Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Ford Field – Detroit, Michigan
Sunday, October 11, 2015, 4:05 pm Eastern, TV: Fox, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Arizona -3
Current Line: Arizona -4
Opening Total: 44
Current Total: 46
Opening Money Line: Cardinals -140 / Lions +120
Current Money Line: Cardinals -170 / Lions +150
The Detroit Lions are 0-4 this season after winning 11 games last year. Detroit is the only winless team in the league. The Lions host the 3-1 Arizona Cardinals Sunday. Arizona leads the NFC West by a game over the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams. Detroit is in last place in the NFC North.
Detroit leads the series 31-27-5 against Arizona. These are two of the league’s oldest franchises and they have been playing since 1930. Arizona has won six straight games in the series and they are playing each other for the fourth straight season. Five of those games have been in Arizona including last year’s 14-6 Cardinals victory. Arizona hasn’t played in Detroit since 2009.
Arizona is coached by Bruce Arians. The Cardinals have home wins over the New Orleans Saints 31-19 and San Francisco 49ers 47-7, plus a road win at the Chicago Bears 48-23. Last week, Arizona lost at home to St. Louis 24-22. The Cardinals were 7 point favorites against the Rams and the total was 43.5. Arizona could only manage three first half field goals and trailed 10-9 at halftime. St. Louis would never trail and led 24-15 in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals would score their first touchdown of the game with just under 5 minutes left to pull within 2 points. After forcing a Rams punt, Arizona couldn’t get past the St. Louis 43 and turned the ball over on downs. St. Louis ran out the clock to give the Cardinals their first loss of the season. Arizona had 447 total yards but three turnovers and the inability to score touchdowns rather than field goals doomed them. The Cardinals had 5 field goals and 3 were under 30 yards. Arizona is 3-1 ATS and the total is 4-0 this season.
Detroit is coached Jim Caldwell. The Lions have a home loss to the Denver Broncos 24-12, along with road losses at the San Diego Chargers 33-28, Minnesota Vikings 26-16 and last Monday at the Seattle Seahawks 13-10. The Seahawks were 10 point favorites and the total was 43. Neither team scored in the first quarter. Seattle would take a 10-3 lead into halftime. The Seahawks added to the lead in the third with a 52 yard field goal. Detroit scored a defensive touchdown midway through the fourth to pull within 3 points.
After a Seattle punt, Detroit drove from their own 9 to the Seattle 14 with less than 2 minutes to go. Receiver Calvin Johnson appeared to be headed into the end zone for the go ahead score but the Seahawks forced a fumble. Seattle’s K.J. Wright appeared to bat the ball out of the end zone which is illegal, but no flag was thrown. The Seahawks held on for the much needed win, and the Lions remained the only winless team in the NFL. Seattle had 345 total yards to 256 for Detroit, but the Seahawks had 3 turnovers to 1 for the Lions. Detroit is 1-3 ATS and the total is 1-3 this season.
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Arizona is outscoring teams 37-18 this season. The Cardinals are #2 in scoring and 36 in points allowed. The Cardinals are averaging 405 total yards per game on offense including 283 passing 122 rushing yards. The Cardinals are #7 or better in total and passing defense. Arizona is allowing 307 total yards per game including 199 passing and 108 rushing yards. The Cardinals are #8 in pass defense and #5 in total defense. Arizona is 21/47 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 18/57. The Cardinals have forced 7 sacks and have allowed 5 this season. Arizona is even in turnovers.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has completed 63.4% of his passes for 1,155 yards with 10 touchdowns and an 3 interceptions, along with 12 rushing yards. Running back Andre Ellington is probable with a knee injury. He has 12 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. Chris Johnson has 68 carries for 302 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 51 yards. David Johnson has 15 carries for 85 yard and a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 137 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 30 catches for 432 yards and 5 touchdowns. John Brown has 19 catches for 228 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Darren Fells has 6 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with a hip injury. Jaron Brown has 4 catches for 48 yards and a touchdown. Michael Floyd has 7 catches for 89 yards. Eight defensive players are listed on the injury report.
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Detroit is being outscored 24-17 this season. The Lions are #29 in scoring. Detroit is averaging 293 yards per game on offense including 246 passing and 47 rushing yards. The Lions are #30 in total offense and last in rushing. On defense, Detroit is allowing 383 yards per game including 272 passing and 111 rushing. The Lions are #25 in total defense and #23 against the pass. Detroit is 18/51 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 25/52. The Lions have forced 10 sacks and allowed 6 this season. Detroit is even in turnovers. The Lions have 2 defensive touchdowns this season.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford has completed 65% of his passes for 1,017 yards with 5 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 18 rushing yards. Dan Orlovsky is the back-up.
Running back Ameer Abdullah has 34 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown, along with 9 catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Joique Bell will also get some carries. He is out with an ankle injury. Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick could get some carries without Bell.
Receiver Calvin Johnson has 27 catches for 255 yards and a touchdown. Golden Tate has 18 catches for 199 yards. Tight end Eric Ebron has 15 catches for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is out until early November with a knee injury. Theo Riddick has 15 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. Lance Morre has 8 catches and is probable with an ankle injury. Eleven defensive players and three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report.
Arizona is 10-1 ATS against teams with losing records, 6-1 after failing to cover, 4-1 after allowing more than 150 rushing yards, 8-2 after gaining more than 350 total yards, 15-4 against teams with losing records, 16-6 against NFC teams, 10-4 in road games, 20-8 overall, and 9-4 after a straight up loss. The over is 8-3 overall in this series including 4-0 in Detroit. The Cardinals have covered 5 of the last 6 games in this series.
Detroit is 20-8 after scoring 15 points or more, 2-5 in October, 2-6 overall, 1-4 against teams with winning records, and after rushing for 90 yards or less, 1-5 after a cover, and 0-4 after allowing 15 points or less. The home team has covered the last 11 games in this series. The underdog is 4-0 ATS in this series recently. The Lions have covered the last 4 games in Detroit against the Cardinals.
The Arizona offense sputtered last week after scoring at least 31 points in the first three games. It seems a little strange to say, but the Lions don’t have the offensive firepower to keep up with the Cardinals. I like the Cardinals to win on the road and four points seems like a bargain.