Cardinals vs Texans Prediction, Odds | Week 11 NFL Pick
Cardinals vs. Texans odds have Houston as a 5.5-point home favorite with a game total of 48 for NFL Week 11, but I'm not deterred by the spread when making my Cardinals vs. Texans prediction.
The Texans are on a two-game winning streak and coming off a huge road victory over the Bengals that has cemented them as a true contender with C.J. Stroud under center. Meanwhile, the Cardinals received the spark they badly needed with the victorious returns of Kyler Murray and James Conner.
Murray and Conner can't help a vulnerable Cardinals defense against the Texans, though, so let's get into my Cardinals vs. Texans prediction.
Cardinals vs Texans Prediction & Odds
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Cardinals vs Texans Prediction
It's fair to assess Kyler Murray's performance as a positive for an offense averaging fewer than five yards per play. Arizona's 5.9 yards per play against the Falcons was its best performance since Week 3, though it did come against a defense that's struggling mightily. Atlanta's defense had just given up 28 and 31 points to the likes of Will Levis and Joshua Dobbs, both of whom were making their first starts for their team. Thus, we should take Murray's performance with a grain of salt and temper our expectations moving forward.
Murray is shaking off the rust, which is to be expected. According to Sharp Football, he was 8.2% below his expected completion percentage, which ranked 27th amongst quarterbacks in Week 10.
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The Texans' pass rush will test a Cardinals' offensive line that ranks 21st in adjusted sack rate allowed. Houston has a solid 36% pressure rate and is second in pass rush win rate, according to ESPN data.
Arizona will need the running game to be efficient to relieve Murray of long down-and-distance situations, in which he is more likely to face pressure. However, the Texans are second in the league against the run, allowing only 3.35 yards per carry to opposing backs. In fact, only one rush has gone over 20 yards against this defense this season.
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The Texans offense will have the biggest advantage in this game.
Houston has managed to put points on the board on 50% of its possessions when C.J. Stroud doesn't take a sack. If the Cardinals can't pressure the likely Rookie of the Year, it will spell trouble for a defense that allows teams to reach the red zone more frequently than any other defense in the NFL.
Arizona has a defensive pressure rate of just 31%, which ranks 28th. Stroud's passer rating when pressured is 66.8, but when kept clean, his rating skyrockets to 114.4.
The Cardinals run a zone-heavy scheme defensively and play with two high safeties at the second-highest rate in football. The Texans offense is coming off their most effective performance on the ground this year and it’s likely Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon will dare them to try and repeat that performance.
The problem is the Cardinals are 28th in DVOA against the run. It will be difficult to get the Texans off the field on third down if the Cardinals can't create havoc on early downs. Arizona has stuffed runs at or behind the line of scrimmage on just 13% of carries, which is the third-lowest rate in the league.
If the Texans don't make mistakes to beat themselves, their offense should roll.
Cardinals vs. Texans
Betting Picks & Predictions
The Texans have scored 27.2 points per game at home this season and are clearly playing with a new level of confidence.
Oddsmakers opened this spread at Houston -4, but have had no choice but to move this line even higher. The Action App is showing that nearly two-thirds of the tickets are on the Cardinals, signaling that the public feels Murray will be a difference maker.
I don’t see that being the case in Murray’s first road test since his injury and I expect the line of scrimmage to be won by the Texans on both sides of the ball.
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