The Arizona Cardinals (1-5) will host the Denver Broncos (2-4) on Thursday Night Football. Kickoff is set for 8:20 EST at State Farm Stadium and will be televised on both FOX and the NFL Network.
Taking a look at the Week 7 NFL odds, the books have Denver listed as a slim 2.5-point road favorite with the total set at 41.5 points.
Vegas Betting Odds & Game Preview: Broncos vs Cardinals
Denver comes into this one off a 23-20 home loss to the Broncos, but did cover as a 7-point dog. The final score makes it look like they were highly competitive, but they trailed 20-3 late in the 3rd quarter and by double-digits in the 4th quarter. Case Keenum had a strong afternoon, throwing for 322 yards and 2 scores, but the Broncos managed a season-low 60 rushing yards. Denver has now lost 4 straight since their 2-0 start and are just 1-4-1 ATS.
Coming off their first win of the season, Arizona lost 27-17 on the road to the Vikings as a 10-point underdog. The Cardinals defense kept them in it early and they trailed just 13-10 at the half. The offense never really got going until it was too late. While Arizona comes in with a 1-5 SU record, they have gone .500 (3-3) against the spread.
NFL Betting Free Pick & Predictions: OVER 41.5
This is a tough one to handicap, as there’s not a lot to like about either of these teams. If I had to take a side, I would roll the dice with Arizona, simply for the fact that the home team has such a big edge in these Thursday games. However, I think the even stronger lean here is the OVER.
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It’s simply asking too much for NFL players to play up to their full potential on just 3 days of rest, especially defensive guys, where energy and effort is everything on that side of the ball. The OVER is 4-1 in Thursday games this season with teams playing on short rest and the only exceptions was the Jets/Browns, who combined for 38 with a total of 39.
The difficult part with the OVER in this matchup, is how bad the Cardinals offense has looked this season. I’m not saying they haven’t been bad, but I think they are going to improve quite a bit over the course of the season, as rookie quarterback Josh Rosen gets more and more comfortable. I wouldn’t be shocked if Rosen and that offense had a big day in this one.
Denver’s defense is reeling right now. After giving up 323 rushing yards to the Jets in Week 5, they gave up another 270 yards on the ground to the Rams. It’s only a matter of time before David Johnson goes off and he’s trending upwards with 4 touchdowns in his last 3 games. If they can get him going, which I think they will, it’s going to make it so much easier on Rosen to make plays through the air.
It’s a similar story for Denver. While Keenum has the ability to drop back every play, their offense is working at it’s best when they get the running game going. Arizona is 31st in the league against the run (152.2 ypg). You also have to think that Cardinals defense will be dragging a bit after a very physical game against the Vikings.
Another thing to keep in mind with the short 3-day break between games, is there’s not a lot of familiarity between the two teams in these non-conference games. Just another advantage for the two offenses in this one. I’m not saying it’s going to be 34-30 shootout, but all we need is for something like 24-20 to cash a winner. Give me the OVER 41.5.