Patriots vs. Cardinals Prediction
Will Sunday night's matchup in the NFL be a low-scoring contest when the Patriots and Cardinals kickoff at 8:30PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Cardinals are 6.5-point home favorites versus the Patriots while the over/under sits at 46.5 points. Before Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of the season, this matchup opened as a pick'em. When Brady was suspended, the number was bet up to Arizona -6, and now the line is up to 6.5.
Jimmy Garoppolo will start in place of the suspended Brady for the first four games of the season. He could see a familiar foe in pass-rusher Chandler Jones, who was traded to the Cardinals in exchange for a second-round pick and starting guard Jonathan Cooper this offseason. Julian Edelman and of course, Rob Gronkowski return to a New England offense that figures to fire on all cylinders once Brady returns.
The Cardinals return largely the same core that led them to the NFC title game a year ago. Quarterback Carson Palmer, rising star David Johnson, as well as veteran receivers Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and Michael Floyd return on offense. As previously mentioned, Jones joins a defense that will be solid again this season, especially with the return of injured stud safety Tyrann Mathieu.
OUR PREDICTION: The Cardinals are loaded defensively. Pass-rush was an issue last season but shouldn't be with the addition of Jones, who figures to wreak havoc on his former team on Sunday night. With Garapolo under center, look for Josh McDaniels to build his game plan around running backs James White and LeGarrette Blount, while keeping his short, quick passing game in place. With the Patriots taking the air out of the football on offense and keeping Palmer and Co. on the sideline, look for this game to be low-scoring throughout.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS: PATRIOTS/CARDINALS UNDER 46.5