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The time has come. After an offseason of phone calls on live television with Shannon Sharpe and a certain superstar WR “questioning” their future in the NFL, it’s time to cut the chit-chat and play football.
I’m excited to bring you complete betting analysis on what should be a fantastic game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans for Week 1.
I’ve completed 267 fast drafts for best ball tournaments between Underdog and DraftKings this summer, so I’m more than ready to shift my focus to a new avenue of content. Let’s dive in.
Cardinals vs Titans Best Bet: Cardinals Moneyline (+120) at BetMGM
For in-depth analysis on this pick and others, continue reading.
Cardinals vs Titans Prediction
Arizona is coming off both a promising and disappointing 2020 season, finishing 8-8 after starting the year 6-3. A midseason shoulder injury to Kyler Murray brought the team’s momentum to a halt, but this is a roster poised to compete in 2021.
The main calling card here is an explosive offense, but the defense is improved despite the loss of a declining Patrick Peterson in the secondary, as JJ Watt, Malcolm Butler, and first-round pick Zaven Collins were brought in to bolster the unit.
Tennessee had their way in a weak AFC South division last season, making the playoffs with an 11-5 record before being bounced in the Wild Card round by Baltimore.
Now, the Titans look to be heading into the new season with an overall weaker roster than before, albeit with the massive acquisition of Julio Jones. The offense will be extremely concentrated toward its three skill position superstars, and the defense remains porous.
Expect a close and exciting game in Nashville, with the visiting Arizona Cardinals coming out on top.
Betting Pick: Cardinals 31, Titans 24
Sportsbook Play of the Day
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Cardinals vs Titans Best Bets
Best Bet: Cardinals Moneyline (+120 at BetMGM)
What better way to kick off the 2021 season than betting on the road underdog?
Arizona and Tennessee were on opposite sides of the strength of schedule spectrum for the 2020 season with Arizona having the eighth-hardest schedule, while the Titans were down at No 20.
Don’t let the win-loss record scare you: The Arizona Cardinals are a playoff-caliber team. The Titans offense is no easy bunch to stop, but the Cardinals defense has enough talent to keep pace.
The biggest mismatch in this game is Arizona’s potent offense against the porous Titans secondary. Tennessee finished 28th in passing yards against last season, which is, to put it simply, not good. Expect DeAndre Hopkins to have his way against them.
DHop is not the only threat lining up outside that teams facing Arizona have to worry about this season, as the Cardinals used their second-round pick on the dynamic 5-foot-7 Rondale Moore from Purdue.
Moore has the opportunity to kick off his NFL career in explosive fashion in this spot. We’ve already seen designed plays to get the ball in his hands in the Cardinals’ first preseason game, and I expect Kliff Kingsbury to get his new weapon heavily involved early.
Best Bet: Over 53 (-110 at BetMGM)
The contrast of the fast-paced Cardinals offense against the slower and ultra-efficient Titans play-calling should even the pace, but I still expect a high-scoring affair.
Tennessee had the third-highest run rate in the NFL last season. Their run/pass distribution should regress towards the median this season with the addition of Julio Jones to throw to, as well as an incentive to take some of the load off Derrick Henry coming off of a massive season of touches last year.
Add in an extra regular-season game to play this year, and you can see why 30+ touches a game for Henry may not be sustainable despite his mythical frame.
As NFL coaches have come to realize, more passing means more chances to score. The Titans will have plenty more reason to throw after their defense folds to the pressure of the Cardinals’ all-out attack.
Arizona averaged 26.6 points per game in 2020 prior to Kyler Murray’s shoulder injury, and their offense looks even more powerful this year. 53 total points should easily be in reach for a game between these two teams.
Best Bet: Cardinals +3 (-115 at BetMGM)
I’m staying strong with my final score prediction here. The most likely route to 24 points for the Titans is 3 TDs and a field goal (three two-point conversions would be neat, though). With only three preseason games and Julio Jones not currently practicing, Tennessee will likely not be as strong as they can be during Week 1.
I like Anthony Firkser as a sleeper this year, but the depth at their skill positions is very thin. Seeing a great drive fizzle out and end in a field goal would not be surprising under these circumstances.
Arizona has tremendous big-play threats and a QB that can finish a drive himself, no disrespect to Ryan Tannehill’s rushing ability. Take the +3 on the Cardinals and be confident that they will find the end zone multiple times at Nissan Stadium.
Fun Fact: the road team has won 8 of the last 9 Titans’ Week 1 games. Do what you will with that.
Cardinals vs Titans Same Game Parlay Picks
- Cardinals Moneyline
- Over 53.5 Total Points
- Kyler Murray Over 254.5 Passing Yards
- Ryan Tannehill Over 249.5 Passing Yards
The lines on this game are far too conservative. Last season, the Cardinals were the fastest-paced offense in the NFL, while the Titans were the third fastest. AJ Brown, Julio Jones, and Deandre Hopkins have all been cleared for Week 1- we are all systems go for one the premier shootouts of the weekend, if not the entire season. Bet with confidence on the influx of offensive talent surrounding Kyler Murray and Ryan Tannehill.