This week the high-flying and undefeated Arizona Cardinals’ offense will be welcoming the winless Detroit Lions to town for an interesting NFL matchup (4:25pm ET Sunday, live on Fox).
The Lions squandered a strong performance versus the Bears in week one, giving up 21-unaswered in the fourth quarter to lose 27-23. The Lions had an opportunity to win, but rookie running back D’Andre Swift dropped a touchdown in the end zone on the second to last play of the game. One trend that does lean towards the Lions in this spot is that teams that are 0-2 against the spread tend to do quite well in week three. They are 22-7 ATS in the last four seasons and 47-28 ATS in the last ten seasons.
The Cards beat San Francisco in a close game and Washington handedly to remain undefeated.
Cardinals Offense Versus Lowly Lions’ Defense
Both offenses can score but the true mismatch lies on the defensive side of the ball and that may influence how we decide our final picks and Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals predictions against the bookies for this game.
The Lions have given up 27 points to the Bears and 42 to the Packers. The Cards have scored 24 against a healthy Niners’ defense and 30 against a Washington defense that got to Carson Wentz for eight sacks and limited the Eagles to 17 points.
The Cardinals offense is quite dynamic and it starts with the true dual threat of Kyler Murray. He is one of the most exciting players in football thus far this season. The second year quarterback is looking to follow up an impressive rookie campaign in which he finished the year with 3,722 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and 544 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. So far this season Murray has thrown for 516 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. On the ground he has gained 158 yards and two touchdowns through two games. His MVP odds with the Stateside sportsbooks’ betting websites have improved to as low as +600, but generally +1200, after opening at +2500.
The recent acquisition of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes the Arizona Cardinals one of the top offenses in the league. Hopkins leads the team in receptions with 22 and yards with 219. Veteran pass catcher Larry Fitzgerald is second on the team with 11 receptions and 84 yards.
Expect Hopkins to continue his successful 2020 campaign against a lackluster Lions’ secondary. The Lions may be without veteran corner Desmond Trufant again this week as he is dealing with a hamstring injury that caused him to leave the week one contest against the Bears. He was unable to play last week and did not practice on Wednesday. First round pick Jeff Okudah has struggled to adjust to the speed of the NFL. The rookie corner has allowed seven receptions on 10 targets.
The Lions allowed 240 yards passing and two touchdowns to Aaron Rodgers last week. They also struggle to get to the quarterback, which will prove problematic against such an explosive player as Kyler Murray. Through two games the Lions only have two sacks, which ranks 29th in the NFL. In comparison, Washington averages 5.5 sacks per game and they were able to get to Murray three times last week in a 30-15 loss.
The Lions also have yet to force a turnover. Through two games they have been unable to recover a fumble (one forced but not lost versus Chicago) or record an interception. Their inability to get to the quarterback or turn the ball over should allow Murray all the time in the world in the pocket to thrive. The Cardinals should also be able to control the ball via the ground game and dictate the pace.
Kenyan Drake has 146 yards on the ground through two games and Kyler Murray has 158 yards. The Lions are last in the league against the run giving up an average of 204 rushing yards per game thus far.
Our Preview’s Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
We are going to be backing Kyler Murray and the explosive Cardinals’ offense. The Lions have failed to cover in the first two weeks of the season and I do not see that changing this week. The biggest factor is the Lions’ lack of pressure on the quarterback and their inability to turn the ball over thus far this season.
Expect Murray to beat them both through the air and on the ground, as they are unable to sack the elusive second year quarterback. We will be playing the Cards as home favorites at -5.5pts.
We also took a look at the over of 54.5pts but ultimately think the Cards’ improved defense will be able to make enough stops to keep this under. The Cardinals’ defense has given up an average of 17.5 points per game through two and have been able to limit teams through the air giving up an average of 221 passing yards per game, which ranks 8th in the NFL.
The Lions like to air the ball out with Stafford and are 11th in the league with 37.5 pass attempts per game. Expect the Cards to be able to limit the air attack again this week. We see this as a comfortable victory at 31-20 for Arizona.
So, to sum up, these are our Detroit Lions vs Arizona Cardinals predictions & concluding betting picks: