Following another big victory on Monday Night Football as the Vikings trounced the G-Men, we’ll look to duplicate that success as Week 5 approaches in the NFL. It’s been a solid start to the season, and I’ll look to keep it rolling through this week as we open with a key divisional showdown in the NFC West.
The Arizona Cardinals could be one of the big disappointments so far in all of football. They enter this week with a dismal 1-3 record and haven’t looked themselves at all on either offence or defence. They’ve really looked lost of late, no more so than dropping a putrid game last week at home to the L.A. Rams. This is as close to an early season must-win as it gets, and you have to wonder if head coach Bruce Arians’ job is already on the line.
For their opponents and the host Niners, they’ve always gotten out to a 1-3 beginning, but they’ve battled and showed some good fight along the way. Right now they’re playing to their expectations and although they let last week’s match-up against Dallas slip away, many people foresee the potential for a big upset on Thursday evening as they host the Cards. Read on below for a more complete game analysis and a betting selection to begin your Week 5 in the NFL.
Cardinals at 49ers Betting Odds:
Arizona Cardinals -3 (-120)
@ San Francisco 49ers +3 (+100)
Over 42 (-110)
Under 42 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cardinals at 49ers Pick:
Carson Palmer has looked brutal to start 2016 and due to injury – he won’t be starting Week 5 in this pivotal clash for the Cardinals. It will be Drew Stanton under center and that actually could benefit this talented Arizona offence. Facing the Niners is by no means a difficult match-up and look for him to really be able to lean on his talented trio of receivers to move the chains whenever he’d like on Thursday evening. The Niners’ cornerbacks simply aren’t good enough to cover what Arizona has to offer, and expect this to be an area the Cards can and will exploit.
Even on the ground, don’t expect much resistance as this Niners’ defense currently is in shambles. With NaVorro Bowman now out for the year due to an achilles tear, there’s a glaring hole in the middle of San Francisco’s stop unit. If you watched the Niners take on the Cowboys last week – you noticed that once Bowman went out, the run game improved dramatically for Dallas. Look for a continuation of that Thursday night. David Johnson is a great running back, looking for a breakout game. He should be able to get that against the Niners.
For the Niners, Blaine Gabbert remains their starting QB despite the calls for Colin Kaepernick. Gabbert probably remains the best option, but he’s hardly a good choice – and won’t succeed again on Thursday night. Gabbert has a lot of flaws and makes many poor decisions, and look for an opportunistic Cardinals’ defence to take advantage of that. Arizona has a solid pass rush and defensive front, and look for them to force and hurry Gabbert into a bunch of bad throws.
The 49ers are a mess in pretty much all facets. The Cardinals have been very sloppy offensively, but I think going against San Francisco will bring out their potential. They still possess a ton of talent, and expect a back-up quarterback playing to bring with it a renewed sense of focus. Arizona is a heavy public team in this one, but it’s well warranted. This is a virtual must-win situation for a team that many predicted would play for a Super Bowl title. The Cards still have a lot to offer, and should be able to make a statement on Thursday night.
PICK = Cardinals -3 (-120)