Vikings vs. Cardinals Predictions Week 2 - NFL Pick of the Day
Both of these two teams had surprising results in the first games of the season. The Minnesota Vikings lost to the Cincinnati Bengals as favorites, 27-24, in overtime while the Arizona Cardinals handled their business as underdogs against the Tennessee Titans, winning 38-13.
Shockingly, the Vikings ran for just 67 yards against the Bengals behind Dalvin Cook, who only averaged 3.1 yards per rush on 20 carries. That will need to change against the Arizona Cardinals, who kept Derrick Henry in check throughout Week 1, allowing him to run for just 58 yards on 17 carries for an average of 3.4 yards.
Here’s what you can expect for Sunday’s matchup between the Vikings and Cardinals, including a couple of best bets that you can wager on.
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Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals Prediction
The Cardinals looked fantastic on offense last week. It’s still absurd that last week’s game against the Titans fell under the total after the Cardinals scored 38 points against a pretty consistent Tennessee defense. The offense gained 425 yards of offense and only allowed Tennessee to gain 304 yards of offense. It was a fantastic showing from the Cardinals, who were actually underdogs going into this game.
The Cardinals ran for 136 yards, but to be fair, they could’ve rushed for more if the run blocking was a bit better. If there was an area that this team struggled with on offense, it was the run blocking. Kyler Murray led Arizona with four passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. He went 21-for-32 from the field and threw for 289 yards.
Surprisingly, Murray didn’t run all that much either. He relied on his arm, and it proved to be the right decision. The speedster also ran five times for 20 yards and a touchdown.
On defense, Arizona will need to improve on their tackling. They missed a solid amount of tackles against the Titans but overall looked extremely solid. Anytime you can hold the Titans to just 13 points for an entire game, it’s a win for the defense. The rushing defense held Henry in check while the pass rush and coverage dominated with six sacks and eight tackles for a loss.
Chandler Jones had five of those sacks along with five quarterback hits. Jones looked fantastic in the first game of the season. He can also thank the coverage for being excellent down the field.
On the other hand, the Vikings fought back against the Bengals late in the second half but ultimately lost as favorites to Cincinnati in overtime, 27-24. The Vikings’ run game was extremely poor, with Cook rushing for just 61 yards on 20 carries. He broke one for 17 yards, so it just goes to show you how bad the run game was. The blocking was dreadful, and Cook was never able to get working.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw 49 times and completed 36 passes for 351 yards. He was sacked three times but threw two touchdowns without throwing an interception. Cousins looked solid but really didn’t get much help from his offensive line. They were dreadful in pass protection and, of course, in the run game.
On defense, the team was also picked apart. The Vikings struggled to make tackles, and the coverage down the field was horrendous. If anything, Minnesota showed a solid pass rush that got to Joe Burrow five times. Still, Joe Mixon ran for 127 yards on 29 carries, and Burrow eased back into things going 20-for-27 with 261 yards passing.
The reality is the Vikings had their chances in overtime and still failed to win the ball game. If the Vikings can’t protect in run blocking or pass protection, they’re going to struggle defending Chandler Jones and the Cardinals defensive line.
The Cardinals have all the offensive tools to dominate a Vikings team that looked awful in their secondary and really struggled to tackle in their first game. However, Cousins looked solid at quarterback, and if the offensive line can patch up just a little bit and open up the run game, the Vikings should be able to hang around the Cardinals and score points.
Betting Pick: Cardinals 31, Vikings 24
Vikings vs. Cardinals Best Bets
Best Bet: Over 51 Points (-110) at DraftKings
The Cardinals offense was everything last week and they should really have no problems scoring again in Week 2. The Cardinals scored 38 points behind Kyler Murray, who threw four touchdowns and ran one in for five touchdowns on the day.
Arizona ran half of the time with Chase Edmonds for 12 carries and 63 yards and then ran James Conner 16 times for 53 yards. If that distribution continues for these two running backs, they’ll both be ready to go and won’t fatigue. It’s a solid strategy with both of those runners, who have completely different strengths and weaknesses.
This offense has so many weapons besides just Edmonds and Conner. There are four wide receivers you can trust on this Arizona team. They’re extremely deep and can just continue to rotate in and out. DeAndre Hopkins caught six balls for 83 yards and two touchdowns, while Christian Kirk also had five catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns.
Rookie Rondale Moore saw five targets and caught four for 68 yards, while A.J. Green had an underwhelming day but contributed two catches for 25 yards. There’s a lot to like about this offense if Green is the number four receiver.
Meanwhile, the Vikings have so much talent on their offense. The offensive line didn’t hold up and that will be a problem against Chandler Jones, who already has five sacks in one game. Still, Kirk Cousins made smart decisions and didn’t throw an interception in their loss to the Bengals. Smart play usually leads to an over. Plus, they’ll have to get Dalvin Cook going, and when the rushing game starts moving, that’ll open up the passing game.
The Cardinals defense looked dynamite against the Titans, but with some adjustments and better protection from the offensive line, the Vikings will score some points, too.
Best Bet: Cardinals -3.5 (-115) at DraftKings
The Cardinals offense exploded against a consistent Tennessee defense. Outside of their run blocking, everything seemed to go right for the Cardinals in their first game. They’ve got weapons all over the field and a premier quarterback in Kyler Murray delivering the football. It’s a team that has finally developed. They’re ready for the big stage.
On defense, Chandler Jones won’t get five sacks again this week, but he might get a couple more going up against this Vikings offensive line. The Vikings were pretty poor as a unit on the offensive line against the Bengals. Jones brings a lot more to the table than anyone on the Bengals defensive line.
I also talked about the Vikings having a hard time tackling last week. It won’t get easier trying to tackle Murray and his six weapons on the field, including Hopkins, Moore, Edmonds, Conner, Kirk, and Green.
The Vikings should score points in this one and the offensive line will be better. However, it won’t be good enough for this Cardinals team. The Cardinals pass rush was effective due to their secondary playing lights out as well. Cousins is a veteran and will make plays to keep the Vikings hanging around, but the Cardinals will use a final push to secure the cover against the Vikings.
Vikings vs. Cardinals Same Game Parlay Picks
DraftKings now offers same game parlays for the NFL, allowing you to combine multiple bets from the same game. The final odds for combining both of my bets above is +256 if you decide to parlay them:
- Arizona Cardinals -4 (-110) at DraftKings
- Points Total: Over 51 (-110) at DraftKings
More same game parlays will include Week 2 player props once they are released, so check back later this week! For more NFL betting tips, check out our NFL Week 2 Best Bets & Predictions and NFL pick of the day.