Broncos-Cardinals Betting Preview & Pick: Will Denver’s Road Woes Continue?

Oct 18, 2018
Broncos-Cardinals Betting Preview & Pick: Will Denver’s Road Woes Continue?

Hey, sometimes you just miss.

Credit the banged-up 49ers for going on the road Monday night and nearly pulling off an impressive upset in Lambeau. I didn’t see C.J. Beathard and Co. hanging with Aaron Rodgers like they did, but it goes to show you what a team can do with a creative offensive mind like Kyle Shanahan at the helm. Sure, San Francisco still lost but given the team’s injuries, that was a moral victory for the Niners if there ever was one. Shanahan is a good coach.

While the Pack won outright thanks to another brilliant fourth quarter performance by Rodgers, they didn’t come close to covering the 9-point spread. Green Bay halted my Week 6 winning streak at four games, but I’ll take a 4-1 week anytime in the NFL.

Tonight, we have a lackluster matchup between the struggling Broncos and the 1-5 Cardinals. Is there value to be had for bettors? Let’s dive into the matchup…

301 Denver Broncos at 302 Arizona Cardinals

  • Point Spread: Cardinals +1.5
  • O/U: 42.5
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET

Line Movement

The Cardinals opened as 1.5-point home favorites, but the line jumped the fence and now Arizona is a 1.5-point dog. The total also moved, jumping from 39.5 up to 42.5.

Public Betting

As of Thursday morning, 68 percent of the betting tickets are on the Broncos and so is 64 percent of the money. As for the total, 60 percent of the betting tickets and 62 percent of the money is on the over.

Key Injuries

The Broncos are dealing with injuries along their offensive line. Offensive tackle Jared Veldheer is dealing with a bone bruise and is out, while guard Ronald Leary suffered a torn Achilles’ in last week’s loss to the Rams and is out for the season. Linebacker Shane Ray, who was demoted to part-time player behind first-rounder Bradley Chubb, has a left high ankle sprain and won’t play.

For the Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) was removed from the Week 7 injury report but guard Justin Pugh (hand) is questionable. Fellow guard Mike Iupati (back) remains out and cornerback Jamar Taylor (back) is questionable.

Trends

The over is 6-0 in the last six meetings between these two teams while the Broncos have covered in five of their last six games against the Cardinals.

Prediction

The seat under Vance Joseph is getting hotter by the second. He’s choosing to die on the Case Keenum hill despite the pleas from Broncos fans for Chad Kelly. Despite his incredible job building the Super Bowl winner a few years ago, John Elway deserves plenty of the blame for Denver’s woes too, although that’s a topic for a different column.

The Cardinals own one of the worst offenses in the league, but they have shown signs of life since Josh Rosen took over. You’d have to go back and watch Rosen to appreciate some of the difficult throws that he’s making from the pocket but trust me, he’s shown growth in recent weeks. He tends to lock onto one receiver but overall, he’s composed and mature for a rookie.

I also love this matchup for David Johnson. In the past two weeks, the Broncos defense allowed Isaiah Crowell and Todd Gurley to each crack 200 yards rushing. All told, Denver ranks dead last in run defense and 27th in the league in total defense, surrendering 403.8 yards per game.

Yes, the Cardinals have had their issues defensively as well. But the Broncos are 1-9 straight up and against the spread on the road under Joseph with eight double-digit loses. They’re simply a different team playing away from Denver.

Arizona played both Chicago and Seattle tough at home this year. The Cardinals aren’t good mind you, but their situation is more hopeful than the Broncos, who appear to be closer to firing their coach and benching the quarterback they just signed in free agency than winning a game on the road. Give me the home dog.

Prediction: Cardinals +1.5

ATS Season Records

  • Week 1: 5-0
  • Week 2: 3-2
  • Week 3: 4-1
  • Week 4: 3-1-1
  • Week 5: 3-2
  • Week 6: 4-1
  • Overall: 23-7-1

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.

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