Cardinals-Lions Odds, Predictions, Picks: Betting Preview For Lopsided Week 15 NFL Matchup

Cardinals-Lions Odds, Predictions, Picks: Betting Preview For Lopsided Week 15 NFL Matchup article feature image

Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyler Murray.

  • The Cardinals take on the Lions in a lopsided Week 15 showdown, but where's the betting value based on the latest odds?
  • With Cardinals vs. Lions odds holding steady, our analyst doesn't see value on the over/under or spread.
  • Instead, he outlines his plan to live bet this game on Sunday afternoon below.

Cardinals vs. Lions Odds

Cardinals Odds-12
Lions Odds+12
Time1 p.m. ET
Odds via Gun Lake. Get up-to-the-minute NFL odds here.

Following a heartbreaking loss on Monday Night Football to NFC West-rival Los Angeles, the Arizona Cardinals look to get their season back on track in Motown against the lowly Detroit Lions.

Arizona had the inside track to the NFC's No. 1 seed before that loss to the Rams, but a pair of Kyler Murray turnovers and a dynamic L.A. passing game pushed the Cardinals down to the No. 3 seed. At this point, it would take some significant upsets for Arizona to have home-field advantage.

Now, the Cardinals are without star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the rest of the season and also have other potential injuries on both sides of the ball.

Can the Cardinals bounce back and trounce the cellar of the NFL? Or will Detroit continue to outperform market expectations?

It's hard to lay this type of number on the Cardinals away from home, but with them likely to be leading for much of the game, there are some live angles we can look for.

Click the arrow to expand injury reports

Cardinals vs. Lions Injury Report

Cardinals Injuries

  • CB Robert Alford (pectoral):  Out
  • WR DeAndre Hopkins (knee):  Out
  • RB James Conner (ankle):  Questionable
  • DT Leki Fotu (shoulder):  Questionable
  • NT Zach Kerr (ribs):  Questionable
  • DT Corey Peters (knee):  Questionable
  • DE Jordan Phillips (thumb):  Questionable
  • OL Justin Pugh (calf): Questionable
  • TE Zach Ertz (hamstring):  Questionable

Lions Injuries

  • OLB Julian Okwara (ankle): Out
  • RB D'Andre Swift (shoulder): Out
  • LB Alex Anzalone (ankle): Questionable
  • DE Michael Brockers (knee): Questionable
  • T Will Holden (NIR): Questionable
  • G Jonah Jackson (Illness): Questionable
  • LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin (shoulder): Questionable
  • WR Josh Reynolds (thigh): Questionable

Cardinals vs. Lions Matchup

Cardinals OffenseDVOA RankLions Defense
Cardinals DefenseDVOA RankLions Offense
Football Outsiders' DVOA measures efficiency by comparing a team's success on every play to the league average based on situation and opponent.

Cardinals Have Perfect Get-Right Matchup

Arizona has been one of the most injured teams this season. Murray has missed a number of games, and this offensive line has been banged up over the past few weeks.

It's possible that in the loss to the Rams, Murray was still shaking off some rust. His 36.2 QBR was his second-lowest of the season, and the Rams' interior pressure, led by Aaron Donald, was certainly a major factor.

Now, the hope for Arizona without Hopkins will be that his absence opens up the field for the rest of this offense. Murray will have to turn to A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore at receiver. Against elite NFC defenses like Tampa Bay or Dallas, this weaponry might not be sufficient.

Against the Lions, though, it shouldn't be an issue.

Detroit's defense is a bottom-three unit in any metric you want to use — DVOA, success rate, Expected Points Added (EPA) — and is quite banged up. Detroit just lost Jerry Jacobs, their best cornerback, to the injured reserve, and it might also be without at least four linebackers.

Missing key players in the middle of the field is significant against running back James Conner and tight end Zach Ertz, both of whom can dominate the middle of the field while Murray scrambles when under pressure.

Furthermore, this Arizona team has shown a propensity to take care of business against bad teams this season. The Cardinals beat Chicago, Houston and Jacksonville all by at least two touchdowns. Don't expect Detroit to be able to contain Murray, which should give Arizona a nice cushion to work with.

How Does Lions Offense Respond?

Detroit's offense is still quite bad, despite a few weeks in a row of "better" play.

Led by Jared Goff, this passing offense ranks either last or second-to-last in any key metric you want to use. The wide receiver corps is inexperienced and lacks high-end talent, and Goff won't have tight end T.J. Hockenson to target as he is now out for the season. Detroit's offense will likely struggle Sunday.

It's possible that the Lions can have some success on the ground in this game. Their rushing offense has gotten better as the year has gone on, largely due to the improvement of rookie tackle Penei Sewell and the return of left tackle Taylor Decker.

Arizona's rush defense is not great, ranking 24th in success rate and 15th in EPA per rush allowed. That means the ground game is likely Detroit's best path to offensive success.

However, it's hard to sustain drives on the ground in the modern NFL. Detroit will have to throw to score points and with a dynamic offense on the other side, Goff will have to make plays to hang around. In obvious passing downs, Arizona ranks fourth in blitz rate and will be looking to make Goff speed up his evaluation process.

Between that pressure and Chandler Jones on the outside, Arizona should be able to get off the field on third down often.

Cardinals vs. Lions Predictions

At the current market price of 12.5, it's very difficult for me to make a case for either side. Arizona will likely romp in this game, but the Lions have shown some propensity to come in late through the backdoor. There's a reason why Detroit has one of the NFL's best records against the spread this season.

This game could set up for an excellent live angle. If Arizona is able to build a lead in the first half with its dynamic offense, it will likely look to put the game  away on the ground and run the clock out. This has been the Cardinals' approach in all three of their blowouts this season — build a lead, run out the clock and move on to the next week. Arizona is not interested in running up the score and dropping 40-plus points on the Lions.

And if the Lions trail? Betting against Goff moving the ball down the field through the air has been a good one this season. The Cardinals should be able to slow him down and keep Detroit off the board.

This sets up perfectly for a live under. It's almost an auto-bet with the Cardinals, who can move the ball on the ground and rush the passer. Look for the best number if Arizona is leading and sit back and wait for the game to end without scoring.

Pick: 2H Under if Cardinals Lead

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