The Arizona Cardinals are worth a look this Sunday when they host the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Under belongs in your NFL picks.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals
Sunday, October 09, 2022 – 04:25 PM EDT at State Farm Stadium
It was another strong week for our NFL picks here at the home office – although the Baltimore Ravens probably don’t feel like winners. They let the Buffalo Bills storm back last Sunday to beat them 23-20; good thing we decided to take the premium on vigorish and grab Baltimore at +3.5. And yes, Ravens QB Lamar Jackson did throw a touchdown pass.
Next up: this Sunday’s late matinee between the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) and the Arizona Cardinals (2-2 SU and ATS). The sharp action appears to be on Arizona, moving the early line from +6 to +5 on the NFL odds board at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review), with the BMR consensus reports showing 70% support for the Cards.
Our analytic models agree. The Cardinals are only worth a fun-size bet at +5, but if the betting public comes in over the weekend, dumps their money on Philadelphia, and drags the line back up to six points, Arizona should be worth the standard one-star, single-unit bet.
In the meantime, you’ll do slightly better by taking Arizona at +200 on the moneyline at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review). But our models are even more enthusiastic about grabbing Under 49.5, with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) providing their usual -108 deal on vigorish. Let’s pop the hood open on this bad boy and see why.
Are the Eagles for Real?
Absolutely. This isn’t smoke and mirrors, at least not according to the Simple Rating System numbers at Pro Football Reference. They rank Philadelphia second in the league at plus-15.4 SRS, behind only the Bills at plus-18.1.
The Eagles are also very good on both sides of the ball – although they do lean towards defense, where their plus-8.9 DSRS ranks third overall. Philly’s offense is a bit further behind at plus-6.5 OSRS (No. 6 overall).
That offense might be compromised this Sunday after LT Jordan Mailata (shoulder) and RG Isaac Seumalo (ankle) were hurt during last week’s 29-21 win over Jacksonville (+6.5 away). Both players are awaiting status updates for Week 5.
For that matter, the Eagles' defense might be without CB Darius Slay, who hurt his forearm in Week 4 and is considered questionable to face the Cardinals. Slay is Philadelphia’s best cover man, so for our Under purposes, we certainly hope he’s okay.
Should the Cardinals Fire Kliff Kingsbury?
He’s definitely one of the head coaches on the hot seat, but last week’s 26-16 win over Carolina (-1 at home) cooled things off somewhat. Kingsbury’s success running the Air Raid offense at Texas Tech hasn’t quite translated to the pro level, as underlined by Arizona’s minus-5.0 OSRS (No. 26 overall).
Perhaps GM Steve Keim is more to blame for failing to surround QB Kyler Murray with adequate talent. However you slice it, both these gentlemen had their contracts extended through 2027 earlier this year, so what you see is what you get for now.
Things could be worse: At least the Cardinals have roughly a league-average defense at minus-0.8 DSRS (No. 21 overall). And as far as our Under is concerned, Arizona had two important players of their own get hurt in Week 4:
- LG Justin Pugh (elbow)
- PK Matt Prater (hip)
Just like Philly’s injured linemen, we’ll have to wait and see what the status reports hold for Pugh and Prater as the week unfolds. But if they can’t play, the Under looks even tastier.
What’s the Final Score Going to Be?
Good question. Nailing a final score isn’t easy in football, but we almost did it last week when we had Buffalo beating Baltimore 27-24. Our models seem to be pretty good at estimating how many points each team will play; the trick is to adjust those estimates so our predictions fit how scoring actually works in the NFL.
In this case, after rounding up or down as required, our models like the Eagles to win this matchup 26-22. That’s not a very common final score in the NFL, though, so we’ve used the power of Scorigami to revise that prediction to 24-21, a score that happens about 25 times as often.
This also gives us a bit more confidence when it comes to betting the Under. We could have also gone with 23-20 or 24-20; on the flip side, 27-24 is the most common score in that neighborhood by a fair amount, but those other scores combined happen at a higher frequency. Make your betting picks accordingly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.
Score Prediction: Eagles 24 - Cardinals 21
NFL Pick: Under 49.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*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.