Since relocating to Phoenix in 1988, the Arizona Cardinals have opened a season with two straight wins eight times. Only three of those teams added a third consecutive victory.
This week, the Cardinals have a chance to do just that.
Boasting one of the most potent offensive attacks in the early stages of the 2021 NFL season, and a rising MVP candidate in quarterback Kyler Murray, Arizona heads into Week 3 as one of seven undefeated teams in the league. Odds are the Cards maintain a flawless record after visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The question remains: How long can Arizona remain unbeaten?
Week 3 NFL betting preview: Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars
The last time the Cardinals opened a season with a 3-0 record, Carson Palmer was in the twilight of his career, yet about to lead Arizona to the franchise’s second-ever NFC championship appearance.
Now, another quarterback has steered the Cards to a torrid start.
With Murray at the helm, Arizona ranks second in the NFL in total offense and points per game. While luck certainly played into the Cardinals’ 34-33 win last week against the visiting Minnesota Vikings, the fact remains that Arizona goes to Florida without a loss. And this week, mobile betting apps in Arizona project the Cards to stay undefeated.
Playing against a winless Jaguars team with a rookie quarterback, the Cardinals enter their third game as heavy favorites with a point spread of at some sportsbooks. In addition, oddsmaker pit the over/under at .
Looking at the matchup: Cardinals at Jaguars
Arizona has squared off against Jacksonville just five times in history, the last matchup occurring in 2017. In those five games, the favored team has covered the spread just twice, but not over the past three contests. What’s more, the Cardinals and Jaguars have hit the over on points scored four times, with an average total of 47 points.
Obviously, though, it’s a new year. And these two teams are vastly different than in years past. That said, the high-octane Cards take on a Jacksonville team that has allowed the fourth-most yards per game.
Additionally, the Jags have totaled five turnovers — tied for most in the NFL, complemented by Jacksonville standing as one of just two teams with no takeaways.
While Arizona’s defense has struggled at times, including nearly giving up a game-winning field goal last week, the Cardinals still feature a defense that ranks just outside the top 10 in yardage. This week, that unit will face off against Jacksonville rookie QB Trevor Lawrence. The 2021 first-overall pick has completed just 50% of his passes and is tied with fellow rookie Zach Wilson for most interceptions (5) thrown through two games. Wilson is the only player with a worse QB rating than Lawrence.
MVP play from Kyler Murray has Cardinals off to hot start
In Week 2, Murray racked up 400 passing yards against the Vikings, a total that ranks second-most in his young career. It was another solid game to open the season for Murray, who has thrust himself into the conversation of dark-horse candidates for the NFL MVP award.
In putting up passing yards and touchdowns that rank second in the league, Murray enters the third week of the season with odds to garner MVP honors.
Led by the electric QB, Cardinals betting odds have quickly improved their futures odds. Sportsbooks in Arizona list the team’s chances at winning its first Super Bowl at after sitting at +4800 in the preseason.
Similarly, after opening at +2500 and +650, the Cards’ odds to win the NFC and NFC West titles have shortened to and , respectively.