Thursday Night Football Picks –New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

Sportsbook
By Betmaker Team

It’s not quite an elimination game, but the loser of the Thursday Night Football tilt between the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints will be hard-pressed to make a postseason run. Both the Cardinals and Saints are 2-4 entering this showdown, so the loser will drop to three games below .500. It will be even more difficult for the Cardinals considering every other team in the NFC West is .500, so they are in desperate need of their first home victory of the season.

 

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook

New Orleans Saints +2
Arizona Cardinals -2
Total 44

 

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Preview

 

The Arizona Cardinals are only a slight favorite per the NFL betting odds ahead of this game because they are 0-3 at home this season. However, it’s hard to fault them for any of those losses. They faced the second-best team in the AFC (Kansas City), the defending Super Bowl champions (LA Rams), and the best team in the league (Philadelphia). New Orleans isn’t as tough of an opponent as any of those teams.

Kyler Murray has not been able to move the ball well this season for the Cardinals. He is averaging just 5.8 YPA and has been sacked 13 times, so the Cardinals rank dead last in the NFL with just 5.3 yards per dropback. Marquise Brown had been the only real downfield threat on the roster (11.3 YPR), but he may have suffered a season-ending injury in last week’s loss.

 

The return of DeAndre Hopkins could fix a lot of their woes though. Hopkins is one of the five most talented receivers in the league. He has been named an All-Pro five times since 2015, but he missed the first six games of the season due to a suspension. Hopkins had 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns in his last full season with the Cardinals, so his presence could be the tide that lifts all boats.

 

Arizona needs to get something going on the ground too aside from Murray. James Conner and Eno Benjamin are both averaging less than 4.0 YPC, putting a lot of pressure on the young signal caller to make things happen. The top three running backs all might miss this game though as Conner, Benjamin, and Darrel Williams are all questionable after missing practice on Tuesday.

 

Bet-Rivers-Banner-Sep-29-2022-03-57-25-53-PM-4This is a tough week for New Orleans to be playing on short rest. The Saints are really banged up on offense, and they might be without several key players on Thursday.

 

We don’t know who the starting quarterback will be as Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton are both listed as questionable. Winston reportedly could have returned to action last week, but Dalton got the start in his place. Dalton would be the more consistent, but less exciting option for the Saints, while Winston is a high-risk, high-reward type of player due to his big arm and questionable decision making.

 

Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry will miss this game due to injury, but rookie Chris Olave has stated that he will suit up for the Saints on Thursday night. That will give whoever is starting some help as all three receivers missed last week. Mark Ingram II is also questionable to play and starting guard Andrus Peat has been ruled out due to injury.

 

That could lead to New Orleans using Taysom Hill in a lot of interesting ways yet again. Hill is one of the most versatile athletes in the NFL, and we saw the Saints lean heavily on him in their win over Seattle two weeks ago.

 

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals Prediction

 

The return of DeAndre Hopkins coupled with the injuries that New Orleans is dealing with will lead to an Arizona win and cover the football betting line this week. The Cardinals can’t afford to go 0-4 at home, and the Saints’ defense is not as formidable as it was in the recent past. Conversely, Arizona can likely force mistakes from New Orleans no matter who is starting under center, and the Cards have some of the speediest linebackers in the NFL.