Just a few weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals looked like they had the upper hand in the race for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Now, as they get ready to play host to the Indianapolis Colts on Christmas night, the Cardinals are just trying to hang on in the NFC West as the Los Angeles Rams have caught up to them.
The Colts are on a hot streak, having won five of their last six games, and are firmly in the mix for the AFC South crown, trailing the Tennessee Titans by one game.
The NFL betting lines currently have this game as a pick ‘em.
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals
- Game: Indianapolis Colts (8-6) at Arizona Cardinals (10-4)
- Location: State Farm Stadium
- Day/Time: Saturday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Television: NFL Network
|Indianapolis Colts||PK (-110)||N/A||o49 (-110)|
|Arizona Cardinals||PK (-110)||N/A||u49 (-110)|
The Colts and Cardinals don’t meet up very often as they’ve played just four times this century. Arizona has won the last two matchups, the most recent one being a 16-13 win in 2017 in which Carson Palmer threw for 332 yards and Jacoby Brissett was under center for Indianapolis.
The head-to-head record is tied at eight games apiece.
Next game: vs. Las Vegas Raiders
The Colts continued their torrid stretch of play with a very convincing 27-17 road win over the New England Patriots. Indianapolis picked off Mac Jones twice and held New England to 81 rushing yards, while Jonathan Taylor — who might be the best non-quarterback MVP candidate in the NFL right now — ran for 170 yards and a touchdown. The Colts cruised to a victory even with Carson Wentz completing just five passes for 57 yards.
Indianapolis covered easily as a one-point home favorite. The under (46½ points) barely held on after a flurry of points in the fourth quarter.
The Colts are starting to get healthier, but they’re still missing some key pieces. Center Ryan Kelly is out, as is wide receiver Parris Campbell (foot) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods. Cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and safety Andrew Sendejo (concussion) are questionable.
Next game: at Dallas Cowboys
The Cardinals laid a massive egg on Sunday, as they were blown out 30-12 by the hapless Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit. Arizona wasn’t sharp from kickoff, as the Lions led 17-0 at halftime behind 216 yards and three touchdowns from Jared Goff and 112 rushing yards from Craig Reynolds. Kyler Murray was fine but Arizona was crushed by red zone ineptitude. The Cardinals went 0-for-4 in their chances inside the Detroit 20-yard line.
Arizona lost straight-up as 13-point road favorites. The under (47 points) was threatened but ended up hitting comfortably.
Kliff Kingsbury’s team is still beset by injuries. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (knee), cornerback Robert Alford (pectoral), and defensive end J.J. Watt (shoulder) are all on injured reserve and center Rodney Hudson is still on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Markus Golden, defensive end Jordan Phillips, wide receiver Rondale Moore (ankle), tight end Zach Ertz (hamstring) and running back James Conner (heel) are all questionable for Saturday’s game.
Betting on the Game
While the Cardinals may not be as good as their 10-2 start would indicate, they’re also not as bad as a team that lost by 18 to the Lions would indicate. The reality is that Arizona is somewhere in the middle, especially without Hopkins available as Murray’s top target.
But, Arizona still has a lot of really good offensive weapons and the Cardinals are getting healthier, so they should be able to bounce back in some way against the Colts, who have been playing really well lately, but have been doing it all on the back of Taylor and a very opportunistic defense. Wentz has struggled and Indianapolis has needed to force tons of turnovers — two or more in the Colts’ last four games and in eight of their last nine — to stay afloat.
If you’re making NFL predictions, don’t expect that run to continue against Arizona, which has committed the fourth-fewest turnovers in the NFL.
So, it’s pretty surprising that the Cardinals opened as just one-point favorites on the BetUS Sportsbook and the game has now become a pick ‘em. There is certainly some value there to get an underperforming Cardinals team in a pretty good matchup at -110 straight-up. That line could move a bit in Arizona’s favor before kickoff if the Cardinals get even more good injury news.
Since it’s a pick ‘em , there’s no moneyline available for this game but the total is a high 49 points, which means the under is a good pick if you’re betting online. The Cardinals have a top-10 defense and should be able to shut down Wentz, like the Patriots did last weekend. Taylor certainly can lead a strong offensive effort himself, but Arizona will be able to stack the box against him.