Arizona Cardinals vs Atlanta Falcons (1/1/23): Betting Odds, Prediction, Depth Chart

Welcome to a battle between teams looking to win in the offseason more than they are this Sunday. It’s at least a pretty evenly matched game with the 4-11 Cardinals heading to the 5-10 Falcons and both teams on their backup quarterbacks. Let’s take a look at the rest of the depth charts and the matchups to see who has the edge.

Arizona Cardinals Vs. Atlanta Falcons Betting Odds

The Falcons are favored by -3.5 over the Cardinals with the over/under set at 40.5. The under feels tempting to pick in this contest after both teams primarily relied on field goals for scoring last week. The last four Falcons games have all hit the under, which also supports this prediction.

Arizona Cardinals Vs. Atlanta Falcons Prediction

The Cardinals almost pulled off a Christmas miracle when they barely fell to the Bucs 19-16 in overtime. The team was the latest victim of a Tom Brady 4th quarter/OT comeback which gave them their fifth straight loss and 11th total loss on the season. With QB Kyler Murray injured, the Cardinals have lost much of their explosive capabilities on offense. The Cardinals are hoping for the return of backup quarterback Colt McCoy for this game. If McCoy returns, look for him to target WR Greg Dortch who had a shining performance with the Bucs. Dortch accumulated 123 total yards including 98 receiving yards, his 2nd highest total of the season which featured this impressive toe drag catch below.

On defense, CB Marco Wilson stole the show in the loss. Wilson intercepted Tom Brady twice during the game and will look to ruin Ridder’s day this Sunday.

Desmond Ridder’s debut at QB has been one of the least discussed rookie quarterback entrances I can remember. Then again, it’s hard to get a complete examination of Ridder’s potential when he’s starting on a losing team without much to play for. After a rough first start versus the Saints, Ridder showed increasing potential versus the Ravens last week. He increased his completion percentage from 50% to 66.6% and his passing yardage total from 97 yards to 218 yards. He is also building a good rapport with fellow rookie Drake London. With Ridder at quarterback, London has his best game of the season in terms of yardage, going for 96 yards versus the Ravens.

This game may very well come down to which team scores touchdowns over field goals. I’m taking the Cardinals to win this one, especially if Colt McCoy returns.

Prediction: Cardinals 20-13, Under hits

Betting Trends

Cardinals are 5-2 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
Falcons are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. NFC.

Key Injuries

Arizona Cardinals Injuries: Trysten Hill (Q), Marco Wilson (Q), Zach Allen (Q), Budda Baker (O), Aaron Brewer (Q), Colt McCoy (Q), Darrel Williams (Q), Rodney Hudson (Q), Nick Vigil (Q)

Atlanta Falcons Injuries: Chuma Edoga (Q), Feleipe Franks (Q), Casey Hayward (Q)

Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Cardinals vs Falcons below.

Falcons Run Game vs Cardinals Defensive Front

Like with most games this season, the Falcons primary offensive advantage lies in their run game, which ranks 3rd in the NFL this season. RB Tyler ALlegeier has truly emerged this season to form a strong 1-2 punch with Cordarelle Patterson in the Falcons backfield and is averaging a solid 4.9 yards per carry.

Even with the Falcons running prowess, they must beware J.J. Watt and the Cardinals run defense. While the Cardinals do not have a top 5 run defense, they do rank in the upper half of the league. Additionally, 3x Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt announced his retirement at the end of this season before this game. The Cardinals and Watt will want to put on a strong performance in his last two games so watch out for run stops like these.

James Conner vs Falcons Run Defense

With the QB status uncertain, the Cardinals should utilize RB James Conner to keep the offense balanced. Against the Bucs last Sunday, Conner averaged 5.3 yards per carry and also had an impressive 22 yard touchdown run, the Cardinals their lone touchdown of the day. The Falcons run defense is also nothing to write home about. They give up about 133 yards per game on the ground and just gave up 184 yards to the Ravens even though the Ravens having a limited passing attack with Lamar Jackson injured. Conner clearly has the advantage in this matchup, so HC Kliff Kingsbury should be smart and rely on him more than usual.

Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart

QB: Colt McCoy
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Keaontay Ingram
LWR: Marquise Brown
RWR: AJ Green
SWR: Andre Baccellia
TE1: Trey McBride

Atlanta Falcons Depth Chart

QB: Desmond Ridder
RB1: Cordarrelle Patterson
RB2: Tyler Allgeier
LWR: Bryan Edwards
RWR: Drake London
SWR: Olamide Zaccheaus
TE1: Kyle Pitts

A UCLA graduate, Eva is an experienced football writer who specializes in NFL game analysis and weekly storylines. In her free time you can usually find her cheering on the 49ers or watching the latest Josh Allen highlight clip.

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