Cardinals vs. Eagles Odds & Picks: Bet On Offense In This Sunday Showdown
MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray
Cardinals vs. Eagles Odds
Rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts provided a spark for the Philadelphia Eagles last week in his first NFL start, leading the team to a 24-21 upset victory over the New Orleans Saints. The Eagles will need to continue that momentum if they wish to keep their slim postseason chances alive.
The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, would hold the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoffs if the season were to end today. Despite a two-game deficit in the win column, they also still have a chance at the division if they can win out.
Can Hurts lead the Eagles to two straight wins and revitalize the team’s playoff hopes for this season?
Cornerbacks Darius Slay (concussion) and Avonte Maddox (knee) are out for Week 15. The team also placed safety Rodney McCloud (knee) on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week, leaving the Eagles secondary thin heading into Sunday.
Hurts made his first NFL start last week and lived up to the preseason hype. While he completed only 57% of his passes for 167 yards, he did throw a touchdown and added an impressive 18 carries for 106 yards on the ground — and he did all of that against a Saints defense that’s ranked fifth overall by Pro Football Focus (PFF).
He’ll get a much easier matchup this time around against a Cardinals team that currently ranks 26th in overall defense and 23rd in coverage rating, per PFF. He should also be able to replicate his success on the ground against their 30th-ranked PFF rush defense.
This also bodes well for running back Miles Sanders, who added 115 rushing yards and two touchdowns in last week’s contest.
If the Eagles continue to work to their playmakers’ strengths, it could be a long day for the Cardinals.
Kicker Zane Gonzalez (back) has been ruled out for this contest. That means Mike Nugent — who went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and 2-for-2 on extra point conversions while filling in for Gonzalez last week — will get another start.
Running back Chase Edmonds (ankle) was a limited participant in Friday’s practice after missing on Wednesday and Thursday. He is officially questionable.
Kyler Murray has slowed from his early season MVP pace, but was able to stop a three-loss skid last week with a 26-7 win over the Giants. Now he’ll have an advantageous matchup against an Eagles team with the 22nd-ranked defense in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA. He could have a tougher time on the ground, however, as the Eagles rank 13th in rush DVOA. They also rank second overall with an 84.6 PFF pass rush grade.
As long as Murray is able to get the ball out cleanly, top wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins should be able to get open at-will in this one. With Slay out, Hopkins will likely see a little bit of everyone in the Eagles secondary, all of whom he’ll have a substantial advantage against.
For context, had Slay been able to suit up, he would have had a 34% advantage when lined up against Hopkins (per PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart). Now, Hopkins will be lining up for some his routes against corners like Kevon Seymour, who as of Dec. 2 was working at an auto customization shop in Charlotte.
Running back Kenyan Drake has been inconsistent at best for the Cardinals. While the Eagles have allowed only two rushers to top 100 yards this season, they do give up touchdowns to the position. In fact, they’ve allowed rushing scores to opposing backs in all but two games this season.
Drake’s box score may not be pretty at the end of the day — he’s averaging just 3.8 yards per carry over his last three games — but he’s been effective near the goal line. His nine rushing touchdowns on the season are tied for eighth-most in the league.
At the time of writing, 66% of tickets and 94% of the money has been placed on the over, per our public betting data — that represents a substantial 28% difference, tipping that sharp money has found its way to the over.
Multiple steam moves — where large sums of professional money come in on one side of a betting line — throughout the week have also indicated the same. The data seems to support that position: Both teams have strong matchups for their playmakers and the right type of personnel to scheme to their opponent’s weak spots.
If the Cardinals can keep the Eagles’ strong pass rush away from Murray, Arizona should be able to move the ball with ease against this Philly defense. On the opposite side, the strong running tandem of Hurts and Sanders should be able to carve up this 30th-ranked Cardinals rush defense (per PFF).
With dynamic offensive playmakers on both sides in strong matchups, I’m betting the over and am comfortable taking it up to 51.
Pick: Over 49.5