Lions at Cardinals Betting Odds & Picks: Bet On A High-Scoring Affair

Lions at Cardinals Betting Odds & Picks: Bet On A High-Scoring Affair article feature image
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Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray

Lions vs. Cardinals Odds

Lions Odds
+5  [BET NOW]
Cardinals Odds
-5  [BET NOW]
Over/Under
55.5 [BET NOW]
Kickoff
4:25 p.m. ET on Sunday
TV
FOX

Odds as of Sunday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


What a difference a year makes.

The first three quarters of the Kyler Murray-Kliff Kingsbury Era in Arizona was a complete dud. The Cards trailed the Lions, 24-6, in the duo’s 2019 debut, leaving many to wonder whether the new quarterback and coach could meet the hype and expectations of turning a franchise around. It didn’t take long for Murray and Kingsbury to get on track as the Cardinals pulled off an improbable comeback, rallying from an 18-point deficit to earn a tie.

One year later, the Cardinals and the Lions meet again in Phoenix, giving us a chance to see how far the upstart Cardinals have come.

Oddsmakers installed the home team as 5.5-point favorites with a total of 55.5 points. Is there any betting value in this matchup? I would say yes, but let’s take a closer look at the matchup before making our pick.

Detroit Lions

The Lions are 30th in scoring defense, giving up 34.5 points per game. Despite hiring a defensive-minded head coach in Matt Patricia, the defense hasn’t been anything to write home about during the last few seasons.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Lions are the first team in NFL history to blow four straight double-digit leads. During Matt Patricia’s 34-game tenure, the Lions have blown 11 fourth-quarter leads.

Cluster injuries to Detroit’s secondary has plagued a defense that has already struggled to rush the quarterback. Through two games, the Lions are tied for 30th with just two sacks and their 16.7% pressure rate is 26th in the league.

Injuries to Justin Coleman and Desmond Trufant has forced 2020 third-overall pick Jeff Okudah into the lineup. Okudah allowed allowed seven catches on 10 targets in coverage for 121 yards in his debut against the Packers last week, garnering him a team-worst 28.6 grade from Pro Football Focus.

The Lions haven’t fared much better stopping the run as they’re giving up 204 rushing yards per game on 6.5 yards per carry.

Fortunately, the Lions have an offense who can score points of their own. Although Detroit has just scored 22 points per game and are 16th in Football Outsiders’ offensive DVOA, its offense should get a boost with the expected return of Pro Bowl wide receiver Kenny Golladay (questionable).

Kenny Golladay
Leon Halip/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenny Golladay

Golladay has yet to play this season but it’s not difficult to understand how losing a receiver who had 65 catches for 1,190 yards and 11 touchdowns last season could negatively impact one’s offense. If he’s active on Sunday, it would be a welcome addition against a Cardinals defense that is still relatively unproven.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals have one of the fastest offenses in the NFL, moving 24.9 seconds snap to snap for a whopping 75 plays per game. Despite being just 22nd in offensive success rate, 26th in passing success rate and 23rd in offensive DVOA, Arizona is still averaging 27 points and 421 total yards per game.

Simply put, if you’re running more plays than your opponent, you have a good chance at scoring more points.

It also helps when your second-year quarterback Kyler Murray is a threat to throw and run on every snap and is playing like an MVP candidate. He’s thrown for 516 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 158 yards and three scores over the first two games of the season. 

DeAndre Hopkins continues to dominate, too, as he’s caught 22 receptions for 219 yards and one touchdown so far this season and he should have no problem with this depleted Lions secondary.

Kenyon Drake could also be in line for a big game against a run defense that’s giving up 6.5 yards per carry and a success rate of 63%, good for 29th in the NFL.

The Cardinals defense is only allowing 17.5 points per game and ranks 26th in yards allowed (341), however it’s clear their defensive performance is misleading.

Arizona opened the season against a banged up 49ers team who lost George Kittle for the second half of the game and played without their starting wide receivers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. In Week 2, the Cards played an anemic Washington offense that struggled to protect quarterback Dwayne Haskins behind a bad offensive line that Pro Football Focus graded out as having the second-worst pass blocking efficiency in the league.

Matthew Stafford will be the the best quarterback this defense has seen this season. Can Arizona stop him?

Lions-Cardinals Pick

Arizona’s offense is set up for a big game against a defense that’s riddled with injuries to the secondary, can’t rush the passer and can’t stop the run. And on the other side of the ball, Stafford and Golladay aren’t slouches and should challenge Arizona’s offense to keep their foot on the gas pedal offensively.

That said, the value in this matchup is on the over.

The NFL is on pace for its highest-scoring season through two weeks. At some point, oddsmakers will adjust totals, which will provide value on unders. But for the time being and in a game like this, they can’t make the total high enough.

Sharp money did hit the screen on the first-half over at 25.5, which is now 27 across the board. If the number drops below 27 I’d recommend a small play on the 1H over as well. Otherwise, just play the full-game total.

PICK: Over 55.5

[Bet the Over at PointsBet risk-free up to $250]


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