2021 NFL Win Totals: Bettors Down on Arizona Cardinals
Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kliff Kingsbury
Kyler Murray is a top MVP candidate, J.J. Watt bolsters the defense, yet bettors don’t expect the Arizona Cardinals to improve on their 8 wins from a season ago.
According to betting data released by BetMGM, the majority of bets on the Cardinals’ win total are on under 8.5. In total, 61% of bets and 68% of money is coming in on the under, which is juiced to -115.
Arizona went 8-8 a season ago, but the story was the second-half collapse. The Cardinals ran out to a 5-2 record before faltering to a 3-6 finish. Murray struggled, throwing just nine touchdowns and running for one more in the final seven games.
The collapse was capped off by a loss to the Rams in Week 17 — a Rams team starting John Wolford at quarterback. Murray was banged up as well, but Arizona backers probably think it never should’ve reached that point.
The first 11 games won’t be easy leading up to the bye week. Arizona opens the season as a 3-point underdog to the Tennessee Titans before hosting Minnesota. The Cardinals should be road favorites against Jacksonville in Week 3, but then it’s off to Los Angeles to face the Rams, home against San Francisco and back on the road against Cleveland.
Week 7 will come against the Texans, but then it’s a quick turnaround to Thursday Night Football against the Packers and on the road against San Francisco again. Carolina and Seattle are the final opponents before the week off in Week 12.
Coming out of the bye, Arizona travels to Chicago to face either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields and the Bears. It’s alternating road-and-home the rest of the way: home vs. the Rams, at Detroit, home vs. the Colts, at Dallas and a season-ending Week 18 game at home against the Seahawks.
Under 8.5 coincides with the NFL playoff market. At DraftKings, the Cardinals are +175 to make the playoffs and -225 to miss. Nine wins doesn’t automatically mean a playoff berth, but it can be close.
Elsewhere in the market, the Detroit Lions are quite popular for both the over and the under. The Lions are in the top three in bets on the over. The Lions are also top three in bets taken on the under. While 57% of Lions bets are on the over, 72% of the money is on under 5 wins. That signals the bigger wagers are on the under.
Joining Detroit for popular over bets are the Titans (over 9) and Broncos (over 8.5). Ever since Aaron Rodgers was rumored to join Denver, money has been coming in on the Broncos. The switch to steady Teddy Bridgewater might be enough to convince bettors he won’t cost Denver games because of his high floor.
Bettors aren’t sold on two teams accustomed to picking at the top of the NFL Draft in recent years: The Bengals and Jaguars are top three in bets taken on the under, both at 6.5.