New Orleans Saints (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. Arizona Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
NFL Week 1
Date/Time: Sunday, September 13, 4:05pm
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium – Glendale, Arizona
by Bob, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: NOR +3/ARZ -3
Over/Under Total: 46.5
One of the most intriguing NFC games of week one in my opinion is this showdown between the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. Both teams have high hopes for the upcoming season and what better way to kick things off than to get a win over another conference contender. The Saints had a rough 2014 campaign going just 7-9, but still finishing second in the NFC South behind the Carolina Panthers. The Cardinals on the other hand came out in 2014 on fire. They started the season 9-1 but an injury to starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, sent things tailing out of control. Arizona lost four of their final six regular season games and then lost to the Carolina Panthers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs ending what started out as a promising year. Well, Palmer is back, and that Cardinals defense is still going to be a force. The Saints are looking to make in what my opinion will be one final good run. Drew Brees isnt getting any younger, they are having to release key players due to salary issues, and Jimmy Graham is already gone to Seattle. The Saints window to win another Lombardy is cloingfast.
Just like any other close NFL game, the home team Cardinals are favored by three points. The over under is set at 46.5. I can see this game being in question late in the fourth quarter, but lets take a closer look at who will more than likely cover this one.
The Arizona Cardinals are one of my teams that could potentially knock the Seahawks off the NFC pedestal and I say that mainly because of just how good well balanced they are on both sides of the ball. As long as Carson Palmer remains healthy, their offense can produce enough points to take pressure off their already stellar defense. Ten times last season, the Cardinals held their opponent under 20 points. Led by Patrick Peterson, Calais Campbell, and with the addition of Sean Weatherspoon from the Falcons, I see this defense being nasty yet again. The key to this game for Arizona is to just keep Drew Brees contained. He is going to get his 250 and one touchdown minimum, but if the defense can lock in and keep the Saints under 23 points, I think they are in good shape.
As I mentioned earlier, the Saints window to win another title is closing and could very well already be closed actually. Losing Jimmy Graham will make the offenses job a little tougher, and lets also not forget that Drew Brees isnt as young as he once was. On the defensive side of the ball, the Saints will need some guys to step up and make some plays. The defense has a few decent players, but their depthwellthere is none. This could be an issue late in games and down the stretch in the season as players get banged up. What is the key for the Saints to be able to win this one? Score, score, score. The Arizona defense is not easy to score on, but I have faith that Drew Brees, if given proper protection, and make plays and get the Saints in the endzone. Not only that, but the defense will also need to force some turnovers. The Saints will need some short field and try to steal a few points here and there.
So here we go, the Arizona Cardinals are favored by three points over the New Orleans Saints. In my opinion, special teams and defense gives the Cardinals the advantage while on offense, I may give New Orleans a slight advantage, but not by much. I like a back and forth game, but I think the Arizona defense forces a late turnover and seals the win. I like it to be a nail biter, but in the end Arizona will make the necessary plays to not only win the game, but cover the spread.
Bobs Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the Arizona Cardinals to beat the New Orleans Saints 24-20 and cover the spread!