Confidence was not high in Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals heading into the 2021 NFL season. The odds favored them missing the playoffs (-200). Oddsmakers picked them to finish last (+600) in their division (NFC West), and they were not in the conversation to win the NFC (+1600).
If a team is not in their conference conversation, it is hard to justify putting in the Super Bowl conversation (+3500).
Fast Forward to Week Seven, and the Cardinals are the only undefeated team in the NFL (6-0). Arizona is favored to win the division at many sportsbooks (but not all). While they are not the favorite to win the NFC or Super Bowl, they are certainly in the conversation.
People that bet on them during the preseason are certainly glad they did. They look like a lock to win the NFC West. It would not be shocking to see them in the NFC title game and winning it. As for the Super Bowl—why not? With how their offense and defense are playing, they look like they can beat anyone.
So— should you bet on them? To win this week (against the Texans)– of course. Next week against the Packers? Probably. They will probably take down the 49ers, Panthers, and Seahawks, too. Whether you should bet on them is not the right question to ask anymore.
Should you go all-in? Take them to win their division, the NFC, and the Super Bowl?
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How Good Are The Arizona Cardinals?
To decide whether you should go all-in on the Cardinals, you need to figure out just how good Arizona is and who can beat them.
The offense is averaging 403.0 yards a game through Week Six (No. 7 in the league). They are a top-ten passing (No. 9) and rushing (No. 6) team that is putting up 32.3 points/game (No. 4). On the defensive side of the ball, they are holding teams to 342.8 yards a game (No. 10), 214.8 through the air (No. 6), and 128.0 on the ground (No. 24). As for points, they are giving up 18.2 a game (T-No. 2).
So, in a nutshell, the Cardinals are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. But are they that good, or do they just look the part because they have yet to play anyone?
Well, they are the only team to hold Derrick Henry under 100 yards (58.0 on 17 carries). Henry’s per-carry average of 3.4 is his lowest of the season. While it helped that Nick Chubb did not play and Kareem Hunt got hurt, the Arizona D held the No. 1 rushing attack in the league to just 73 yards.
If there is a downside to rolling with the Cardinals, they have yet to face too many formidable defenses. The Rams, 49ers, and Vikings have decent defenses, but not exceptional ones. Tennessee and Jacksonville are struggling to slow teams down. Cleveland is stingy when it comes to yards (No. 2; 307.7 yards/game) but not points (25.7 points/game; No. 22).
Maybe the Cardinals have looked strong on offense because they have yet to face too many good defenses. But they have played three top-ten scoring offenses (Rams, Titans, and Browns). So, maybe their defense is as solid as it appears on paper, and the offense is just waiting for a challenge.
Sports Betting Recommendation
So, the question here is not whether you should bet on the Cardinals to win the NFC West, NFC, or the Super Bowl, but whether you should go ‘all in’ and bet on them to win all three. But to answer that, we must analyze their chances of winning each.
As for their division, they are an excellent bet to win the NFC West. The 49ers are not as good as they were projected to be. Without Russell Wilson, the Seahawks do not stand much of a chance. Some books still have the Rams favored to win it, with the Cardinals not too far behind. But the Cardinals appear to be a more complete team than the Rams.
The competition for the NFC is a lot tougher, though. If the playoffs were to start in Week Seven, the Cardinals would probably face either the Cowboys or Rams in the divisional round and then the Buccaneers in the NFC title game.
We already know the Cardinals can beat the Rams. The Dallas defense will not be able to slow Kyler Murray down, but the Cardinals D probably could slow the Cowboys offensive machine down, enough for Arizona to win. If they face the Buccaneers in the title game, it will be tough to slow Tom Brady down. But the Buccaneers defense does not look strong enough to stop Murray.
It will be a good game, one they could lose. But they could just as easily win it.
That leaves the best team the AFC can send to the Super Bowl. Right now, it looks like that will be the Buffalo Bills, but it would not be shocking to see the Ravens or Chiefs representing the AFC in Super Bowl LVI. The Cardinals would have the easiest time against the Chiefs. But the Bills and Ravens would be tough to beat.
Can they beat them? Sure– but will they? That’s a more complicated question to answer. The Bills are like the Cardinals; they are playing well on both sides of the ball this season. With how Lamar Jackson is playing, the Ravens certainly cannot be counted out.
Should You Go All-In?
They will probably win the division, they could win the conference, and they have a good shot at winning the Super Bowl. There are varying degrees of risk with the three wagers, but it is not hard to imagine a scenario where they win all three.
If you are going to bet on the Cardinals, now is the time to do it. Put your money down before their odds get shorter and your payout smaller. You will win the division bet at least and probably one if not both of the others.
To answer the main question—yes, it is time to go all-in on the Arizona Cardinals.