The Arizona Cardinals continue their quest for the number one seed in the NFC as they head to Detroit to take on a struggling Lions team. The Cardinals are heavily favored by NFL odds, but are they the right NFL pick?
Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions
Sunday, December 19, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at Ford Field
The Arizona Cardinals have navigated a tough NFC West Division to the top of the NFC standings. The Cardinals have catapulted their way to the top with an impressive 7-0 record on the road this season. The NFL has changed the playoff seeding rules. Now only one team is getting the Round 1 Playoff bye. The Cardinals have their eyes set on the top.
The Cardinals are led by quarterback Kyler Murray who has made himself a legitimate MVP candidate. Murray is quick, nimble on his feet, has a great arm, and throws a beautiful deep ball. Wide receiver Rondale Moore has been an excellent addition to the offense and provides another deep threat for Murray besides DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk. The Cardinals have done a great job putting strong weapons around a young quarterback, and he has blossomed appropriately.
The Cardinals' offense being excellent is a surprise to very few, but the play of the defense has been the pleasant turn of events for the Cardinals this season. The Cardinals are 4th in yards allowed overall at 318 per game. They are 4th in passing yards allowed at only 221 per game. The Cardinals increased offensive fortitude has brought them from a good team to one of the very best in the West.
The Detroit Lions are suffering this year. They went for a full rebuild by trading erstwhile franchise mainstay, quarterback Matt Stafford, for Jared Goff and draft picks. The Lions play hard every game but they are one of the least talented rosters in the NFL. They hope that they can use this draft picks to augment their obvious lack of top-level NFL players.
The Lions head coach Dan Campbell wears his heart on his sleeve. Campbell's intensity has shown in every press conference. He has instilled that trait in his team and they fight hard, even when down big.
The Lions got their first win two weeks ago at home vs. the Vikings. Jared Goff was able to matriculate his team down the field towards the end of the game and fired a last-second pass into the end zone to seal the victory for his team.
The Lions must have celebrated the win too much because they felt absolutely flat against the Denver Broncos in their following game last Sunday. The Lions have fought hard all season, but with the season waning to the end and their fate secured, will the Lions pack it in or continue to fight?
The Lions' best offensive player is RB D'Andre Swift and they missed him dearly in the game against Denver. Swift is questionable for this upcoming game. Another big loss for the Lions against Denver was tight end T.J. Hockenson, the Lions’ best option at receiver. Hockenson is suffering a hand injury and could also miss this game. If the Lions are missing their two top weapons, they will have problems keeping up with a strong Cardinals defense.
Cardinals wide receivers vs. Detroit Lions secondary. For the Cardinals to cover the large amount of NFL odds, they are going to have to have a big game against one of the weakest secondaries in the league. It is easy for us to denigrate the Lions' secondary due to their poor results this season, but these are still professionals that can put on a good performance, as shown against the Vikings. So while a great performance from the secondary here is unexpected and unlikely, we cannot rule it out as altogether impossible.
If the Lions are able to come together and slow down that Cardinals' high-powered receiving corp, they have a great chance to cover the NFL odds.
If the Cardinals are able to do what other teams have done and take advantage of one of the weakest secondaries in the league, the Cardinals will win by margin and cover the spread.
After securing their first win of the season, I believe the Lions will be going through the motions for the rest of the season. It is tough to lay this many points on the road, but the Lions are one of the worst teams in the league and the Cardinals one of the best. One team is ramping up for a playoff run the other is packing it in.
Lay the points. Take the Cardinals at one of BMR's best sportsbooks.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.