Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos Odds, Picks, and Predictions (12/18/22)

This weekend features a western matchup of AFC and NFC teams as the Arizona Cardinals head a little northeast to take on the Denver Broncos.  Both of these teams are suffering from underperforming years in which both teams had high playoff aspirations.  The Broncos made big moves over the offseason by signing former Pro Bowler Russell Wilson to one of the highest contracts in NFL history.  Unfortunately for Denver, it has not panned out as expected thus far and Denver currently sits with a 3-10 record and has been officially eliminated from playoff contention.  First year head coach Nathaniel Hackett also has gotten plenty of criticism this season and it is uncertain if he will be the long term answer in Denver.  To add on that, Russell Wilson went down last Sunday with a potential concussion and it’ll remain to be seen if he returns by this Sunday.  This team would be in a good place for a high draft pick but their trade for Russell lost them their draft pick so they have no reason to tank out the rest of the season.

Arizona is suffering from their own problems as well.  After making it to the NFL playoffs last season and signing QB Kyler Murray to a big time contract extension.  This team is currently sitting at 4-9.  The spark they had last year has seemed to go out a little and now Kyler Murray just suffered a season-ending injury last week which will throw Colt McCoy into the starter role.  This might be Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury’s last year with the team as well.  Both these teams have very uncertain futures and looming injuries with their QBs so this game should be exciting to watch at least.  Let’s get into this game’s picks and predictions.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos Betting Odds

The Broncos enter this game as slight favorites at -2.5 points and moneyline odds of -142.  This game has a lot of uncertainty, especially with the quarterback situation so it makes sense the line is close as anything could happen in this one.  Both teams have similar sub .500 records.  Denver being at home, will certainly be a factor in Denver being favored.  Also, even if Russell Wilson is hurt, it hasn’t exactly been the most ideal marriage so a backup couldn’t totally affect the outcome in this game.

The over/under total is 36.5 which seems low but with backup QBs playing this game may be reliant on defense.  Arizona currently averages 21.3 PPG while Denver averages 14.9 PPG so they already don’t average high scoring.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Denver Broncos Picks & Predictions

My Pick: Denver Broncos -2.5 (-110)

I think Denver finds a way to pick up their fourth win in this matchup with Kyler sitting out.  The Cardinals lost 27-13 against the Patriots on Monday night when he left so he definitely affects the Cardinals ability to score. With how much Russ has struggled this year, I don’t know if he has as much of an effect on Denver’s success to this point.  The home crowd will surely be rocking as well for Denver.  Their defense will also cause issues for Colt McCoy as that has been one of the stronger suits for this team.  It will be a shaky game, but I like Denver in this one.

I like the under in this well.  These two teams will have trouble scoring with backups and expect a good amount of punt early in this game.  The Broncos allow 18.3 PPG and the Cardinals allow 26.8 PPG.

Betting Trends

  • Cardinals are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games in December.
  • Broncos are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Over is 6-1 in Cardinals last 7 games overall.
  • Under is 5-1 in the Broncos last 6 home games.
  • Cardinals are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 meetings with Denver.
  • Favorite is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings between these two teams.
  • Over is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams.

Key Injuries

Arizona Cardinals:

Kyler Murray, Out; Rashaad Coward, questionable; Byron Murphy Jr., questionable; Rondale Moore, questionable; Charles Washington, questionable

Denver Broncos:

Andrew Beck, questionable; Dalton Risner, questionable; Eyioma Uwazurike, questionable; Courtland Sutton, questionable; Russell Wilson, questionable

Key Matchup

James Conner vs. Denver Broncos Defense 

With Kyler out of the game, I expect the Cardinals to have a heavy focus on running the ball. James Conner has 561 rushing yards and 5 TDs on the year and will need to be playing to his highest level to take pressure off of McCoy.  Arizona averages around 114.8 rushing yards per game.  The Denver defense allows 117.7 rushing yards per game so they will need to slow down Conner and the rushing attack to keep the Cardinals off the field.

Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart

QB: Colt McCoy
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Keantoy Ingram
LWR: DeAndre Hopkins
RWR: Marquise Brown
SWR: Rondale Moore
TE1: Trey McBridge

Denver Broncos Depth Chart

QB: Russell Wilson
RB1: Latavius Murray
RB2: Mike Boone
LWR: Courtland Sutton
RWR: Jerry Jeudy
SWR: Kendall Hinton
TE1: Greg Dulcich

Jack is a Hoosier by birth and Hoosier by alum. Full of hot takes but sharper predictions. Residing now in the Chicago area. When he's not chowing down on deep dish pizza and Italian beef, he's watching and betting sports. Junkie for everything CBB, NBA, NFL, CFB, and MLB. Here to feed you a system to follow that might even be better than the one Tom Brady was gifted his whole career.

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