Two teams eliminated from playoff contention will meet up this Sunday in Atlanta as the Falcons will host the injury-riddled Arizona Cardinals. We’ll preview the game and go over which betting angle I’ll be taking in this one.
The Arizona Cardinals enter this week off an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will now be starting their fourth quarterback of the season this weekend, as David Blough will be the signal caller in Atlanta. Arizona has lost five straight games and has only managed to score a combined three touchdowns in their last three games.
Running back James Conner has been the only bright spot for this Cardinals offense, as he scored seven touchdowns in his last six games and averaged 71.6 yards per game over his last ten games. Arizona is still 29th in the league in rush play percentage, so we’ll see if being down to their fourth starting quarterback will lead to the run game getting a boost in usage.
Arizona is ranked 30th in the league in points allowed per game but has been able to hold their last two opponents to a combined three touchdowns. The two teams happened to be the struggling Broncos with their backup quarterback and the Buccaneers, who have looked lost on offense for most of the season, so it’s hard to tell how much of the numbers were a truly defensive improvement.
The Cardinals will face another low-scoring offense this weekend, as the Falcons' offense scored 18 or fewer points in their last four games. Atlanta made the quarterback switch to Desmond Ridder two weeks ago, and despite showing some improvement last weekend, the offense still only managed to score nine points.
Defensively the Falcons have allowed an average of 23.3 points per game and have struggled to limit their opponent's passing game. Atlanta has allowed an average of 7.4 yards per pass and 239.5 passing yards per game, so they’ll benefit from facing their second straight backup quarterback.
The point total for this game is currently set at 42.5, and I’ll be taking the under as my best bet for the game. The under has gone 6-1 over the Falcons' last seven games, and with the Cardinals down to their fourth-string QB, I expect the under trend to continue.
Atlanta has controlled the time of possession in both games Ridder has been at quarterback and averages the third most rushing attempts per game in the NFL this season, both of which bode well for the under continuing to hit in Falcons games. Arizona has done one thing consistently well this season: limiting their opponents’ run game, as they have held opponents to an average of 114.3 yards per game.
The Cardinals have only scored 20 or more points in one of their last five games, and with now their fourth starting quarterback, I don’t think they’ll be going over that mark in this one either. This game will likely be filled with field goals, so the under is the play to make in this one.