Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals kicks off this Sunday at 4:05pm EST in Phoenix Arizona as a home game for the Cardinals. The Bengals are currently a -3 favorite and -156 on the moneyline while the total is set at 44.5. Read on for more Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals predictions as points should come at a consistent rate in an effort to cash the over.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals Prediction
It’s clear that Joe Burrow is not 100% healthy. Even when he says he’s making progression with how he feels, his play has yet to improve at all. He’s turned into a one read quarterback, only looking at his primary target before throwing it into the dirt or taking an ill-advised sack. This has drastically halted the Bengals pass attack, a once dominant unit that struck fear to opposing secondaries.
What makes this intriguing is that Joe Burrow now gets the benefit of going against one of the worst defenses in the league. More important yet, the Cardinals are one of the worst units with generating backfield pressure. They currently rank 27th in Pressure and 28th in Blitz Rate per FB REF. That will give Burrow extra time in the pocket to make his progressions as well as let plays actually develop in the open field.
Even with a plethora of talent at wideout, they can only do so much in such little time when trying to create separation. Giving elite talent like Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins extra time in the open field will bring this pass attack back up to their elite standards, giving a very weak Arizona secondary fits all day long. The Cardinals currently rank 28th in Def Pass DVOA, 30th in Def Pass Success, and 27th in Def Pass EPA.
Not only does the pass attack elevate with limited pressure to their backfield, but their ground game should find more consistent success as well. Joe Mixon has struggled against stacked boxes and limited gaps on the line, now getting the benefit of hitting the open field against a spread out second level of the defense.
As for Arizona, they should be able to do their part towards the over as they have put up respectable metrics so far into the season. They rank top-10 in both Pass DVOA and Rush DVOA, getting to go against a lackluster Bengals defense. Especially with defending the run, ranking 30th in Def Rush DVOA. They now need to find answers in a pinch against James Conner who is poised for a big game in the backfield.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals Prediction: Over 44.5
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds
The Joe Burrow injury has been detrimental for the Bengals chances of winning, once being pegged as a -7.5 favorite on the lookahead line for this game. They have since re-opened at -3 with bettors failing to nudge the number in either direction. This is their best chance as ever to prove that they can still compete with a hobbled Burrow, but their playoff hopes are hanging by a thread.
As for the total, points were expected to be scored at a slightly below average pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 42.5. Bettors believe points will come at a more moderate pace, betting the over up to as high as 44.5 as of writing. This comes as no surprise as the Bengals should be in a better position to succeed while the Cardinals offense continues to prove that they are for real.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals Key Injuries
While the Cardinals come into this one fairly healthy, the Bengals offense features a lot more question marks as Tee Higgins, Irv Smith Jr, and Orlando Brown Jr are all currently listed as questionable.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals Key Matchups
Can Joshua Dobbs continue to find success through the air?
Joshua Dobbs Vs. Bengals Secondary
Joshua Dobbs level of play has been one of the bigger surprises of the season, carrying the Cardinals pass attack to respectable metrics. Largely pegged to be the worst team in the league by a large margin, Dobbs has put together a respectable 12th ranked Pass EPA, 7th Pass DVOA, and 17th Pass Success.
Joshua Dobbs to Michael Wilson Passing TD (3/1) pic.twitter.com/1V0uKwRgmM
— NFL TD Videos (@NFLTDVideos2023) October 1, 2023
He now gets a chance to continue to find success as the Bengals secondary is young and inexperienced. Ranking well below average in the same categories as listed above, as well as failing to generate pressure up front against an above average offensive line in terms of Adjusted Sack Rate.