San Francisco 49ers (1-7 SU, 1-7 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (3-4-1 SU, 3-5 ATS)
Week 10 NFL
Date/Time: Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 4:25PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium. Glendale, Arizona
By Loot, NFL Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Betting Odds: SF +13.5/ARI -13.5
Over/Under Total: 48.5
The San Francisco 49ers come to Glendale to face the Arizona Cardinals On Sunday in NFC West action from University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals are coming off the bye week, which comes right at the halfway point, as the team that many favored to win the conference is sitting at 3-4-1. In their last game, they lost 30-20 at Carolina, a loss that followed a 6-6 home tie against the Seahawks. The Cardinals naturally look to right the ship as the second half of the season starts at home against the Niners. And it presents a good chance for the Cardinals, as the Niners are in a state of free-fall with seven straight losses and non-covers. On Sunday, the Niners were ripped up at home, 41-23, to the visiting New Orleans Saints.
Arizona isn't going to have it easy. After this, five of their last 7 games are on the road, with some tough matchups along the way. The culprit for the bad start cannot be pinned on any one thing. The cause of Arizona's mediocrity through eight games is multifold. Carson Palmer was injured and is back, though his performances this season have been uneven. He's gone from the savior of this team to looking like he did when things bottomed-out in Cincinnati years ago. And it's not his fault entirely. The line hasn't given him much protection from opposing pass-rushes, though the front has done OK in springing the run-game. The aerial attack is all out-of-whack, with a robust receiving crew not putting up the numbers they were putting up last season.
Offensively, we've seen a vintage Arizona group only a few times this season—naturally in the games they won. Otherwise, we've seen a flat group not taking advantage of its vast arsenal. Larry Fitzgerald has been himself, while John Brown and Michael Floyd have been shadows of what they were last season. Tight end play from Jermaine Gresham and Darren Fells has also dropped off. Palmer is off his normal form with just 10 TDs against 6 picks. The only shining light on this offense has been David Johnson, the second year back. He has run for 705 yards and 8 touchdowns, while making 35 catches for 407 yards. But he being the team's second-leading receiver isn't necessarily a good thing. Last season, they nearly had three 1000-yard receivers and they'll get nowhere near that this season barring a sharp second-half spike in production.
The Arizona defense at least appears to be in good form, the top-ranked defense in the league in terms of yardage. It doesn't seem like it sometimes and there is a little chasm there, as they've been leaky on occasion. They can be really tough against the pass, with players like Patrick Peterson, DJ Swearinger, Tony Jefferson, and Marcus Cooper have played very well. Cooper has three picks, with Swearinger and Peterson with two apiece. They have a total of 15 turnovers on the season. And while it's not that consistent, they have been able to spring a nice pass-rush on occasion. Before allowing 30 to Carolina in their last game, they had allowed a combined 9 points in their previous two games.
The Niners are in big trouble, unable to put forth much of a game since a bizarre shutout win in week one. They have the last-ranked defense in the league, ranked last in total yards, rushing yards, and points allowed with 32.5 a game. On Sunday against the Saints, this ineptitude was on full display. The Saints got two big performances from running backs Tim Hightower and Mark Ingram, with Drew Brees operating freely in the aerial game, which was also in full-flight.
With an offense giving up a ton of points and showing very little resilience, the offense is trying to hang in there, despite an utter lack of firepower. The 23 points they put up against New Orleans on Sunday was the most they put up since week two, but to lose like that at home after a bye was a really bad sign. Colin Kaepernick did throw for 398 yards and a pair of TDs. And while it didn't really register into a gaggle of points, they'll take whatever small positive signs they can get. And Kaepernick taking to the air like that is in fact a decent development. He was able to bring the receivers and tight ends into the fold, which is more than what Gabbert was able to do in his time behind center for the most part.
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With 7 straight non-covers, the Niners have been hurting badly. A lot of it is their fault, though the numbers have been pretty small, as the Niners haven't been getting big enough spreads. With a near-two touchdown spread this week, that's a little better. Then again, only two of their losses were by an amount less than what the spread is this week. Arizona has been down at times this season. But the elements that got them to the NFC title game last season are still in place. They just haven't been consistently applied on a week-to-week basis. This is not your average sub-.500 team. They were assumed to be contenders, had a week off, and should be expected to make a push with some extra time to figure out things.
It's a tough game to call. With that number being so big, a stance can be justified on either team. It could be an uphill battle covering the spread with either team. With the Cardinals coming off the bye and San Fran showing some pep last week, I picture a game with the total scoring in the fifties. I'm taking the over.
Loot's Prediction to Cover the Point Spread: I'm betting over 48.5 points in the 49ers vs. Cardinals game. Did you know... that you could be wagering on the San Francisco vs. Arizona game at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying -110 odds (or more) with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!