Online Sportsbooks Release Tempting Odds for 49ers-Cardinals Total

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 1:52 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 22, 2015 1:52 PM UTC

Online sportsbooks have released their NFL odds for the 49ers-Cardinals matchup, and we feel that this game's total offers great promise for our Week 3 NFL Picks.

The Arizona Cardinals just scored the most points any opponent has ever scored at Soldier Field against the Bears. Will the trend continue when they meet the San Francisco 49ers at home in this Week 3 NFC West clash?

Let’s take a look at the early lines on offer at online sportsbooks for an important early NFC West matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals. The opening spread favored the home team Cardinals by six points, and the NFL odds have risen to 6.5 and 7 points at some books. This is not surprising, given that the Week 2 performances of each team were polar opposites. The O/U total opened at 44 at most sportsbooks but can be found at 43.5 at such books as 5Dimes.

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The Arizona Cardinals come off of a 48-23 shelling of the Chicago Bears; a team that I predicted Aaron Rodgers could score 50 on in Week 1. I guess I was a week early on that prediction, but please note that the Chicago defensive secondary is bad right now. Forty-eight points is the most points the Bears had ever given up at Soldier Field in their history. It proved that Carson Palmer is healthy and indeed feeling well and Arizona is a much better team when he is staying upright. He only needed 195 yards to net 4 touchdowns in this performance against the Bears. Although over a small sample size, the Cardinals are putting up 39.5 points a game this year.

Now for the bad, the Niners got dominated in Pittsburgh on Sunday to the tune of a 43-18 beat down. Speaking of questionable secondary play, San Francisco let Ben Roethlisberger have a career day and post a 21-27, 369 yds, 3 TD stat line en route to a 155.8 QB rating. A few of the handicappers here at SBR were tailing Pittsburgh in account for the extra rest they had compared to the 49ers and the effects showed. The Niners were never really in this game, and were down 29-3 at halftime. The garbage time helped Colin Kaepernick’s stats though, as he threw for 335 yards on 33-46 completions with 2 TD’s.

The injury bug hit the Niners as well in Week 2, to add insult to, ummm… injury. Standout running back Carlos Hyde got hit in a way that made his leg go the wrong way and somehow came out with only a contusion. Tight End Vance McDonald got hit below the knee in another nasty shot and somehow only came away with a contusion. Wide receiver Torrey Smith had some great explosive plays, but had to leave the game for, you guessed it, a contusion. All expect to play in Week 3 against the Cardinals although you would have to believe they’d be ingesting horse pills for them to be near 100%.

Arizona comes into Week 3 healthy and performing well in all phases of the game. For the second game in a row, Carson Palmer was not sacked, which helps. The Cardinals scored touchdowns in the return game, on defense, the passing game, and the running game. Arizona was a perfect 4/4 in the red zone and only allowed two third down conversions all game by the Bears. They did go soft at the end of the game, because strangely enough the Bears outgained them 355-300 in offensive yardage.

The Early Lean: For your NFL Picks my early lean here is to take the Over. The Arizona offensive line is giving Carson Palmer plenty of time, and with the 49er defense in their current state, this shouldn’t change on Sunday. The 49ers have also proved they can score in the 20’s when playing with a lead and when playing from behind. Both the 49ers and Arizona have given up an average of 273 and 290 yards passing so far this season, respectively. Including the preseason, Arizona’s last five games have gone over and I expect them to dictate tempo since they will be at home.

Free NFL Pick: Take the over, and take it early before the line climbs to 45 or higher.

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