- NFL Week 7 kicks off with Saints vs Cardinals on TNF
- Arizona are home favorites in the Saints vs Cardinals odds
- Read below for our NFL betting pick for this primetime NFC matchup
Primetime football has been nothing but underwhelming this season, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to watch college football and Virginia vs Georgia Tech on Thursday night. The Saints vs Cardinals odds present us with a competitive matchup, but as two 2-4 teams this may struggle to draw national attention. But regardless, we can find some value on the betting board and have some fun.
I’d like to think a fourth straight home loss for the Cardinals would be the nail in the coffin for Kliff Kingsbury’s time in Arizona. They’ve been horrible out the gate in every game they’ve played this season, as an offensive head coach this is inexcusable.
Meanwhile, the Saints head on the road after a three game homestand. New Orleans continues to deal with injuries, so it’ll be something to monitor heading into Thursday night.
Saints vs Cardinals Odds
|New Orleans Saints||+110||+2.0 (-110)||O 44.5 (-110)|
|Arizona Cardinals||-130||-2.0 (-110)||U 44.5 (-110)|
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook!
Louisiana sports betting markets list the Saints as short underdogs on the road. The Saints haven’t covered the spread on the road this season, falling to the Panthers 22-14 and narrowly beating the Falcons 27-26. This is the first time New Orleans has been a road underdog this season, in 2021 they were 3-1 ATS as road underdogs.
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Saints Injury Report is Lengthy
Before we get to any further analysis we need to address the Saints injury front. All of Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Andrus Peat, and Marshon Lattimore have ruled out for Thursday. While both Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton have been limited in practice. Dalton was working with the ones in practice so it seems as if he’ll be the guy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 19, 2022
Moving the ball on offense is going to be tough with so many absences at wide receiver, and even more so with Peat, Ryan Ramczyk and Calvin Throckmorton banged up. Expect Alvin Kamara to play a major role, in the two games he and Dalton have played together this season he’s posted 25% and 32% target share and above 35% in target per route run.
The Saints have been known for their shut down defense for years, but the salary cap has done a number on them. The pass rush is bottom tier in the league, ranking dead last in pressure rate. As a result, they’re 23rd in yards per coverage snap at 6.6 yards. They’ve allowed at least 28 points in four straight games now, missing Lattimore for a consecutive week won’t help matters with DeAndre Hopkins back.
Cardinals Betting Favorite Despite Winless Streak at Home
It’s not just the Cardinals that are dealing with injury issues, the Cardinals offense has similar issues. Marquise Brown is out for an extended period, James Conner has started the week with two DNP’s, along with offensive linemen Rodney Hudson and Justin Pugh. It seems as though both of these defenses are at an advantage.
The Cardinals have seen Rondale Moore step up in the slot role since returning and DeAndre Hopkins return should eliminate the step back that would have come with Hollywood’s injury. Arizona’s offense should be fine if they’re missing some pieces on the offensive line, the Saints are struggling to generate pressure and Kyler Murray is an excellent off-script quarterback.
The defense has been a major problem in 2022, the combo of a bad first half offense and a poor defense has of course been a disaster. It’s the pass defense that’s struggled, they rank 24th in DVOA and have the worst coverage grade in the NFL.
Saints vs Cardinals Pick
I think taking a side in this game is quite difficult to call with the injuries both teams are dealing with. Instead we’ll look at Saints vs Cardinals props. We can find some value on the betting board with these offensive absences.
I’m looking at Juwan Johnson, who is set to have a significant role with fellow tight end Adam Trautman out along with the plethora of wide receivers. He’s an extremely athletic tight end that is on the field to run routes, not pass block. He’s actually tied for first on the team in routes run. He’ll see plenty of routes out of both the slot and inline.
This is a great matchup for him against a Cardinals team that loves to blitz and tends to play with 4 linebackers on the field. Isaiah Simmons should draw a fair bit of coverage duties against him, he’s allowing a 138 yards with 76 of those being after the catch this season. With Dalton banged up and the Cardinals attacking defensive mindset we should see Johnson be a reliable crutch in short yardage areas of the field.
Pick: Juwan Johnson O25.5 rec YDs (-115) at BetMGM