In a true sign of the times, the Arizona Cardinals have an opportunity to clinch the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC in a game exclusively broadcasted by Amazon. A win and a Chicago Bears loss will guarantee their first playoff berth since 2015 and they’ll no doubt be grateful for the expanded playoff format. Arizona will play host to the San Francisco 49ers, who were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention after NFL Week 15’s matchup loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Whether or not you have Amazon Prime to watch this one, 49ers vs Cardinals betting is as good a game for NFL betting as any.
Niners QB Jimmy Garoppolo has already been ruled out of the game and he hasn’t suited up since Week 8. Either Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard will start for San Francisco. The online betting line for this 49ers at Cardinals matchup favors the Cardinals as a result. Our NFL Odds list Arizona as 3½-point home favorites.
|Game: San Francisco (5-9) at Arizona (8-6)
Location: State Farm Stadium
Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Television: Amazon Prime
49ers vs Cardinals Betting Lines
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Kliff Kingsbury picked up his first win against the Niners in his career in an NFL Week 1 matchup. Last season, his Cardinals dropped both games against San Francisco. But, they won as seven-point underdogs to defeat Garoppolo and the Niners in Week 1, 24-20. Arizona has won eight of the last ten matchups.
San Francisco 49ers
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Next game: vs Seattle Seahawks
The Niners lost their sixth game in their last seven tries as they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys, 41-33. It was just the second time the Niners allowed 40 points or more. The Niners outgained the Cowboys 458-291 but turned the ball over four times.
Cowboys QB Andy Dalton completed 19-of-33 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. RB Tony Pollard added 69 rushing yards, two scores on the ground, and 63 receiving yards. CeeDee Lamb returned an onside kick for a TD late in the game to seal the Cowboys’ victory.
Niners QB Nick Mullens struggled as he turned the ball over three times. He finished with 219 passing yards on 21-of-36 passing with 2 TDs, 2 interceptions, and a fumble. The Niners had reasonable success on the ground, totaling 150 yards on 36 carries. WR Kendrick Bourne had a game-high 86 receiving yards on just four receptions.
San Francisco turned the ball over four times on Sunday and has done so 29 times through fourteen games. Only the Broncos have turned the ball over more than the Niners this season. The 49ers turnover differential is -11, which is also the second-worst mark in the league.
With the loss, the Niners dropped to 2-6 in games JGaroppolo has missed this season. Garoppolo’s high ankle sprain and a bunch of other untimely NFL injury news have derailed the Niners’ season. Coming into the year the Niners were favored to win the NFC West, but now find themselves in last place in the division and eliminated from playoff contention. The 49ers are also 1-6 ATS in their last seven games.
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Next game: at Los Angeles Rams
The Cardinals held off the Philadelphia Eagles, 33-26, to get a crucial win. It may come as no surprise that a DeAndre Hopkins catch proved to be the difference. Kyler Murray found him on a 20-yard TD pass midway through the fourth quarter, which gave the Cardinals a lead they didn’t relinquish. Hopkins picked up a season-high 169 yards on nine receptions. Aside from an interception, Murray was also excellent. He completed 27-of-36 passes for a career-high 406 yards and threw three touchdown passes.
The Cardinals passing game was able to bail out their atypically faltering run game, which was a pleasant surprise. RB Kenyan Drake only managed 26 yards on 10 carries, which is a season-low. Arizona surged to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter, but Jalen Hurts and the Eagles wouldn’t go away. Fresh off of winning his first career start against the Saints, Hurts threw three touchdown passes in the first half against the Cardinals. He has given the Eagles a much-needed spark at QB in his first two career starts and caused problems for Arizona on Sunday. Along with the three passing TDs, he finished with 338 yards on 24 of 44 passing. He also picked up 63 yards on the ground on 11 carries and added a rushing TD.
The Cardinals defense did enough in the second half to contain the Eagles, and didn’t allow any fourth-quarter points. It was a much-needed win for this NFL Week 15 matchup with Kingsbury’s Cardinals and one that puts them closer to clinching an NFC playoff spot.
Murray threw for 400 hundred yards for the first time in his career on Sunday and it was only his third 300-plus yard game of the season. He had a two-game stretch a couple of weeks back in which he failed to break 200 yards in consecutive games and the Cardinals dropped both games. Last year, Arizona was only 1-3-1 when Murray broke the 300-yard threshold but the Cardinals are 3-0 this year when he has thrown for over 300 yards. The Cardinals may need to rely on Murray to step up week in and week out if they’re going to make a deep playoff run.
The Cardinals averaged under three yards per carry for a second straight game. It’s the first time this has happened all season and perhaps it’s an anomaly, but it’s a concerning sign nonetheless. The Cardinals rank fourth in the league with 147.8 rushing yards per game and seventh with 4.8 yards per rush attempt. However, they’ve picked up 262 yards on 73 carries in their last two games, for an average of just 3.6 yards per carry. It’s also the third time in five games they’ve averaged under four yards per carry despite it only being the fourth time all season.
It coincides with recent struggles for RB Kenyan Drake. Drake ranks ninth in the NFL in both rushing yards and TDs, but he’s picked up just 106 yards on 33 attempts total in his last two games. He’s also averaged under four yards per carry in four of his last five games. The Niners have one of the best run defenses in the entire league so it may be tough for him and the Cardinals to get back on track against them.
49ers vs Cardinals Betting on the Game
It comes as no surprise that the Cardinals are favorites in the BetUS sportsbook in this Week 16 matchup. Especially since the Niners have been favored in their last three games but have failed to cover the spread and lost all of them. In their last seven games, the 49ers have covered the spread just once.
The Cardinals also suffered a midseason dip in form, as they lost five straight games against the spread from Weeks 9 to 13. They have covered in their last two games but are only 4-5 ATS as a favorite this season. Even so, the 49ers are just 0-5-1 ATS in their last six games against the Cardinals.
49ers +165 | Cardinals -190
The Cardinals were able to defeat the 49ers in Week 1, which was a surprise at the time. Since then, the Niners have lost Garoppolo and Nick Bosa and haven’t looked remotely close to being the team they were last season.
The Niners have won just one of their last seven games and three of their last ten. However, San Francisco has beaten the Rams twice and sports a 2-2 record in NFC West play this season. After a three-game losing streak, the Cardinals have bounced back with two straight wins. Arizona is also 2-2 in games against NFC West competition this season.
The Cardinals are averaging 27.9 points per game this season and allowing 23.5 points per game while the Niners come in at 23.8 and 25.1, respectively.
Last time these teams met, the total went under. However, the total has gone over in each of Arizona’s last five home games. Since the Cardinals started the season with five overs and a push, the over is 5-3.