One of the matchups in Sunday’s NFL slate of games will feature two playoff-bound teams heading in opposite directions.
Meaning it could be a rough start to the new year for Arizona Cardinals fans.
The Cards have lost three games in a row and are limping into the postseason. Things won’t get any easier in Week 17 when they visit AT&T Stadium to face the red-hot Dallas Cowboys, who have won four straight.
Both teams would like to head into the playoffs with positive momentum, and this late-season test will go a long way in telling us if either squad is primed for a Super Bowl run.
Betting preview NFL Week 17: Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
The Cardinals are struggling as of late. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are playing some of their best football. Going into this game, Arizona is the underdog, with the spread at . Bettors who are hopeful that the Cards will pull off the upset can bet on the moneyline number of odds.
This game features two offenses that love to put points on the board. The Cardinals rack up 26.3 points per game, and Arizona’s games have hit the over in seven of 15 opportunities this year. Meanwhile, the Cowboys average 30.5 points per game. Their games have also gone over the point total seven times in 15 tries.
In this game, the over/under is set at .
Arizona Cardinals (10-5) at Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022
Time: 2:25 p.m. MST
Location: AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
TV Coverage: FOX
Cardinals battling for NFC West title, playoff seeding
Arizona has already punched its ticket to the postseason. But right now, the Birds are in a bit of a freefall.
Before the Week 14 Monday Night Football matchup with the Los Angeles Rams, the Cardinals held the No. 1 seed in the NFC, they led the NFC West, and they were in prime position to secure a first-round bye.
Fast-forward three weeks, and the Cardinals have dropped their last three games. Arizona has fallen from first all the way down to the No. 5 seed in the NFC. If this were the case, the Cardinals would have to start the postseason on the road.
The Cards still have a shot at winning the NFC West. However, online sportsbooks in Arizona don’t like their chances. Right now, the Cardinals odds to win the division are at . After Sunday’s game in Dallas, Arizona finishes the regular season at home against divisional foe Seattle.
At the same time, the Rams could wrap of the division crown this week. If the Cardinals lose to the Cowboys and LA can beat the Baltimore Ravens, the NFC West will belong to the Rams.
That would be a devastating blow to Cardinals fans after the team got off to such a solid start to the season.
Can the banged-up Birds turn it around?
Once again, the injury bug has bitten the Cardinals.
There is a long list of Arizona players mentioned on the team’s injury report heading into Sunday’s game. Safety Budda Baker, running back James Conner and wide receiver Rondale Moore are all listed as questionable. Meanwhile, defensive end Jordan Phillips and cornerback Marco Wilson will miss the game. Arizona has already been without receiver DeAndre Hopkins and defensive end JJ Watt.
The Cardinals are 2-8 against the spread this year when playing teams with winning records. That trend doesn’t bode well for Sunday’s matchup. Not to mention the unsettling similarities between this late-season slump and the one Arizona faced last year.
Last season, Arizona started 6-3 but lost five of its last seven games to end the year 8-8 and miss out on the postseason. The Cards have already locked up a playoff spot in 2021, sitting at 10-5, but again are fading down the stretch.
After scoring over 30 points in six of its first seven games, Arizona has gone over that number just twice in its last eight contests, averaging 21.1 points per game in that span. Quarterback Kyler Murray has just two passing TDs in his previous three games. He has not completed more than 65.3% of his passes in each of those matchups.
Last season, the Cardinals cruised to a 28-point win over Dallas. We should expect this year’s matchup to be much closer. Dallas has also struggled against teams with winning records this season. For the most part, Arizona has played very well on the road and has a great shot to notch a victory over the Cowboys for the second year in a row.