This week’s NFC West showdown represents a matchup of a team who many thought would battle the Rams for the division and a team who many thought would finish around .500. However, the actual teams filling those roles are flip-flopped from what most people thought before the season started.
The Cardinals were the last undefeated team in the NFL before losing to the Packers last week and are now tied for the NFC West lead at 7-1, while the 49ers stumbled out of the gate and sit a game under .500 at 3-4.
The 49ers got back on track last week with a win over the struggling Bears and look to get some injured players back this week. The Cardinals are still licking their wounds after a 24-21 loss to the Packers and will look to turn things around on the road after a 10-day layoff.
I went 3-0 last week, so let’s see if we can keep the good times rolling with this NFC West matchup in the NFL pick of the day series.
Please note that all odds are current as of 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, November 5.
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49ers vs Cardinals Prediction
The 49ers have been without some key players all season, but are expecting to get George Kittle, Jeff Wilson Jr, and Robbie Gould back for this week’s home game against the Cardinals. While they’ve missed Kittle the most, the 49ers have gotten great production out of some of their fill-ins, most notably, running back Elijah Mitchell.
The return of Kittle and Wilson should be a nice boost to a 49ers offense that has struggled to consistently move the ball. Jimmy Garoppolo looked great last week, but he’s also thrown for under 200 yards three times this season. The addition of Kittle, especially, should be a huge help for Jimmy G as he tries to keep his job over rookie Trey Lance.
For the Cardinals, Kyler Murray had been putting together an MVP-like season, but he’s fallen off his torrid pace a bit over the last few weeks (at least yardage-wise). While that’s partly been timed with DeAndre Hopkins‘ lingering hamstring injury, Murray has now picked up an ankle injury of his own and both he and Hopkins are game-time decisions for this one.
However, Arizona still has plenty of weapons at its disposal, including James Conner, who has turned into a touchdown machine as of late.
The Cardinals defense has been fantastic all season as they’ve made the jump to becoming an elite unit. They’ve allowed more than 20 points just twice this season, and had allowed only 29 total points in the three games before last week’s loss against Green Bay.
Division battles are always unpredictable, but I think the Cardinals have the edge on the 49ers on both sides of the ball this week.
Prediction: Cardinals 27, 49ers 17
49ers vs Cardinals Best Bets
Best Bet: Cardinals +2.5 (-110) at WynnBET
Wager: 1 unit
The 49ers are getting healthy at the right time and they looked better last week, but that was also against the Bears. I still don’t think they have enough on both sides of the ball to pull this one out against a solid Cardinals team.
The Cardinals are so solid, in fact, that they opened as a road favorite after their 7-1 start to the season. However, the line has since moved in favor of San Francisco, per our NFL gameday odds, because of the uncertainty of Murray and Hopkins.
The Arizona offense hasn’t looked quite as explosive as it did earlier in the season, but it has actually become more of a complete offense with James Conner and Chase Edmonds emerging as a two-headed monster in the backfield.
While we may not see fireworks this week, I think the Cardinals ground game and defense should be enough to pull out a road win by at least a couple points.
Best Bet: Cardinals Moneyline (+125) at WynnBET
Wager: 1 unit
I more or less gave this away with my score prediction above, but I think the Cardinals just have too much talent on both sides of the ball for the 49ers to overcome.
While we may see a close game, I think the Cardinals offense will give the 49ers defense all it can handle. And on the other side of the ball, the much-improved Arizona defense is likely to give Jimmy Garoppolo fits, even if George Kittle is back.
Best Bet: Total Points Under 45.5 (-110) at WynnBET
Wager: 0.5 units
I dropped my units down a bit on this one because this points total is giving me headaches. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw an Over here (hence the 0.5 units), but I think we see more of a defensive battle this week.
The Cardinals have been able to score points (especially against bad teams), but I think they’ll stick to the ground a little more against a 49ers team that has given up some yards to opposing running attacks. But more than that, I think the 49ers are going to struggle to move the ball against a stout Cardinals defense.
Nick Raducanu’s 2021 NFL Team vs Team Betting Record: 9-1, + 8 Units