Can you believe that Week 9 of the NFl regular season is already upon us? The fun season is flying by, and what a season we’ve had thus far.
One of the big storylines of the 2019 NFL regular season has been the stellar play of the San Francisco 49ers. They have been awesome this year, entering Thursday night with a perfect 7-0 record. While many anticipated this group would take a step forward, nobody could have predicted it to be this pronounced. Their defense remains elite and their offense gives them a chance in every game. Can this group stay focused and work towards clinching the competitive NFC West down the stretch? Winning games against the Cardinals would surely go a long way.
Don’t expect Arizona to just be pushovers however on Thursday evening, especially at home. Kyler Murray has the offense much improved over past seasons, and though they are battling some tough injuries at running back, Kliff Kingsbury’s team is a young and hungry group that will battle to the final whistle. Surely they’d love to be the team that disrupts San Francisco’s perfect season – though it might be too early in the process for this young, rebuilding franchise.
On Halloween night, anything can happen – and though these teams are quite separated at either end of the NFL standings, the short week in football can do spooky things to teams. Can the Niners avoid the curse? Read on below the posted odds for a detailed game breakdown and official betting prediction to kick-off Week 9 of the NFL season.
49ers vs. Cardinals Betting Odds:
San Francisco 49ers -10 (-118)
@ Arizona Cardinals +10 (-102)
Over 43 (-112)
Under 43 (-108)
49ers vs. Cardinals Pick:
Though there can be a tendency among teams that have had new-found success to have that inevitable ‘let-down’ game, I’m not certain it is coming for the San Francisco 49ers. They’re deeper than first thought, and they can beat teams in any style of game.
Last week, it was amazing to see how lethal their offense can be against Carolina. They were explosive on what is a pretty good Panthers’ stop unit. They moved the chains with ease, and Tevin Coleman ran all over the Carolina defense. Expect him to replicate that again in Week 9 against a pretty porous Arizona run defense.
This week, even though it’s on short rest and the Niners have to travel – I don’t expect the situation to be all that different. The Niners’ list of offensive weapons is growing with the acquisition of wideout Emmanuel Sanders, and this has only enhanced Jimmy Garoppolo’s ability to spread the field and not have the defense key in on one specific talent.
Expect a big outing also from the Niners’ prolific tight end George Kittle. Arizona’s main defensive weakness is stopping opposing tight ends, and because of this Kittle should find a lot of open space and be in for yet another big outing on Thursday night.
Arizona has improved this season, though I suspect many thought they were a little bit better than they actually were heading into last week’s game against the Saints. They had won three straight matches – albeit all against pretty bad teams. Last week, New Orleans gave them a real wake-up call, exposing their flaws on both sides of the ball. Expect the Niners to only magnify those issues.
Rookie QB Kyler Murray struggled last week dealing with all of the pressure the Saints applied. If he didn’t like that, he might as well not even suit up this week as the 49ers’ pass rush is the best in football right now. There’s zero chance that the Cards can keep out the trio of Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, and Dee Ford from their backfield, and as a result expect Murray to be on the run early and often.
Also, without the safety option of a solid running back in Chase Edmonds or David Johnson, it’s going to be tough for the Cards to just hand the ball over to new running back Kenyan Drake to bail them out of tough situations. Drake, the former Dolphin, was acquired this week – but still doesn’t know the playbook or offensive schemes. Moving the chains will be tough for Arizona in Week 9.
The better team often rises to the top in short-rest, Thursday night situations, and why deviate from that here in Week 9? The Niners are an elite group that are essentially letdown-proof given their spread of the ball on offense, and how relentless they are on defense. Arizona has been a tad overrated of late and with all of their recent injuries, the Niners will be eager to rack up another blowout victory in their undefeated season. Expect San Fran to roll to a comfortable double-digit win on Halloween night.