller.

Matt Stafford to record a 50+ yard pass completion (+220)

This bet is not as big of a longshot as you might think. The Cardinals' secondary has been leaky of late, allowing Russell Wilson to connect with Tyler Lockett on a 43-yard completion last week. The Rams offense produced the third-most explosive pass plays this season, and have a trio of receivers that are capable of cashing this bet. Matt Stafford connected with Van Jefferson for a 52-yard bomb in the Rams' 30-23 win in Week 14. Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. also torched the Cardinals' defense in that same game for 40- and 44-yard completions.

The +220 odds imply a 31% chance of Stafford cashing this bet. That seems low considering the matchup and I am willing to wager one of the Rams' receivers gets loose and grabs us the money.

Sony Michel to record 75+ rushing yards (+195)

There should be plenty of rushing yards to go around for the Rams backfield. Sony Michel has been a workhorse who accounted for 80% of the carries in the Rams season finale. Even if Cam Akers cuts into his workload, there will be plenty of opportunities to hit this number. The Cardinals defense just allowed 202 yards rushing and 6.7 yards per carry to Seattle and rank 25th in yards per rush on the season.

Teams have also gashed the Arizona defense for explosive runs on 15% of rushing plays, which is a higher frequency than every other team in the NFL. It makes all the sense in the world for the Rams to rely on their rushing attack more this week considering Stafford's recent struggles with turnovers.

Stats provided by teamrankings.com, Sharp Football Stats, Football Outsiders, and Ben Baldwin (Based on 10/90 WP)