Cardinals-49ers Betting Preview: Which of These Bad Teams Has the Advantage?

Cardinals-49ers Betting Preview: Which of These Bad Teams Has the Advantage? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Josh Rosen

Betting odds: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

  • Spread: 49ers -4
  • Over/Under: 40
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

>> All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets

Betting market: What do the numbers 32%, 37%, 35% have in common? Those are the Cardinals’ spread bet percentages in each of their past three games. This week? Sixty-five bleeping percent of bets (see live betting data here).

Why the change of heart? Well, I don’t think bettors feel much differently about the Cardinals to be honest with you. I just think that there was no chance people wanted to take C.J. Beathard as a favorite.

The Cardinals have gone from +5.5 to +4 since opening, and I don’t think the majority of bettors would change their minds until the Niners approached -3 (which I don’t expect will happen). — Mark Gallant

Trends to know: The 49ers are 0-9 ATS in their past nine games as a home favorite. — Stuckey

The Cardinals enter this game with an average point differential of -14.25 this season.

Since 2004, backing teams with that bad of a point differential has profited bettors an ROI of 14%, according to our Bet Labs data.

And when you look closer, Arizona as a road underdog is in a great spot Sunday…

Teams with an average point differential of worse than -14 PPG:

  • As an underdog: 126-78-2 ATS (61.8%, +39.7 units, 19.3% ROI)
  • On the road: 72-39-1 ATS (64.9%, +28.3 units, 25.2% ROI)
  • As a road dog: 71-37-1 ATS (65.7%, +29.2 units, 26.8% ROI) — Evan Abrams

Which team is healthier? Cardinals

The Cardinals have regularly rested starters during the early parts of the week, so they’re tentatively expected to feature the majority of their starters Sunday against the 49ers.

Things aren’t nearly as smooth in San Francisco, where left tackle Joe Staley (knee) and right tackle Mike McGlinchey (knee) should both be considered questionable, and the defense will likely be without Richard Sherman (calf) for another week.

The potential absences of Matt Breida (shoulder) and Marquise Goodwin (leg), in addition to Dante Pettis (knee), would leave the 49ers offense brutally short on playmakers.

Note: Info as of 6 p.m. ET Thursday. See our Injury Dashboard for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff. — Ian Hartitz

Biggest mismatch: Cardinals’ pass-rush vs. 49ers’ offensive line

The 49ers are graded as PFF’s worst pass-blocking unit, creating a mismatch in the trenches against a Cardinals defense that has generated 51 quarterback hurries (seventh-most in the NFL) while ranking sixth in adjusted sack rate.

Per Sports Info Solutions, C.J. Beathard has historically struggled when pressured, sporting a mediocre 43.5% completion rate and 4.6 yards per attempt since 2017. —Justin Bailey

DFS edge: Tight end Rickey Seals-Jones is an intriguing punt option against a decimated 49ers defense that’s allowing 6.3 targets and 54 receiving yards per game to opposing tight ends this season.

RJS has a scary floor, but he has exceeded salary-based expectations in three of his four games on DraftKings. Overall, RSJ’s +2.25 Projected Plus/Minus is the fourth-highest mark among tight ends on DK. —Justin Bailey

Bet to watch: Cardinals +4

If you go back and watch Josh Rosen’s first start of his career, he was actually very impressive. His receivers dropped several open passes, but he showed nice poise and accuracy.

With David Johnson rounding into shape and the 49ers offense lacking many different-makers, I like the Cardinals to cover on the road. — BlackJack Fletcher

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.