Cardinals vs. Lions Prediction
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Arizona is favored on the road in this game, as the Cardinals are getting odds of -2.5 points against the Lions. The over/under total for the contest is listed at 48 points. Arizona has won its last seven meetings with the Lions, going 6-1 against the spread in the process. Today’s game takes place from Ford Field and will air live on FOX.
The Lions are coming off a 9-7 record in 2016 in which they reached the playoffs but lost in the opening round. Detroit was 8-9 against the spread, as the Lions actually gave up more points (22.4 per game) than they scored (21.6) in 2016. Detroit just signed Matthew Stafford to a new, NFL-record contract. He is coming off a season where he threw for 4,327 yards and 24 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Stafford has some concerns up front as left tackle Taylor Decker suffered a torn labrum in training camp and is likely to miss the season. That also won’t help a run game that produced just 1,310 yards last year. Ameer Abdullah missed the majority of 2016, but is back this season in hopes to give the rushing game a boost. Defensively, the Lions are banged up already as well. Kerry Hyder, who had a team-high 8 sacks last season, is out for the year with an Achilles injury while Ezekiel Ansah is dealing with an ankle injury. Ansah is expected to play.
The Cardinals are coming off a 7-8-1 record last season with a 6-10 mark against the spread. Arizona had plenty of offensive firepower last season, as the team averaged 26.12 points per game. Arizona returns most of that offense, including playmaker David Johnson, who rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns while catching 80 passes for 879 yards and four more scores last season. Carson Palmer returns for another season as well. The veteran QB threw for 4,233 yards and 26 touchdowns, but had 14 interceptions. Defensively, Arizona allowed 22.6 points per game. Known for being a ball-hawking team, the Cardinals forced just 28 turnovers a year ago. Still, they have a strong pass rush led by Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, who combined for 23.5 sacks last season.
Arizona didn’t have a good season last year, but the Cardinals should be a force in the NFC West this season and they will want to showcase that today. That will come on defense, as the Cardinals should be able to apply loads of pressure on Stafford with a backup left tackle starting. Detroit’s defense lacked much of a pass rush last year, so Palmer should have time to air it out against this questionable secondary as well. I like Arizona to win big.
NFL WEEK 1 PREDICTION: ARIZONA CARDINALS -2.5