Denver Broncos vs. Arizona Cardinals Pick
When: October 18, 2018, 8:20 PM EST
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
BY: Rick Wise
Point Spread: DEN -2.5/ARI +2.5
Takeaways From Week 6
The Broncos dropped their fourth game in a row Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams but it wasn’t all gloom and doom. Outside of a miserable loss to the Jets last week, Denver has actually gone toe to toe with some of the NFL’s best, losing by 4 points to Kansas City and just three to the Rams. So, there’s certainly reason to believe that this is a better team than 2-4 might indicate.
Rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb had a breakout game Sunday. Chubb, who was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2018 Draft, recorded just 1.5 sacks through the first five games. But he was a massive disruption for Jared Goff, putting him on the ground three different times and terrorizing the Rams backfield all day.
There was, however, plenty of blame to go around, beginning with Emmanuel Sanders and his ill-conceived display of emotion. Late in the first quarter, Case Keenum hit Sanders for an apparent 44-yard touchdown pitch and catch. After the play, Sanders taunted Rams cornerback Troy Hill with a little finger pointing gesture that immediately drew a flag. The touchdown was overturned after a video review and ruled down at the one, and the 15-yard taunting penalty took the ball all the way back to the 16-yard line. Long story, short Denver ended up settling for a field goal and a strong argument could be made that Sanders’ jawing cost the Broncos four points and ultimately the game.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals lost their fifth game in six tries in a 27-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, capping off a turbulent stretch for one of the league’s cellar dwellers. It was par for the course against the Vikings as Arizona has now failed to reach 300 yards of total offense in every game this season. They managed just 269 against the Vikes.
We did learn, though, that the Cards are getting to the quarterback. Kirk Cousins was sacked four times, with Corey Peters doing the honors twice, Chandler Jones getting him 1.5 and Markus Golden getting credit for half a sack.
Josh Rosen put up his best numbers of the season, finishing 21-of-31 for 240 yards but he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, was intercepted once, sacked four times and put the ball in the end zone just once after reaching the red zone three times.
There’s not much history to speak of between these two teams. They’ve faced off just 10 times dating back to 1973 when the Cardinals called St. Louis home. And Denver has dominated the series, leading it 8-1-1 and taking 8 of the last 9 meetings going all the way back to 1977.
For the Broncos, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game are T Jared Veldheer (knee) and CB Adam Jones (thigh). DE Derek Wolfe (hamstring) has been upgraded to probable for Sunday.
For Arizona, listed as questionable for Sunday are G Mike Lupati (head), CB Jamar Taylor (back), G Justin Pugh (hand), S Tre Boston (shoulder).
When the Broncos Have the Ball
There’s a good reason Denver is limping along at 2-4 and it’s subpar offense. They’re middle of the road in terms of passing offense, ranking 16th in the NFL at 263.5 yards per outing which isn’t so bad until you throw in their 26th-ranked scoring offense that’s averaging just 20 points a game. But that shouldn’t matter much against an Arizona side that ranks 24th in total defense and 31st against the run. They should be able to generate plenty of offense.
When the Cardinals Have the Ball
Josh Rosen is definitely progressing. It may be at a snail’s pace but he had his best game of the season against Denver Sunday and although he’s getting absolutely zero help from the ground game (the Cards rank dead last in the NFL in rushing yards per game) this would certainly be where David Johnson could get back to his old ways, as the Broncos are allowing a league-worst 161.3 rushing yards per outing.
- Denver is 1-6-1 ATS in its last 8 games
- Denver is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 5 games
- Denver is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
- Denver is 1-11 SU in its last 12 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Denver’s last 6 games on the road
- Denver is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Arizona
- Denver is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Arizona
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Denver’s last 5 games when playing Arizona
- Arizona is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Arizona’s last 10 games
- Arizona is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
- Arizona is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Arizona’s last 5 games at home
- Arizona is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Denver
- Arizona is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing Denver
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arizona’s last 5 games when playing Denver
Temperatures are expected to hit 71 degrees on Sunday under clear skies with 47 percent humidity ad 6 mph winds.
Rick Wise’s NFL Pick
The Broncos are on a four-game skid but sportsbooks still have them favored by 2.5 on the road in this one, which seems a little suspect. We are talking about two of the most anemic offenses in the league, though, and with Josh Rosen still going through some growing pains Denver should have the edge in quarterback play and that’s what it’ll come down to. Denver covers with a point total definitely going under 41.5.