Cardinals vs. Lions NFL Picks: Take 'Over' 45 as Both Teams Have Decent Talent on Offense

Jason Lake

Saturday, October 10, 2015 10:27 PM UTC

Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 10:27 PM UTC

The Detroit Lions keep finding new ways to lose football games. But will the Arizona Cardinals prevent us from recommending the UNDER for your Week 5 NFL picks?

Jason's 2015 record as of Oct. 10: 17-9 ATS; 0-1 ML (-1.00 units); 10-14 Total

The Detroit Lions are playing this week, right? Must be time to bet the UNDER. Let's see, who's supplying the opposition... Oh, it's the Arizona Cardinals. That does complicate things. The Lions have the UNDER at 3-1 this year, including three straight games since QB Matthew Stafford got beaten up in the season opener. But the Cards have the OVER at a perfect 4-0. They've scored more points than anyone else in the league. What to do?

Consult the consensus reports, of course. The total for Sunday's matchup (4:05 p.m. ET, FOX) opened at 44.5 points on our NFL odds board, and as we go to press, two-thirds of bettors are clicking that OVER button, driving the total up to 45 points. This was after 100 percent of first responders were pounding the OVER at the open. There, problem solved, enjoy your weekend.


Free Matthew Stafford
Hmmmm... it's never that simple, is it? The Lions have indeed done a fine job of not scoring these past three weeks. In case you missed it, WR Calvin Johnson had a potential game-winning touchdown punched out of his grasp at the last second by Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Final score: Seattle 13, Detroit 10. Barring a miracle, the game still would have gone UNDER 43, but there you go.

There hasn't been a lot of chatter recently about the physical toll Stafford has been forced to pay this season. Playing on a short week won't help Stafford's healing process, but he escaped the Seahawks loss without too much damage – not even a sack. The Cardinals have done some great things this year, but they only rank No. 22 in adjusted sack rate at 5.0 percent, behind No. 18 Seattle at 5.5 percent. Maybe Stafford will get to wing it around a bit this week.


As for Detroit's defensive front, it's held up reasonably well despite the DT departures of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley. Football Outsiders has Detroit ranked No. 14 against both the pass and the run. However, DT Haloti Ngata has been ruled out for Week 5 with a calf injury, and DT Tyrunn Walker is out for the season after breaking his leg in Seattle. This probably means fourth-round rookie DT Gabe Wright and fifth-round sophomore DT Caraun Reid will be pressed into service on Sunday.

Good luck with that. Arizona ranks No. 5 in offense (No. 4 pass, No. 14 rush), and RB Andre Ellington is expected to play this week after missing the last three games with a sprained knee. Ellington may or may not supplant RB Chris Johnson in the starting lineup, but the two backs provide somewhat complementary skills, with Johnson racking up the yardage and Ellington with the soft hands. Arizona will be at almost 100-percent health this week against the Lions. Yeah, we'll take the OVER, thank you kindly.

NFL Picks: Take OVER 45 (–108) at Pinnacle

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