Arizona Cardinals vs. New Orleans Saints Pick 10/27/19
Arizona Cardinals (3-3-1 SU, 5-2 ATS) vs. New Orleans Saints (6-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
NFL Week 8
Date/Time: Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 1PM EST
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Point Spread: ARI +9/NO -9 (Bookmaker)
Over/Under Total: 48
The Arizona Cardinals come to the Superdome on Sunday for a NFC battle with the New Orleans Saints. Things are looking up for both teams, though the context is different for each. The Saints continue another title run this season, managing to thrive despite losing Drew Brees for a number of weeks. On Sunday, they beat the Bears at Soldier Field, 36-25, to go to 6-1. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are a team looking to rise off the deck after falling hard in recent times. And in winning their third game in a row on Sunday with a 27-21 road-win over the New York Giants, they have shown they are a rising commodity. Winning this would really give them the seal of an up-and-comer.
Nice, But Not So Fast
Congrats to the Cardinals for rapidly going from down-and-outer to up-and-comer. The Kliff Kingsbury recipe for success has come off better than some expected. They are managing to somewhat camouflage their limitations, namely along both lines of scrimmage, the secondary, and a cast of playmakers that doesn’t always deliver a lot of overall firepower. Kyler Murray looks to be the answer at QB they were looking for and has been putting forth some nice winning performances. We see different guys stepping up and on Sunday, budding back Chase Edmonds ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cardinals still have some major drawbacks. Murray is abundantly talented, but the mistakes he has been making would more likely cost him in this setting—in a tough place to play against a really good team. If Brees makes his return, that just ratchets up the environment that much more And while it seems nit-picky to call out a team that could barely buy a win last season for winning, their three wins in this latest streak came against the Bengals, Falcons, and Giants, a trio of wayward teams that bear little resemblance to the team they face this week.
More Picks: Loot’s Bengals vs. Rams Prediction ATS
The Brees Return and What it Means
Word is Brees is starting to practice this week with his eye on making a possible return. Teddy Bridgewater has been great, but Brees will give the team a boost. It’s not clear as of press time if he will be in there for certain, nor is it clear if he will be at full-power if he does, though you would assume he is. And it’s just not Brees’ status that bears watching. Alvin Kamara was out on Sunday and having him is critical. Two corners in Patrick Robinson and Eli Apple were hurt last week, as was TE Jared Cook. And it didn’t seem to matter. As underdogs, Bridgewater again performed well, with Michael Thomas, Latavius Murray, Ted Ginn, and others shining. They’re deep and the “next man up” philosophy really holds water. But are one of the powers of the conference compromised just enough to allow to newcomer to come in and spring the surprise? Or at least make a run at the cover?
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Harsh Realities Arizona Needs to Overcome
The Saints’ defense is by no means invulnerable, but they’ve been holding their own lately, limiting the Cowboys to ten points a few weeks back and generally being pretty respectable. Their secondary may be a bit compromised, just by not being very good and now dealing with injuries. But the Arizona aerial attack is a pretty hit-and-miss unit. They can piece it together well with old Larry Fitzgerald, but the other pieces don’t always deliver and getting Christian Kirk back as at least a viable second-option would be good. They get some aerial production still with David Johnson and Edmonds catches balls, as well. But some big plays would go a long way toward making this competitive and in that regard, Murray and Kingsbury are a bit handcuffed. The emergence of Edmonds, however, could go a long way toward changing that.
There are some things that the Arizona defense does well. They can get after the opposing quarterback and on Sunday, they had eight sacks as a team. Chandler Jones led the way with four of them with still-feared Terrell Suggs chipping in, as well. Getting Patrick Peterson helped, as he had a good game to boost a beleaguered secondary. But in the Superdome against this offense, their overall leakiness in all areas figures to cost them where maybe it didn’t so much against the Bengals, Falcons, and Giants.
The Power of Belief and Momentum
Quality of opponents aside, winning three games in a row is good for a young Arizona team. The Cardinals come into this game with a certain looseness, being that they’re really not expected to win. They can swing it from the hip a little, fill in the gaps left by some New Orleans personnel issues, and hang in there a bit. Maybe the pass-rush menaces a slightly-rusty Brees or Bridgewater—whoever it may be. This could be a spot where a Cardinals’ team plays over its head a little bit.
Take the Road Underdog and the Points
I don’t question the firepower or simple ability to win on the Saints’ side. And if Brees does step back out there, it could provide enough of an emotional boost to get the Saints over the hump. But after that wears off, I see Arizona doing some good things in this game—running the ball, rushing the passer, and just generally being enough of a thorn in the Saints’ side to prevent a total free-for-all. The Saints have really done a terrific job overcoming injuries and even if that picture is unclear as of press time, maybe that manifests just enough this week. Would it register a ripple on the overall surprise-meter if the Saints just went ahead and flattened the Cardinals this week? Not really. But I see some elements adding up to give the Cardinals a tiny ATS edge this week and I’m taking Arizona.
Loot’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I’m betting on the Arizona Cardinals plus 9 points.