Lions Cardinals Odds
This Sunday the Arizona Cardinals will host the Detroit Lions. These two teams recent met in Week 15 of last year with Arizona coming away with a 38-10 win at home. Both teams are coming off heated division matchups in Week 1. Detroit improved to 1-0 with a hard fought 34-24 win at home against Minnesota, while the Cardinals lost a heartbreaker 24-27 at St Louis. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 EST at U of Phoenix Stadium and oddsmakers have listed the Lions as 1.5-point road favorites with a total set at 48 points.
Why Detroit Will Cover:
The addition of running back Reggie Bush looks like it could be just the piece the Lions offense needed to get this team back in the playoffs. Bush not only rushed for 90 yards on 21 carries, he caught four passes for 101 yards, including a huge 77-yard touchdown reception in the 3rd quarter. Detroit also got a big game out of quarterback Matthew Stafford, who completed 28 of 43 attempts for 357 yards and two touchdowns. The most impressive feat about the Lions 34-point offensive explosion in Week 1 is that All-Pro wide out Calvin Johnson had just four catches for 37 yards.
Bush could find it difficult to match his rushing performance against a stingy Arizona run defense, but the air attack should be in full force. The Cardinals allowed Sam Bradford to throw for 299 yards and two touchdowns last week and they didn’t have to put any extra attention on a receiver like they will this week with Johnson. The other thing to keep in mind is that Arizona didn’t have a single sack against the Rams and if you don’t put pressure on a quarterback like Stafford he is going to pick apart the secondary regardless of who is back there.
There’s a solid system that says you should fade the Cardinals. Home teams that closed out the previous year with two or more consecutive losses and are coming off a road loss in the first month of the season are 14-43 (25.9%) ATS when they are listed anywhere from +3 to -3 since 1983. That’s a 74.1% system favoring the Lions.
Home teams that closed out the previous year with two or more consecutive losses and are coming off a road loss in the first month of the season are 14-43 (25.9%) ATS when they are listed anywhere from +3 to -3 since 1983. That’s a 74.1% system favoring the Lions.
The other thing that I think you can’t overlook is how well the Lions defense played outside of allowing a 78-yard touchdown run to Adrian Peterson on the first play of scrimmage for the Vikings. Detroit intercepted Minnesota’s Christian Ponder three times and had three sacks. The run defense was also stout for the most part. Take away Peterson’s huge run and the Vikings managed just 27 rushing yards on their other 21 attempts.
Why Arizona Will Cover:
Even with the loss to the Rams, a game they could have just as easily won, I’m still big on the Cardinals being one of the most improved teams in the league this season. The addition of veteran quarterback Carson Palmer looks to have jump started one of the worst offenses in the NFL. In his first start with Arizona, Palmer threw for 327 yards and two touchdowns on the road against an underrated St Louis defense. With a new signal caller, star wide out Larry Fitzgerald made his presence felt with eight catches for 80 yards and two scores. Fitzgerald had just four receiving touchdowns all of last season.
It’s easy to look at the outcomes of last week’s games and jump all over the Lions as a small favorite, but I actually think the wrong team might be favored. The Lions are not the same team on the road as they are at home, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Arizona’s defense is certainly capable of slowing down Detroit and I would expect them to play even better than they did against the Rams in their home opener. The Lions are just 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games and 1-8-2 ATS following a game where they scored more than 30 pints.
Detroit is just 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games.
Two areas where I think the Cardinals will benefit drastically in this game is special teams and penalties. It’s no secret that the Cardinals have one of the top special teams units in the NFL with dynamic returner Patrick Peterson. The Lions are also a team that likes to beat themselves. Detroit had 11 penalties for 88 yards last week against the Vikings.
Early Lean – Arizona +1.5