Monday Night Football may not quite have the lustre of days gone by but it’s still a must-see primetime matchup and we have predictions for every single week of the 2021 NFL season.
Wild Card Predictions & Best Bets
Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams (Monday January 17, 8.15pm Eastern, ESPN)
Super Wild Card weekend closes out with a terrific matchup at SoFi Stadium as the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams meet for the third time this season.
These two NFC West rivals have split their two encounters so far – the Cards claimed a stellar 37-20 success at SoFi in October, while the Rams gained revenge 30-23 in Glendale in December.
We have two teams here who enjoyed very different finishes to the regular season. The Rams won five of their last six to clinch the division title while the Cards dropped four of their last five to finish as a wild card on 11-6. At one stage Arizona had been in position to claim the #1 seed in the NFC but those days are long gone.
Arizona is still hurt by injuries to key personnel, notably WR1 DeAndre Hopkins (torn MCL). He could yet return during the posteason – if the Cardinals continue to advance.
While health is an issue for Kliff Kingsbury’s crew, perhaps the biggest scrap of comfort for the Cardinals is their road record. Arizona showed terrific ability to fight through adversity away from its own field, resulting in an 8-1 record.
The Cardinals of course have the man who might be the most electrifying player in the whole of pro football in QB Kyler Murray. He was brilliant in that win at SoFi earlier in 2021, throwing for 268 yards and a pair of scores as well as running for 39 yards on six carries. He’s almost impossible to stop when he’s in the groove.
Our first bet on this page though is Rams TE Tyler Higbee to find the endzone. He’s been a key weapon for Matthew Stafford in recent weeks and scored twice in that OT defeat by the 49ers in Week 18. He’s currently available at +255 (bet $100 to win $255) to score a touchdown Anytime, and that is good enough for us to be a player.
We follow that up with a bet on Arizona WR A.J. Green to rack up 50+ receiving yards. Many wondered what he had left when he signed a free-agent deal to join the Cards, but Green has been a key target with Hopkins injured.
A.J. racked up 67 and 102 yards in those two games vs the Rams so far in 2021, and we really like his chances to go over the half-century here. Take the +120 available.
We also have a couple more player prop bets for this game, advised already on our NFL Prop Bets page – check them out.
As ever, enjoy the game and good luck with your picks!
OddsCritic Monday Night Football Predictions
- Tyler Higbee to score a touchdown Anytime at +255 (FOX Bet)
- A.J. Green to have 50+ Receiving yards at +120 (PointsBet)
NB: Odds correct on January 17, 2021
Monday Night Football Schedule
Week 1: Las Vegas Raiders 33-27 Baltimore Ravens (September 13)
Week 2: Green Bay Packers 35-17 Detroit Lions (September 20)
Week 3: Dallas Cowboys 41-21 Philadelphia Eagles (September 27)
Week 4: Los Angeles Chargers 28-14 Las Vegas Raiders (October 4)
Week 5: Baltimore Ravens 31-25 Indianapolis Colts (October 11)
Week 6: Tennessee Titans 34-31 Buffalo Bills (October 18)
Week 7: Seattle Seahawks 10-13 New Orleans Saints (October 25)
Week 8: Kansas City Chiefs 20-17 New York Giants (November 1)
Week 9: Pittsburgh Steelers 29-27 Chicago Bears (November 8)
Week 10: San Francisco 49ers 31-10 Los Angeles Rams (November 15)
Week 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-10 New York Giants (November 22)
Week 12: Washington Football Team 17-15 Seattle Seahawks (November 29)
Week 13: Buffalo Bills 10-14 New England Patriots (December 6)
Week 14: Arizona Cardinals 23-30 Los Angeles Rams (December 13)
Week 15: Chicago Bears 9-17 Minnesota Vikings (December 20)
Week 16: New Orleans Saints 3-20 Miami Dolphins (December 27)
Week 17: Pittsburgh Steelers 26-14 Cleveland Browns (January 3)
When does Monday Night Football kick off?
Kickoff for Monday Night Football is always at 8.15pm Eastern Time (7.15pm Central, 5.15pm Pacific).
Which TV channel shows Monday Night Football?
Monday Night Football had its halcyon years between 1970 and 2005 when it was a staple of ABC programming.
Since then the primetime matchup has aired on ESPN and it is still pretty easy to get access to.
As well as watching on cable, you can get to it via a number of streaming services including Fubo TV, Sling TV, YouTube TV and Hulu. There is also a Spanish language version of the telecast on ESPN Deportes.
If you’re watching online, you can catch Monday Night Football on ESPN Watch on all major platforms.
The current broadcast team in the booth for Monday Night Football includes Steve Levy and Brian Griese, while the Manning brothers Eli and Peyton will be doing an alternative telecast on ESPN2 for some games during the 2021 season. Lisa Salters staffs up the sideline.
During its glory days the likes of Frank Gifford, Al Michaels and John Madden made MNF THE game of the week for America – it became an institution.
The product has lost some of its lustre in recent years – there have been some failed experiments in the booth (‘Booger’ McFarland and Jason Witten anyone?) and the schedule is often pretty average.
The lack of ability to flex games means what looks a good scheduling choice in August looks pretty awful by October. As a result MNF has fallen some way behind Sunday Night Football in the pecking order.
There have been reports that games can be flexed from Week 12 on in 2021 – but it has to be done with at least 12 days’ notice. Moving a few hours on a Sunday is manageable – moving a game a full day into a work week for most of America has all sorts of knock-on…