San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Week 16 Pick – NFL December 26

San Francisco (5-9) at Arizona (8-6)

Series:

San Francisco leads the series at 31-27, but Arizona came away with a 24-20 decision in Week 1 as Arizona’s Kenyan Drake scored on a 1-yard run with 5:01 to play to provide the difference. DeAndre Hopkins celebrated a huge debut for the Cardinals in catching 14 passes for 151 yards. The 49ers have dropped three in a row while Arizona answered it’s own 3-game losing streak with a pair of wins in the last two weeks. The Cardinals can punch their own playoff ticket for the first time in six years with a win over the 49ers.

Vs. The Spread:

The Cardinals check in at 7-7 ATS while the Niners are 5-9 ATS. San Francisco is 1-6 ATS in the last seven games and the 49ers are 2-11 SU in their last 11 outings against the Cardinals. The total has seen the OVER in Arizona’s last five home games. The Cards are 3-9 SU in their last 12 vs. the NFC West.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
San Francisco 49ers +5 (-110) +200 O 48½ (-113)
Arizona Cardinals -5 (-110) -240 U 48½ (-107)

Last Week:

The Cowboys scored 24 points from four 49ers’ turnovers as the San Francisco defense never got a chance to get it’s feet under it in a 41-33 loss to the Cowboys. Kendrick Bourne (4-86) and Brandon Aiyuk (9-73) was the offense for San Francisco with an in effective quarterback tandem of Nick Mullens and CJ Bethard.

Kyler Murray passed for 406 yards and threw three touchdown passes as Arizona staved off Philadelphia, 33-26, in the desert. The Cardinals’ defense turned away Philadelphia on the Arizona 22 and 31 yard lines on the Eagles’ last two drive.

When the 49ers Have the Ball:

San Francisco 49ers LogoThe 49ers have to get the turnovers in order or a major league blow out will ensue as they are not matching up with the Cowboys again this week. CJ Bethard gets another shot to start with Jimmy Garoppolo still nursing an ankle injury.

Nick Mullens now out for the season with an elbow injury. He is the third-string quarterback for a reason and the Cardinals’ defense should be zeroed in and ready to not allow Bethard to write a heart-warming story.

Pass defense will be a key as two of the last three opponents – Philadelphia and the Rams – have had over 300 yards passing. Dre Kirkpatrick and Patrick Peterson should be able to clamp down on Aiyuk and Bourne while George Kittle is scheduled to start at tight end after injuries. Inside linebackers Jordan Hicks (107/11 TFLs) and De’Vondre Campbell 87/6 TFLs) have had great seasons as the second and third leading tacklers.

When the Cardinals Have the Ball:

Arizona Cardinals LogKyler Murray had his highest quarterback rating last week (127.8) since he registered a 150.5 in a 34-31 loss to Miami in Week 9. He has nine games with both a passing and a rushing TD which is the most in NFL history. DeAndre Hopkins will be a huge issue for the Niners after the aforementioned 14-151 performance in the season’s lid-lifter.

He didn’t score so the guess is he wants to check in vs. the 49ers with at least a pair of TDs. Kenyan Drake has rushed for five touchdowns in his last five and has 17 in 21 games as a Cardinal.

The San Francisco defense has been strong against the run in the last few weeks, but both Murray and Drake look for big days on the ground which opens up D-Hop. Arizona gashed the Niners’ rushing defense for 180 yards in Week 1 which was the most of any team this season. Defensive end Arik Armstead continues to play solid football as he led San Francisco with eight tackles and two sacks last week.

Winner: Cardinals (-5) 34, 49ers 20
Over-Under: Take OVER 48½

The Bets
Cardinals -5
-110
OVER 48½
-113
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.