At BetUS sportsbook, the Arizona Cardinals are even money at home for a highly anticipated showdown with the Indianapolis Colts.
Only a week ago, the Cardinals were soaring in the NFC and sitting in pole position for the No. 1 seed. Today, they’re a less than convincing home favorite against an Indianapolis Colts side that just clinched its second win against a team with a winning record this season.
The current betting market isn’t what some might have expected, suggesting it’s a knee-jerk reaction to the contrasting Week 15 fortunes of this pair. Whatever the reason for the understated and somewhat coy line, though, the Cardinals practically leap off the page as a steal bet that bettors should think about locking down for NFL picks against the spread.
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals Stunned By Lions
NFL fans could have easily been forgiven for confusing which team had the 1-11-1 record and which had the 10-3-0 record last Sunday. The Cardinals certainly didn’t play up to their level or form and they were shredded by the Lions in a 30-12 rout that no one saw coming.
Kyler Murray had an off-day and the offense failed to launch. Ever since DeAndre Hopkins’ injury, the offense has been a bit of a hit and miss. The defense also struggled to contain the Lions’ run game. They allowed Craig Reynolds to put up 112 rushing yards. Never mind that they made Jared Goff look almost elite again as he helped lift the Lions to their second victory.
Colts Upset Patriots
The Colts needed a good win to pad their otherwise solid resume. Indianapolis went into Week 15 with a positive 7-6 record, but with just one win against a team with a winning record (at the time of their meeting). That win came against the Buffalo Bills. The Colts upset the Bills 41-15 on Nov. 21.
The Colts have played well, but they started slow and are now playing catch-up. One of the problems behind the slow start might have been a heavy reliance on quarterback Carson Wentz and not enough emphasis on the run game.
The emergence of running back Jonathan Taylor quickly redressed the balance on the offense.
Last week, Taylor had another monster game, trotting up 170 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots. With this new-found inside track to success, the Colts are winning games with more frequency.
The P̶h̶i̶l̶l̶y̶ Indy Special. pic.twitter.com/GBas4cGjCt
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) December 20, 2021
NFL Predictions and Picks
The Arizona Cardinals are making no excuses, but they’re desperate to put last week’s embarrassment behind them and get back on track. The Indianapolis Colts are coming off a statement win, but the fact that they are giving themselves airs already might come back to bite them.
All told, Week 15 was surprising and unexpected in more ways than one. One thing that was made absolutely obvious is that the Cardinals are flawed and the Colts aren’t infallible, either.
How these teams respond when they collide at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Saturday, will be telling. It will say a lot about the merit of last week’s outcomes and the legitimacy of their respective contender credentials going forward.
Until then, markets have had their say at least as far as this game is concerned. Lookahead Las Vegas NFL odds projected the Cardinals anywhere between -4 and -4½ points before Week 15. However, following the stunning upset by the Lions on Sunday’s early NFL betting card, the reaction was swift and unforgiving. By late evening, the online NFL betting line trimmed down to a pick’em.
Arizona’s plunging stock is a dramatic statement that smacks of knee-jerk panic. Although the Cardinals perked up to -1 by early Monday and back to a pick’em on Tuesday, they’re still quite a good distance off the original projected line.
The line is likely to move in either direction depending on the way bettors bet this game. As things currently stand , though, grabbing the Cardinals at even money or as the one-point home chalk has to be a steal bet.
This sentiment would apply even if the line moves up to -2 points and possibly even 2½ points. It also applies (more so) if the line moves against the Cardinals, but there’s no guarantee the line will move against Arizona. So, if you agree and see value in the Cardinals, lock down this pick.