Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
Thursday, October 6, 2016, 8:25 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Network
Levis Stadium – Santa Clara, California
Opening Line: Arizona -2 1/2
Current Line: Arizona -3 (-125)
Opening Total: 43
Current Total: 42
Opening Money Line: Cardinals -170 / 49ers +150
Current Money Line: Cardinals -175 / 49ers +155
At the beginning of the season if someone had said two teams in the NFC West would be 3-1 after four games and the other two teams would be 1-3, no one would be too shocked at that statement. However, which two teams are 3-1 is surprising. The Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks sit atop the division while the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers are tied for second and last place. The 49ers host the Cardinals Thursday night in a virtual must win for both teams. Seven of the sixteen teams in the NFC are also 1-3 including the Carolina Panthers who beat the Cardinals in the NFC Championship game last season.
San Francisco leads the series 29-20 against Arizona. The Cardinals won both meetings last year 47-7 in Glendale and 19-13 in Santa Clara. The two teams will play in Glendale November 13.
Arizona is coached by Bruce Arians. The Cardinals have a home win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-7. Arizona has home losses to the New England Patriots 23-21 and Rams last week 17-13, plus a road loss at the Buffalo Bills 33-18. The Cardinals were 10 point favorites against the Rams and the total was 43.5. Arizona had 420 yards to just 288 for Los Angeles, but the Cardinals were unable to overcome five turnovers. The loss was costly as quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter and will be out Thursday against San Francisco. Drew Stanton will start as Palmer didn’t even make the trip to San Francisco. Arizona is 1-3 ATS this season and the under is 3-1 this season.
San Francisco is coached by Chip Kelly. The 49ers opened the season with a home win over the Los Angeles Rams 28-0. Since then, they have lost three straight games including road losses at the Carolina Panthers 46-27 and at the Seattle Seahawks 37-18. Last week, the 49ers lost at home to the Dallas Cowboys 24-17. The 49ers led 14-0 in the first quarter but would only score three more points for the rest of the game. San Francisco was a one point underdog against Dallas and the total was 44.5. San Francisco is 1-3 ATS and the total is 2-2.
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Arizona is outscoring teams 23-20 this season. The Cardinals average 382 yards per game including 281 passing and 101 rushing yards. Arizona is #7 in both total and passing offense. On defense, the Cardinals allow 314 total yards per game including 204 passing and 110 rushing yards. The Cardinals are in the top ten in total and pass defense. Arizona is 23/55 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 25/58. Arizona has forced 11 sacks and allowed 12 this season. The Cardinals are -1 in turnovers.
Palmer has completed 58.8% of his passes for 1,150 yards with 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Stanton is making his first start since 2014. He has completed 5/15 passes for 48 yards with 2 interceptions.
Running back David Johnson has 64 carries for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 14 catches for 210 yards. Chris Johnson is out until at least week 12 with a hernia. He has 25 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown. Look for Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor and perhaps Kerwynn Williams to get more carries without Chris.
Receiver Larry Fitzgerald has 25 catches for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns. John Brown has 18 catches for 236 yards. Michael Floyd has 12 catches for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jaron Brown has 7 catches for 152 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Darren Fells is questionable with s shoulder injury. He has 8 catches for 53 yards. Jermaine Gresham is the only healthy tight end on the roaster. Ten defensive players are listed on the injury report including four defensive tackles and five players in the secondary.
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San Francisco is being outscored 27-23 this season. The 49ers average 295 yards per game on offense including 181 passing and 114 rushing. The 49ers are #29 in total offense and last in passing. On defense, San Francisco is allowing 393 total yards, including 252 passing and 141 rushing yards. The 49ers are #26 in total defense and last in rush defense. The 49ers are 26/65 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 26/60. The 49ers have allowed 3 sacks and forced 7 this season. San Francisco is +2 in turnovers.
Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has completed 58% of his passes for 728 yards and 4 touchdowns with 4 interceptions, and has 29 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. There have been calls to bench him in favor of Colin Kaepernick who is in the news for different reasons than football.
Running back Carlos Hyde has 73 carries for 299 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 7 catches for 30 yards. Shaun Draughn has 23 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, plus 4 catches for 23 yards.
Receiver Jeremy Kerley has 18 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown. He is questionable with an ankle injury. Tight end Garrett Celek has 10 catches for 131 yards. Torrey Smith has 9 catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Vance McDonald has 5 catches for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is probable with a hip injury after missing last week. Quinton Patton has 10 catches for 106 yards. Ten defensive players are listed on the injury report. Linebacker Navarro Bowman tore his Achilles’ last week and is gone for the season.
Arizona is 12-2 ATS against teams with losing road records, 19-7 against teams with losing records, 15-6 after allowing less than 90 rushing yards, 16-7 after failing to cover, 1-4 in October, 1-4 after passing for 250 yards or more, and against NFC teams, 1-5 in Thursday games, after scoring 15 points for more, and on grass, and 1-6 overall.
San Francisco is 5-0 ATS in week five, 15-6 in October, 7-15 on grass, 2-5 against teams with losing road records, 3-8 against teams with losing records, 3-8-1 against NFC West teams, 2-6 overall, 1-4 after a straight up loss, and after failing to cover, 1-5 in Thursday games, and 1-7-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards. The underdog is 4-1 ATS in this series recently. The 49ers are 5-2 ATS against the Cardinals recently at home.
Arizona entered the season as a Super Bowl contender if not the favorite in the NFC. They can still rebound as there is a ton of talent. This should be a low scoring game as both offenses have struggled. I like Arizona to win a close game but I don’t really trust either team.