Sportsbooks are starting to release NFL Odds for passing, rushing and receiving season-long props and here at SBR, we are breaking down all the major players this season.
Can Cardinals make a splash?
Arizona was one win away from the the Super Bowl last season before getting completely destroyed by the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game. Now Arizona is heading into 2016 with a return trip to that game in mind, but it's going to be a tough road. Seattle, whom they have to play twice, is widely considered the top NFL betting odds team to win the Super Bowl by multiple sportsbooks this offseason, while the Packers and Panthers are likely as good or better than Arizona.
However, the one tool the Cardinals have is balance. Their defense got even better this offseason by trading for Chandler Jones and they brought in Evan Mathis to bolster their offensive line. With a stable of good running backs who can also catch passes, along with an offense with seemingly limitless formations available to them with the personnel they have, it's hard not to see Arizona's offense once again being one of the best units in football.
Last season Arizona scored the second most regular season points behind only Carolina and Carson Palmer played all 16 games. The veteran 36 year-old quarterback posted a career-best 104.6 passer rating, while throwing for 4671 yards and 35 touchdowns. Both of those were also career highs for Palmer as well.
With a trio of good receivers and the ability to play two tight ends or tailbacks at a time, the passing options are very much plentiful. However, the question of Palmer returning to similar stats from last season remains in question.
With a seemingly improved offense and defense, along with one of the deeper stable of offensive options in the league, it's hard not to see Palmer and the Cardinals offense put up hug numbers. As long as Palmer stays healthy, the Cardinals are going to be throwing the ball a lot under Bruce Arians. Arizona threw on first down nearly 65 percent of the time last year, which ranked them inside the top 10 teams in the league in that category.
The Arizona Cardinals also have a lot of difference ways of putting up passing yards for Palmer. Last season Chris Johnson, David Johnson and Andre Ellington combined for more than 600 receiving yards from the running back position. All three of them are accomplished pass catchers and if Ellington can stay healthy, he too can provide them with capable hands out of the backfield.
David Johnson may be a star in the making as well and his presence in the backfield could really force teams to be honest and play all the Cardinals' receivers one-on-one. Larry Fitzgerald still owns the best hands in the game despite being a step slower, but John Browns and Michael Floyd more than make up for Fitzgerald's lack of speed.
Considering the diversity of this offense, it's hard not to think that Palmer could have over 4400 passing yards yet again this season. Palmer was sacked only 1.8 times per game last season, so considering they upgraded with Mathis and how many times Palmer drops back, the injury concern is low enough to back the over with Palmer for an NFL pick this season.
Free NFL Pick: Over 4370.5 (-125)
Best Line Offered: at bet365