The Arizona Cardinals look to remain unbeaten when the San Francisco 49ers come to town. Kyler Murray has been outstanding but opposing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could give him a run for his money if he is able to go. Garoppolo is nursing a calf injury and that could put rookie Trey Lance in the QB spotlight. The NFC West rivalry is set for another thrilling contest.
|Game: San Francisco 49ers (2-2) at Arizona Cardinals (4-0)
Location: State Farm Arena
Date: Sunday, Oct. 10
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
|San Francisco 49ers||+6||+205||50|
It’s the 60th game between the 49ers and Cardinals, with the 49ers currently leading 32-27.
The 49ers won 20-12 in Arizona last season when C.J. Beathard was playing quarterback. He went 13-22 for three touchdowns.
Murray had no touchdowns and one interception, despite throwing 31-of-50. The rushing attack for Arizona was poor, so it was unable to find any offensive rhythm.
San Francisco has won three of the last five games, with two of those wins coming on the road. Arizona’s most recent win came on Sept. 13, 2020, 24-20 in San Francisco.
San Francisco 49ers
Next game: vs Indianapolis Colts
The 49ers were -2½ favorites with Las Vegas NFL odds against Seattle last week, which was a surprising line. We thought the Seahawks could take care of the 49ers, and they did.
Before being injured, Garoppolo went 14-of-23 for 165 in an underwhelming effort, which has since resulted in fans calling for a change in quarterback. Lance is waiting in the wings, but we don’t think Garoppolo should be used as a scapegoat.
Jimmy Garoppolo watching Trey Lance throw a ball at a receivers feet
— Jordan Elliott (@splash_cousin) October 3, 2021
It was a costly NFC West loss for the 49ers, who have yet to win at home.
There are notable injury concerns for the 49ers, including Garoppolo. Tight end George Kittle also has a calf injury, so two primary offensive threats could be missing.
Kicker Robbie Gould is out, and he could be joined by Josh Norman, who has a lung injury.
Next game: vs Cleveland Browns
NFL predictions were that the Cardinals would struggle on the road against the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams, but any concerns about this team were quashed.
The Cardinals produced the goods in the 37-20 win, which easily covered the +3½ spread set by bookmakers. It was a balanced attack, including two touchdowns by Murray and 120 yards on 12 carries for running back Chase Edmonds.
The defense was stout. It forced two turnovers from the Rams, so it showed why the Cardinals are an unbeaten team, and currently leading the NFC West.
Three offensive linemen are in doubt, including Kelvin Beachum, Justin Murray, and Joshua Miles, which could give Murray less protection in the pocket.
Betting on the Game
Most of the money has come for the 49ers at +6 so the majority of early NFL picks against the spread are with the visitors. However, we’re going against public opinion.
We are expecting another close divisional contest, but we think the Cardinals can win by a touchdown or more. Betting six-point lines is always interesting, as it doesn’t cover the touchdown margin, which is crucial for teams who can put points on the board easily.
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 5, 2021
Bettors get even money for the Cardinals -6, which is worth taking. The line is likely to move to -5 based on the early betting support, but there isn’t much difference. Getting even money for this option is excellent value, especially for an unbeaten Cardinals team that is showing no signs of slowing down.
There is a public perception that the Cardinals will fall off the cliff, but Murray isn’t listening to the critics.
“Not really too worried about what other people think,” Murray told ESPN. “I think the guys in the locker room understand what we’re doing, what we’re capable of and where we can take it.”
Playing at home is ideal, and the 49ers don’t have much confidence at the quarterback position. If Trey Lance does start, he could struggle to adjust. The Cardinals’ defense is better than advertised, and given the offense is averaging 35 points per game, we don’t think the 49ers can keep up.
We’re confident in adding the Cardinals at -245 to our NFL parlays. They are the better team after four weeks, and despite the 49ers posing a threat, there is no reason to jump off the backs of the Cardinals.
Murray is playing with extreme confidence, and it’s always smart to bet on quarterbacks who play with no fear. Bettors cashed in with the Kansas City Chiefs when Patrick Mahomes was lighting up the field, and Murray is getting to that territory.
The sportsbook has a fair line posted, so add the Cardinals to your NFL ticket.
There should be plenty of points available from a Cardinals standpoint. They are scoring at a high clip, and we haven’t been impressed with the 49ers defense so far.
We also expect the 49ers to play a bit better on offense. They scored only 21 points last week but scored 28 in defeat to Green Bay in Week Three.
We’re expecting the total of 50 points to be right around the mark, but we’re leaning towards the over.