Well, it has only taken three weeks for the annual dubbing of the Arizona Cardinals as ‘Super Bowl contenders’ to seem beyond ridiculous. Last week the Cards were drubbed by the Cowboys at home on Monday Night Football. This is a fading football team with a quarterback who should already be retired. They’ll look to improve on their 1-2 record against a winless, but hungry, San Francisco 49ers squad. The Niners have been in every game this season and have given their opponents fits. Bank on them continuing that trend on Sunday in the late slate of action. Read on below for a full breakdown and betting prediction for this NFC West divisional showdown.
49ers vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
San Francisco 49ers +7 (-125)
@ Arizona Cardinals -7 (+105)
Over 44.5 (-110)
Under 44.5 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
49ers vs. Cardinals Pick:
After a stellar first drive for the Cards against the Cowboys – they managed virtually nothing after that. The reason why? Their porous offensive line. They just couldn’t protect Carson Palmer and give him enough time and space in the pocket. The veteran QB took 6 sacks last week and has been knocked down 11 times over the past two games.
And things will not be getting any easier this week as they welcome the Niners to town. While San Francisco doesn’t boast a particularly strong outside rush, they do things differently by mauling through the middle – right into the interior of the offensive line. With DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, the Niners will be all over Palmer on Sunday afternoon. The pressure of this talented duo should be able to limit the Arizona aerial attack against a suspect Niners’ secondary.
San Francisco meanwhile boasts a very solid offensive line and holds a definite advantage at the line of scrimmage. Chandler Jones is a force, but Joe Staley is playing at a high level right now on that Niners’ offensive line, and should be able to hold him off for good protection of QB Brian Hoyer.
With the ground game, Carlos Hyde enters a little banged up, but ESPN is reporting he should be fine to suit up against the Cardinals. Hyde is one of the hottest runners in the league right now and is clearly enjoying running behind a powerful offensive line. Expect him to control the ball and move the chains against Arizona.
At quarterback, Hoyer has been a mixed-bag for San Francisco early this season. He’s made some bad errors, but also made some unbelievable plays too. In Week 4, he’ll need to realize early that Pierre Garcon will likely be blanketed by Patrick Peterson – and as a result will need to do more on his own. As long as he doesn’t turn the ball over, the Niners’ defense will do more than enough to keep San Fran’s offense alive in this contest.
This is another Week 4 example of a spread being too high on the home team. Arizona has shown nothing to warrant them being touchdown favourites against anyone. They can’t block for Palmer, and without David Johnson their offense is one-dimensional and can be easily clamped down. With Arizona entering this game on short-rest, the Niners enter the rightful sharp side. And while the outright victory may be too lofty, San Francisco will do enough to keep this game very close throughout. Don’t be worried here about having to lay a bit of extra juice on the right side.
PICK = 49ers +7 (-125)