NFL Picks: Cardinals vs. Saints in Week 3

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:50 PM GMT

Find out why we think a total play might be the best course of action with our NFL picks when Brees and Palmer do battle in the Big Easy.

Follow our continuing NFL odds coverage! Check out our NFL Week 3 Betting Odds Report!

Odds Overview

Again there is quite the disparity in the NFL odds for this Week 3 matchup. The Saints are favored by nine at some books but by only seven at others, so there's obviously some sports betting value to be had out there if you shop around.

The total is either at 48.5 or 49 depending on where you look and we reckon a large percentage of the public will still be on the ‘Over’ regardless of the high number.

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Arizona Cardinals

One week after losing a heart-breaker to St. Louis, the Cardinals were able to turn around and overcome Detroit 25-21 at home as one-point underdogs.

Arizona was down 21-13 midway deep into the third quarter, but a couple Jay Feely field goals and a late Rashard Mendenhall touchdown run vaulted the home team onto the winning side.

It wasn't pretty, but a win's a win. Carson Palmer was 22-of-39 for 248 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Mendenhall ended up with 15 rushes for 66 yards (and two catches for 28 yards) and that crucial score.

Palmer really spread the ball out well in the win, as 10 different players had at least one catch. Larry Fitzgerald was limited because of a bad hamstring, but guys like Andre Roberts, Andre Ellington and Kerry Taylor stepped up and made some important plays.

Credit the defense too for holding a high-powered Detroit offense to only 21 points. But, it's going to take quite the effort to play that well on that side of the ball against Brees on the road.

New Orleans Saints

Where have the shootouts gone?

The Saints have won each of their first two games, but have scored a grand total of 39 points in the process. Their defensive play under new coordinator Rob Ryan has been terrific, with New Orleans having surrendered 31 combined points to Atlanta and Tampa Bay.

Last week, the Saints escaped with a 16-14 win thanks to a Garrett Hartley field goal as time expired. It was his third field goal of the game.

New Orleans was able to move the ball, but couldn't capitalize on a number of scoring chances. Drew Brees finished 26-of-46 for 322 yards and a touchdown, but threw two interceptions as well. Jimmy Graham was a monster, catching 10 of 16 targets for 179 yards and a score.

The running game was again non-existent though as Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, and Mark Ingram combined for 75 yards on 20 attempts. Don't expect much to change though – the Saints will always be a pass-heavy offense with Brees under center and Sean Payton on the sidelines.

NFL Pick

This is not the Arizona offense of old. There's a capable quarterback running things now in Palmer and he's got plenty of weapons in the passing game to rely on.

What that means is the Cardinals could keep pace with the Saints here in what we think will turn into a shootout.

We've yet to truly see the full potential of this New Orleans offense this season and this could be the week that happens. Plus, both of these defenses have shown improvement, but there are still most definitely weaknesses to exploit.

The O/U is this high for a reason – we're forecasting a ton of points to be put on the board inside the Superdome this Sunday. Bet the total for your NFL picks.

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NFL Pick: Bet the Cardinals/Saints game OVER 48.5 points, at Bet365

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