The Arizona Cardinals (3-10) travel to Georgia this weekend to face the Atlanta Falcons in all-NFC showdown (4-9). Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM EST on December 16th at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the game will be broadcast on FOX.
Oddsmakers opened this game up with the Falcons listed as 10-point home favorites. That line has moved substantially after early betting, as Atlanta is currently available at -8.5. The total for this matchup is 44 points. Click here for a full look at the Week 15 NFL odds and for more links to our individual game previews.
Falcons vs Cardinals Vegas Odds & Game Preview
Arizona has now dropped four out of their past five games after a tough 17-3 home loss to Detroit last weekend. The Cardinals were badly outplayed on both sides of the ball, especially offensively where they failed to get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. QB Josh Rosen went 26/41 for 240 yards but failed to find the end zone. He also threw an interception, his sixth in the last five games. RB David Johnson only managed to record 61 total yards against the Lions, although he did catch a team-high eight passes. WR Trent Sherfield led the way for the receiving corps, gaining 77 yards through the air on five receptions. As a whole, Arizona is currently averaging just 13.7 points per game – dead last in the entire NFL.
The Cardinals have looked slightly better on the other side of the ball through their first thirteen games, allowing opponents to score 25.2 points per game (21st overall) on 350.3 yards of total offense. However, they are currently surrendering 139.5 yards per game on the ground, leaving them just 29th overall against the run.
Atlanta lost their fifth consecutive game last weekend, dropping a tough 34-20 decision on the road to Green Bay. The Falcons were .500 through their first eight games, but are now a disappointing 4-9 overall – last in the NFC South. QB Matt Ryan played well against the Packers in Week 14, passing for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He had a ton of help from WR Julio Jones, who racked up eight receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns. However, the offense struggled to move the ball on the ground yet again, as Ito Smith and Tevin Coleman combined for just 105 rushing yards. Overall, Atlanta is currently averaging 24.3 points per game (14th overall) on 375.0 total yards.
The Falcons have been one of the worst defensive teams in the entire NFL for basically the entire year, allowing opponents to score an average of 28.2 points per game (29th overall) on 386.9 yards of total offense. Like Arizona, they have really struggled against the run, giving up 131.2 yards per game on the ground (26th overall).
Free NFL Betting Prediction: Arizona +8.5
This is certainly one of the less exciting matchups on the schedule here in Week 15, as both of these NFC teams are at the bottom of their respective divisions. However, I do think that the Cardinals offer a bit of value in this particular spot, as there is no way I think that the Falcons should be double-digits favorites against anyone right now. Not only have they lost five straight games, three out of their four wins on the year have been by a touchdown or less. Arizona has also been brutal, but they have shown they can hang around against superior opponents several times already this season – they lost by a field goal or less against both Chicago and Seattle. They also won outright against the same Green Bay team that just embarrassed Atlanta by two touchdowns last Sunday.
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The Falcons are just 1-5 ATS over their last six home games. They are also only 0-6 ATS in their last six games against teams with a losing record and 0-5 ATS over their last five games overall. Arizona is a very solid 3-1-1 ATS in their last five road games. They are also 5-1-1 ATS over their last seven games against NFC opponents.
It is always tough siding with the lowest-scoring team in the entire NFL, especially when considering how turnover-prone Rosen has been in his first season in the league. However, their defense is certainly vastly superior to Atlanta’s, so even if they are unable to win this matchup straight up, they should be able to stay within striking distance. I’m taking the free points all day in this one – Arizona should be able to cover on the road with relative ease this weekend.