NFL SNF New England Patriots vs Arizona Cardinals Pick

The Patriots start the season without their best player but the are still the favorites to make it to the Super Bowl at +600. These are the Patriots after all who have finished first in their division and have made the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons. Who else is sitting at +600 to win it all? The Arizona Cardinals. They were overshadowed last year by the 15-1 season the Carolina Panthers had but they finished a franchise best 13-3 last season.

These two teams could have very well ended up in the Super Bowl last year but each failed against the eventual Super Bowl teams. The Cardinals have made some moves to upgrade a defense that was embarrassed by Carolina in the playoffs. An upgrade to the pass rush and a new corner back to play opposite of Peterson will help. The Patriots have several issues headed into the early part of the season. The focus is on the loss of Brady but they have several players who are not going to available early in the year. The Patriots will struggle for the first four weeks of the season and the Cardinals have a chance to add to the Pats problems on Sunday Night.

Patriots vs Cardinals Odds, Totals, Time

When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, September 11, 2016
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Betting Spread: Cardinals -6
Total: 47.5
TV Broadcast: NBC
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About New England Patriots (13-5)

Brady’s backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, has only played 11 regular season games (with zero starts) and made just 20 completions for 188 passing yards and a lone TD in two years in New England. With the focus on the missing Brady, there are several other injuries to the Patriots that have gone unnoticed. Running back Dion Lewis was just what the Patriots needed in 2015 before he tore left ACL in November. He’s still recovering and was placed on physically unable to perform list August 30th. LeGarrette Blount will be primary option in his absence, but he is not the receiver out of the backfield that Lewis was. The offensive line is question mark with offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer on PUP list and offensive guard Shaq Mason recovering from a hand injury. Of course, the Patriots do have the best tight end in the football. Rob Gronkowski has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and led all NFL tight ends last season in receiving yards (1,176), touchdowns (11) and yards per catch (16.3 average).

For all of the talk about the offense, the defense is pretty good. They ranked ninth in the league in yards allowed and 10th in points given up per game. However, the Pats took another hit with the loss of defensive end Rob Ninkovich for the first four weeks (substance abuse).

New England Patriots Betting Trends

New England is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 games
The Patriots are 16-5 SU in its last 21 games
New England is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
New England is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games on the road
The Patriots are 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New England’s last 5 games when playing Arizona
New England is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Arizona

About Arizona Cardinals (14-4)

The Cardinals are loaded in skill position players which is what you would expect from the number one offense in the NFL. At wide receiver they return; Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown, Jaron Brown and J.J. Nelson.  Of course it starts with the quarterback and Carson Palmer is getting up there in years at 36. However, 36 might not be that old with the numbers he put up last year; 4,671 passing yards, 35 passing touchdowns and, a 104.6 passer rating. What about the running game? Running back David Johnson averaged 4.6 yards per carry and 12.7 yards per reception as a rookie.

For all of the talk about the Cardinals offense, they had a good defense last year. They gave up just 19.6 points per game on average, which was seventh in the NFL. They added to the defense by getting Chandler Jones to come in and play linebacker. He had 36 sacks in four seasons with the New England Patriots. Adding a pass rush will only help the Arizona secondary even more as Tyrann Matthieu and Patrick Peterson both should be ready for another top defensive season. The weakness on defense has been the corner back spot opposite Peterson. The Cardinals made a move and picked up the Chiefs Marcus Cooper to try and address the situation. The have another big body on defense with defensive tackle D.J. Humphries, a first-round pick in 2015 who didn’t play a game last year but is looking good in preseason this year.

Arizona Cardinals Betting Trends

Arizona is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Arizona’s last 8 games
Arizona is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
The Cardinals are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
Arizona is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Arizona’s last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arizona’s last 5 games when playing New England
Arizona is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing New England
Arizona is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing New England

New England vs Arizona Prediction

Even with Brady at quarterback, the Patriots have lost four of their last five games on the road (SU/ATS). That includes last year’s 20-18 loss to the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game. A game the Patriots could have and I think should have won. Now the Patriots will depend on Jimmy Garoppolo to get a road win. After watching Jimmy Garoppolo play one thing comes to mind. Journeyman quarterback. He looks like a Bradford or Sanchez. If the Pats get behind early this game could get ugly fast.

The Cardinals start off the season quick and have won five of their last six Week 1 contests (SU/ATS). The Cardinals really did make some important improvements to the defense and the offense should be improved with just having everyone return healthy. I don’t like to give up this many points in an NFL game because the talent level in the league is really close. In this game, even with Brady it would be a tough win for the Patriots. Without him, this one will be a double digit loss. Taking the Cardinals in a rout.

Patriots vs Cardinals Pick: Cardinals -6