Unbeaten Cardinals Roll Into NFC West Battle With 49ers As Home Favorites

Written By C.J. Pierre on October 8, 2021
Cardinals Week 5 Betting Preview

It is only four weeks into the 2021 NFL season, and fans of the Arizona Cardinals have a lot to cheer about.

The team is 4-0, the last remaining undefeated team. Before the season started, sportsbook put the odds around 40-1 for the team to accomplish that feat. The Cards have also notched upset wins over two playoff hopefuls, including their NFC West rival, the then-unbeaten Los Angeles Rams.

Now Arizona gets set to return to State Farm Stadium for another division matchup with the San Franciso 49ers. The 49ers are coming off of two straight losses and dealing with a load of injuries.

Heading into a game that could become pivotal to the Cardinals playoff odds, you can expect a rowdy Red Sea crowd on Sunday.

Cardinals return home as AZ sports betting favorites

After doubting Arizona before the season started, betting apps in Arizona appear to be hopping on the Cards bandwagon. They are favored to win Sunday’s matchup with the 49ers by more than a field goal. The line on the game has shifted from early in the week, now sitting at a 4.5-point spread for Arizona. We’ll touch on why that is later.

According to FanDuel Sportsbook AZ, the Cardinals hold a point spread line of  with the over/under set at  points. Arizona has scored over 30 points in all four of its games this season. However, it is the defense that might stop bettors from hitting the over. The Cards’ D has only allowed over 30 points once this season and has forced multiple turnovers in two straight games.

For perspective, WynnBet Arizona has set the over/under for 49ers total points at 21.5.

San Franciso 49ers (2-2) at Arizona Cardinals (4-0)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 10
Time: 1:25 PM MST
LocationState Farm Stadium– Glendale, Arizona
TV Coverage: FOX

MVP candidate Kyler Murray looks to continue great play

This upcoming game between the Cardinals and the 49ers is all about the quarterbacks. But for completely different reasons.

Let’s start with the NFL MVP frontrunner: Cards quarterback Kyler Murray.

The signal-caller known as K-1 has been playing lights out so far this season. He has thrown for 1,273 yards while connecting on 76.1% of his passes (102-for-134), with nine touchdowns against four interceptions (318.3 yards per game). He’s also run the ball 23 times for 109 yards and three TDs.

Oddsmakers are expecting another monster game from Murray on Sunday. For example, DraftKings AZ lists his QB over/under props at 2.5 passing touchdowns (+155) and 320.5 total yards passing and rushing (-115).

Cardinals defense preparing to face 49ers rookie QB

Meanwhile, the 49ers are dealing with a ton of question marks on offense — starting at quarterback.

Starter Jimmy Garoppolo left this past Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks with a calf injury. Rookie Trey Lance came off the bench but could not rally the team to a win.

As of Thursday, Jimmy G has not practiced, and it is looking like Lance will make his first career NFL start against Arizona. Early in the week, it was clear that the betting market thinks Garoppolo gives San Francisco a better shot at winning than his rookie backup.

The market opened with the 49ers as a 3.5-point road underdog against the undefeated Cardinals. However, the line has shifted as it’s become more and more likely that Lance will start the game due to Garoppolo’s injury. Right now, the Cardinals are favored by a spread of .

However, sportsbooks have not released any prop bets for Lance. So expect a lot of changes once Garoppolo’s game status is made official.

Arizona off to historically hot start

In sports terminology, you could say Arizona is clicking on all cylinders. The offense is putting up points and the defense is playing well. The Cardinals’ formula of combining explosive young players with veteran leadership has led to opening the season with four wins — the team’s best start to a season since 2012.

Unfortunately, those Arizona Cardinals finished with a record of 5-11. No one is expecting a collapse like that this season. But to be fair, no one expected the Cardinals to come out of the gates like this either.

At the start of the season, Arizona was +5000 to be the last remaining unbeaten team according to Caesars Sportsbook AZ. On all the sports betting apps in the state, Arizona had the worst odds to win the NFC West. Furthermore, bettors could have easily doubled their money betting on the Cards to make the playoffs.

Remember, it is only four games in. But Arizona has already exceeded expectations and has transformed from mere playoff hopefuls to Super Bowl contenders.

Photo by AP / Ashley Landis
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C.J. Pierre

CJ Pierre is a multimedia journalist currently residing in the Phoenix-Metro Area in Arizona. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis and an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. CJ has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career. Most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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