Arizona Cardinals Betting Primer: Super Bowl Odds, Win Total Pick, More
Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury
Arizona Cardinals Odds
If you’re new to betting, the Cardinals’ +5000 Super Bowl odds mean a $100 bet would net $5,000 if they won. [Convert odds using our betting odds calculator.]
With one season of experience in the books, what should we expect in Year 2 of the Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury era? Our analysts take a closer look at their futures as well as key questions facing the team.
Cardinals Win Total Pick
Sean Koerner, the Director of Predictive Analytics at Action, breaks down how he’s betting the Cardinals’ win total.
Kyler Murray should build on his Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign — adding DeAndre Hopkins makes it even more likely the quarterback takes a big Year 2 leap.
Marcus Gilbert opting out of the season will force the Cardinals to start third-round pick, Josh Jones, at right tackle — Jones’ ability to quickly adapt to the NFL is one of only a few factors standing between Arizona becoming a top-five offense.
The Cardinals should go over their win total as long as their defense plays closer to league-average than it did last season. Eighth overall pick Isaiah Simmons will play a massive role in that as he should improve their run defense and tight end coverage — two areas they must improve in considering how loaded the division is with running schemes and TE talent.
Despite playing in the NFC West, the Cardinals have an average strength of schedule thanks to their non-division schedule, which features the Dolphins, Football Team, Panthers, Giants and Jets.
The Cardinals’ +13 year-over-year jump in my strength of schedule ratings is one of the seven “luck” metrics they’ve graded positively on. (I detail my full luck ratings and the nine metrics I weigh here.) Their +7 luck rating is the highest of any team — one of the many reasons I love them to go over.
PICK: Over 7 (-115; bet to -135)
Key Questions for the Cardinals
Stuckey, a football betting analyst and host of The Action Network podcast, runs through three key questions for the Cardinals heading into 2020.
1. Can Kyler Murray take the next step in Year 2, particularly in the red zone? The Cardinals scored touchdowns on only 45.3% of red-zone trips last season (29th in NFL). Yards weren’t an issue, but finishing drives was. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins certainly helps in that department. The offensive line has some questions, but Murray also has to learn to take fewer sacks in certain situations.
2. Will the defensive additions pay off for a unit that struggled mightily in 2019? All eyes are on versatile first-round draft pick Isaiah Simmons, who the Cardinals hope can help address a glaring weakness in covering tight ends. It looks like they plan on using the Swiss army knife as an inside linebacker, at least to start the year. The additions of Jordan Phillips, Devon Kennard and De’Vondre Campbell also help on paper.
Simply reducing the amount of missed tackles will be a step in the right direction.
3. How much will the secondary improve? Arizona actually didn’t have issues defending the run (12th overall in Football Outsiders’ DVOA) in Vance Joseph’s first year of transitioning the defense to a 3-4 base. However, the coverage was downright awful for most of the year (27th overall).
The secondary did have to deal with the suspension of Patrick Peterson and Robert Alford’s injury. With Alford suffering another season-ending injury in camp, Byron Murphy will have to tap into the valuable experience he gained as a rookie last year when he was thrown to the wolves. At least with Peterson back. there should be more stability.
If the offense can finish drives, the defense doesn’t need to be elite, just average. The defensive backfield will likely determine where this unit ends up and Murphy simply has to be better this season. I’m sure he’s going to get targeted plenty with Peterson on the other side.