Week 9 NFL Picks: San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
Finally, a 2-0 Thursday for our NFL picks! Last week, we recommended the Washington Redskins getting 16.5 points at the Minnesota Vikings and "under" the total of 42, projecting a 14-point Washington loss. Wasn't quite right there, but the Skins did cover in a 19-9 snoozer.
I'm expecting another lower-scoring game this Thursday as the San Francisco 49ers visit the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West matchup. If you haven't been able to see Kyler Murray as a professional yet this year, here's your chance as Arizona isn't scheduled for a national TV telecast the rest of the season.
Could be that both Rookies of the Year will be in this one. Murray, the No. 1 overall pick, is the Offensive Rookie of the Year betting favorite, albeit not by much over Oakland running back Josh Jacobs. Jacksonville's Gardner Minshew could still factor in that too. San Francisco defensive end Nick Bosa is the favorite for Defensive Rookie of the Year but has some competition in Pittsburgh's Devin Bush, Carolina's Brian Burns, Jacksonville's Josh Allen and maybe Green Bay's Darnell Savage Jr.
49ers at Cardinals Betting Story Lines
I'm still not buying the Niners as legitimate threats to reach the Super Bowl because I don't think that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is good enough. In Sunday's 51-13 rout of a good Carolina team, Jimmy G threw for just 175 yards with two scores and a pick. That was his fourth game this season with less than 200 yards passing, and he has been picked off in every game but one. San Francisco didn't need him to do much against the Panthers because the Niners gashed the Cats for 232 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Tevin Coleman rushed 11 times for 105 yards and three scores and also caught a TD pass. Receiver Deebo Samuel also had a rushing TD. Trade acquisition Emmanuel Sanders made his Niners debut and had a TD catch.
Led by Bosa, San Francisco's defense is definitely Super Bowl worthy and ranks No. 2 in points allowed (11.0 pe game). He was spectacular Sunday with three sacks and an interception. Bosa was only the third rookie since 1982 - when the individual sack became an official statistic - with at least three sacks and a pick in the same game. Bosa was the second-youngest player in that span with three sacks in a game and now has seven overall, tied for second most by any player in his first seven career games. Sunday was quite a day for the Bosa family as brother Joey, a former NFL DROY himself, had two in the Chargers' upset win in Chicago. It was the second time ever that a pair of brothers each had two sacks in the same week, joining Jimmy and Toby Williams in Week 2 of the 1985 campaign.
Arizona had a three-game winning streak snapped - it won just three games all of last season - in a 31-9 rout at New Orleans. Murray was pretty quiet against an excellent defense but at least didn't turn the ball over. Without an injured David Johnson and then with backup Chase Edmonds getting hurt, the Cards couldn't run the ball.
With both those guys in doubt for Thursday, Arizona swung a deal on Monday in trading for ex-Dolphins starting tailback Kenyan Drake. All it cost to give the tanking Dolphins was a 2020 conditional sixth-round pick. Miami wasn't planning to re-sign the pending free agent, so at least got something for him. Drake averaged just 3.7 yards on his 47 carries this year and had been passed as the Dolphins' featured back by Mark Walton.
49ers at Cardinals Betting Odds and Trends
At 5Dimes, San Francisco is a 10.5-point favorite (+115) with a total of 44. On the moneyline, the 49ers are -420 and Cardinals +335. On some alternate lines, the Niners are -11 (+123), -10 (+103), -9.5 (-110), -7 (-150) and -6.5 (-170). San Francisco is 3-1 against the spread on the road and 1-3 "over/under." Arizona is 2-2 ATS at home and 3-1 O/U.
The 49ers are 3-15 ATS in their past 18 as favorites. They are 2-5 ATS in their previous seven against the NFC West. The Cardinals are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 after allowing more than 30 points in the previous game. They are 4-1 ATS in their past five in October. The under is 9-3 in the Niners' past 12 on Thursday. It's 5-4 in the Cards' previous seven vs. the NFC West. The underdog is 4-1 in the past five meetings and the under is 4-1 in those.
49ers at Cardinals Betting Prediction
Arizona has somehow won eight straight in this series, with both last season rather hard to watch from an offensive perspective. Then again, the starting QBs in those were Josh Rosen and CJ Beathard. Of course, Rosen is long gone from Arizona and Beathard is a scrub.
I think the Cards can hang within 10, so we will take the 10.5 points and go under. Something like 23-13.
Get all of this Weeks NFL picks
Get all of this Weeks Guaranteed Expert NFL Picks