No one knows what to expect from Arizona this season, but the consensus is it will be bad. The Cardinals are tied with the Browns for the NFL's second-lowest projected win total.
Bettors, oddsmakers, and the public have no idea what to expect with the Cardinals. They have a new coach (Steve Wilks), a new defensive scheme, and a slew of new offensive talent, including veterans Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon at quarterback. Arizona’s win total is offered at 5.5 post-schedule release, and there are some analysts even predicting the franchise could go winless. That thinking is extreme. There are still plenty of veterans on defense, and David Johnson in the offensive backfield. Nonetheless, singling out games to bet against the spread this far in advance is like playing Russian roulette with so many unknowns.
Below you will find the Cardinals’ straight-up and against-the-spread records from last year’s NFL regular season, including average margin of victory, 2017 average odds, 2017 win totals and 2018 pre-scheduled figures, and projected strength of schedule using opponents’ combined record from 2017.
2017 SU Record: 8-8 (-4.1 avg. margin)
2017 ATS Record: 6-9-1 (-2.2 avg. margin)
2017 Average Line: 1.9
2017 Win Total: 8.5 (-160)
2018 Win Total 5Dimes (pre-schedule): 6.5 (+100)
2018 Strength of Schedule: T-8, opponents were 133-123 (.520)Three Games to Back ATS
@Chiefs, Week 10
The Cardinals will see a huge handicap at K.C., which should entice pup bettors. The Chiefs' deliberate, controlled game plan under head coach Andy Reid often leaves heavy-chalk backers on the short end of big numbers. Check out this angle in our K.C. schedule preview.
Seahawks, Week 4
Despite all the issues surrounding the Cardinals at the end of last year, they went into CenturyLink Field and hung 26 points on the Seahawks in the regular-season finale. Only 10 teams have accomplished this since 2011. Seattle hasn’t fared well in the betting market during the rematch.
@Seahawks, Week 17
Since the NFL realignment into eight divisions in 2002, the Cardinals have covered at least one NFC West road game in every year but two (2003, 2007). Why not do it again in a potentially meaningless game in Seattle in Week 17. They pulled of the shocker last season in this same spot as 8-point underdogs.
Three Games to Fade ATS
@Vikings, Week 6
Virtually no visiting underdogs cover the spread in Minnesota against coach Mike Zimmer. Especially those with an anemic passing attack. Read for yourself.
@49ers, Week 5
San Francisco posted 28.0 points per game with Jimmy Garoppolo under center in 2017. The Cardinals ranked in the bottom half of scoring defenses last season, yielding 22.6 points per contest. On the road, early in the season, and working out the kinks in a new defensive system, equals automatic fade. Oh, and the 49ers are pretty good at Levi’s Stadium when they can actually put some points on the board.
Rams, Week 16
The Cardinals are 5-11-1 ATS hosting fellow teams from the Pacific time zone at home since 2012, failing to cover a -0.2 average line by 3.5 points per game. When the visitor owns a higher winning percentage, the betting record slips to 1-6-1 ATS. We’re guessing the Rams have a better win-loss record by Week 16. Just a hunch.
Trap Game Potential
Week 3, Bears
Chicago opens at the Packers and then hosts the Seahawks. They could easily enter 0-2, and the line a bit shallow for this matchup. Do note the Bears went 4-2 SU and 4-1-1 ATS against teams averaging fewer than 22.0 points per game last season. The Cardinals will likely be well below the mark.