Lions vs. Cardinals Betting Odds & Predictions: Will Kyler Murray Era Start With an Upset?

Lions vs. Cardinals Betting Odds & Predictions: Will Kyler Murray Era Start With an Upset? article feature image
Credit:

Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kyler Murray

Lions vs. Cardinals Betting Odds

  • Odds: Lions -2.5
  • Total: 46.5
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

All odds above are as of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday and via PointsBet.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray might’ve gone No. 1 overall in the 2019 draft, but his NFL career is starting with little fanfare — at least according to the betting community.

Not only are the Cards home underdogs against a Lions team that went 6-10 last year, but they’re also the second-least popular bet on the entire slate at the time of writing (23% of tickets, according to our proprietary data).

Who do our experts like to cover? Let’s dive in.

Lions-Cardinals Injury Report

The Cardinals are the healthier team, but they’ll be without two starting corners in Patrick Peterson (suspension) and Robert Alford (IR). This is good news for the likes of Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones, who combined for 76% of the Lions’ Air Yards and 41% of their target share last season. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

Projected Spread: Lions -0.5
Projected Total: 48

Kliff Kingsbury is bringing the Air Raid offense to the NFL, which led to a lot of hype over the offseason. The offense looked flat in the preseason, though, and now people are souring on the Cardinals already.

As a result, the line has been creeping up to Lions -3. If it manages to hit that key number, I’ll strongly consider backing the Cardinals.

While the Cards defense should be vulnerable during Peterson’s six-game suspension, their offense will still surprise teams early in the season. It might take the NFL a few weeks of film to adjust to the new approach, so there could be some value in backing the Cardinals until then.

Watch for this line to hit 3 and then pounce. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Lions WRs vs. Cardinals CBs

First Peterson got suspended for the first six games of the season, then Alford went on IR with a leg injury. That leaves the Cardinals to start two players who have never played an NFL snap — Byron Murphy, the 33rd overall pick of this year’s draft, and Jones, a 2018 undrafted free agent — alongside Tramaine Brock, a 31-year-old journeyman who ranked 80th among corners last season in Pro Football Focus’ coverage grades. The Lions’ passing game should feast. — Chris Raybon

Expert Pick

John Ewing: Cardinals +2.5

Why is Arizona a home underdog to Detroit? Sure, the Cardinals were the worst team in football last year going 3-13 and averaging 14.1 points per game. But Detroit wasn’t much better with its 6-10 record. We expect the Cardinals offense to be improved under new coach Kliff Kingsbury and first overall pick Kyler Murray.

We also know home dogs have historically been undervalued, especially early in the season (Weeks 1-4) where they have gone 155-124-4 (56%) against the spread since 2003. The best time to be contrarian is early in the season.

I’m buying a bounce-back season for the Cardinals, which starts with a win in Week 1.