Another Week, another nonattractive Thursday night football game on Amazon Prime. After a couple of interesting matchups to start the NFL season, NFL TNF has been a real snoozer recently. It doesn’t look much better for Week 7 as the New Orleans Saints head out to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals in a matchup between two struggling, injury-plagued squads.
New Orleans (2-4) fell to Cincinnati 30-26 on Sunday, marking their fourth loss in the last five contests, as the Bengals scored the final nine points of the game. The big difference in the game was that the Bengals converted all three of their trips in the red zone into touchdowns, while the Saints only recorded one touchdown in five trips.
Meanwhile, Arizona (2-4) suffered its second straight NFL setback after failing to score an offensive touchdown in its 19-9 loss to Seattle. The Cardinals outgained the Seahawks 315-296, but they turned the ball over twice and reached the red zone twice, coming away with just a field goal.
Arizona is favored by 1.5 points, with the over/under set at 45 points. The money line has the Cardinals listed at -120 and the Saints at +100.
Cardinals Moneyline (-120)
Injuries have really taken a toll on both teams, particularly on the offensive side. Eight Cardinals did not practice on Monday, four others were listed as limited participants, while a total of 14 Saints were absent or limited.
Arizona lost leading receiver Marquise Brown for several weeks after he suffered a foot injury last week, and running back James Connor, who has already missed a NFL game, has sat out the first two practice days this week with a rib injury. Receivers Rondale Moore and A.J. Green have also missed time this season, though they are now healthy, and DeAndre Hopkins is expected to make his season debut against the Saints.
The injury bug has also bitten New Orleans as Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston deal with lingering injuries. However, Dalton is expected to be a little more healthy and make a fourth consecutive start.
Alvin Kamara, Tayson Hill, Tre’quan Smith, and Chris Olave also have all missed time this season. Moreover, WRs Michael Thomas (ankle), Jarvis Landry, and TE Adam Trautman (ankle) may not play on Thursday.
Bottom line, I believe that the Cardinals will have more weapons available, and Hopkins is a game-changer which is why I like the Cardinals to pick up the win. Plus, the Saints have struggled with turnovers, and Dalton has not been good in his starts. Furthermore, Arizona’s defense is a touch better than New Orleans.
Kyler Murray Over 245.5 Passing Yards
I like this prop, especially if Hopkins can play. Murray has been inconsistent this year but has surpassed the prop total in each of his last two home games this season. Moreover, the 25-year-old averages 276 passing yards at home for his career.
New Orleans’ defense ranks 16th against the pass, as opponents complete over 62% of their throws. Kirk Cousins, Geno Smith, and Andy Dalton have each thrown for over 250 yards against New Orleans over the last three weeks.
Alvin Kamara Over 63.5 Rushing Yards
Kamara is one of the few NFL-healthy weapons for the Saints, so I expect him to get a lot of touches on Thursday. He has also been running well this season, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 75 yards per game. Kamara has registered at least 15 carries in his last three appearances.
Arizona ranks seventh against the NFL run though they allow 4.3 yards per carry, putting the Cards at the NFL league average. Seattle’s Kenneth Walker totaled 97 yards on 21 carries against zona on Sunday.