The Cardinals are looking to take advantage of their rookie-deal at QB by improving around him. After raiding the Texans for DeAndre Hopkins last year, they’ve moved for J.J. Watt this year, will that help them make the post-season?
What Was Their Win Total Last Year?
The Cardinals closed with a win total of 7.5 last season at the best sports betting sites. They finished the season over that total, going 8-8 on the season with a middling strength of schedule. They brought in an elite WR in DeAndre Hopkins, and they used him frequently in his first year in the system. Kenyan Drake was transition tagged and did well, while the defense was pretty decent as well. It was a step forward for them, but not to the extent they might have expected or wanted.
What Have They Done So Far This off-Season?
The big-money signing of J.J. Watt after his release from the Texans is the main news this off-season so far. He adds a lot of experience to the pass-rush group and provides a good foil with Chandler Jones, providing consistent pressure. Arizona re-signed Markus Golden, and Budda Baker is coming off a full break-out year last season.
They have let Kenyan Drake walk, so while Chase Edmonds is getting talked up by the team, they will probably add another RB at some point before the season starts. Christian Kirk had a decent season as WR2, a few big games, but he’ll need to be more consistent. The Cardinals could probably do with some more pass-catching talent either at TE or WR to help Kyler Murray.
What Will Their Win Total Be Next Year?
The NFC West is a tough division, and the Cardinals are the outsiders of the four to win it. The 49ers have started strong in free agency to improve their roster from last year. The Seahawks seem to be in flux, and whether they keep Wilson or not will be huge for them. Meanwhile, the Rams look like they’ll be going all-in this season.
It’s tough to see what the opening line will be for the Cardinals. They were on 5.5 in 2019 and 7 last year. I think it opens at 7 this year, and it will be bet up to 8. They’ve got a middling strength of schedule on paper once again, so there shouldn’t be too many shocks there.
Will They Cover That Total?
The NFC North and AFC South aren’t the easiest games in the league this season. However, the Cardinals at least get to host the Green Bay Packers, which will save them from going to Lambeau. Hopkins and Watt get to face their former team, as they host the Houston Texans. Arizona will also face two teams that should be better than last season, the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have the 1st pick in the draft, and the Detroit Lions.
If the line opens at 7, I would be taking the over. I doubt I’d be touching it should it get to 8 wins, though.
Tough division, reliance on certain players, and, in my opinion, some fairly average coaching makes me worry about injuries to key players de-railing their system. Obviously, a lot will depend on their draft, but I think 8 or 9 wins will be their limit, so I’d avoid taking any higher than that when the markets open. For me, it’s Over 7 wins, and it’s under 9 wins.