Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals Matchup Preview (12/25/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals Matchup Preview (12/25/21)

Merry Christmas! This Saturday, the 8-6 Colts are heading to Arizona to take on the 10-4 Cardinals on a Christmas-day/Saturday football special. Santa Claus brought us a good game to watch. The Colts are on a two-game winning streak after taking down a hot Patriots team last week and have now won five of their last six games which includes wins over the Bills and the Patriots. They’re the hottest topic in the league right now. The Cardinals are too, but in a much different way. After starting the season 7-0 and remaining undefeated on the road until last week, the Cardinals just lost to the worst team in football. They’re now on a two-game losing streak and leaving people wondering if last year’s Cardinals team is making a return. After last week’s loss to the Lions, the Cardinals assured the press that they are still to be taken seriously despite recent results, so this game will force them to put their money where their mouth is.

Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds

In this holiday matchup, Arizona is the 2.5-point favored team in this 48.5-point game total. On paper, this game looks to be an even matchup, but given the Cardinals lackluster performance as of late and the Colts hot streak, it could be lopsided. With that said, the Colts have to put their faith in Carson Wentz which isn’t all that promising. Both teams are 9-5 at covering, which is among the best ATS records in the league. However, the Cardinals are 2-4 on covering at home while the Colts have covered a staggering 80% of the time as the away team underdog, which leans in their favor in Arizona this week. 

In their last four games, the Colts have averaged 32.5 points per game and the Cardinals have averaged 23 – so the over would be a good pick for this game, especially with Jonathon Taylor in the mix. The Cardinals are a talented team, and their record reflects that, but the Colts have avoided inconsistencies which counts for more, so I think they’re the better pick. 

My prediction: Colts win 27-24, Colts cover, over 48.5

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TV Schedule

Date: 12/25/21
Time: 8:15 PM ET
Location: State Farm Stadium – Glendale, AZ
TV Coverage: NFL NET

Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals Live Stream

Where can you watch Colts vs. Cardinals online? You can stream this game, and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Colts vs. Cardinals Free Online Now.

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Indianapolis Colts Analysis

Last week, the Colts put on a clinic against the Patriots, beating them for the first time since 2009, snapping a 7-game winning streak for the Patriots and securing a two-game winning streak for themselves. They have won five of their last six games and now sit as the fifth seed in the AFC. Despite starting out the year as 0-3 and showing struggles with finishing off high-caliber teams, this team has turned it around at the hands of Jonathon Taylor. Taylor currently leads the league in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. 

In the eight games that Taylor has exceeded 100 rushing yards, the Colts’ win/loss record is 8-0. Last week was no exception as Taylor rushed for 170 yards and one touchdown, which was a 67-yard touchdown run to secure the win. Outside of him, Carson Wentz has proven that he’s still not a super reliable option as he threw 5-12 last week for 57 yards. Wentz will likely be quiet again this week as the Cardinals’ secondary has been solid. Their run defense however, needs work and will certainly give the opportunity for Taylor to show off. The Colts run game averages 157 rushing yards per game and leads the league in rushing first downs, which is no surprise given their catalyst. 

On the other side of the ball, the Colts have held it down as well. They have forced 31 turnovers this year, and have returned two touchdowns by way of blocked punts. They held a hot Patriots team to a 58% completion rate and a scoreless first three quarters to help secure the victory. 

Earlier in the season, the Colts had issues blowing leads against playoff-level teams, but their win last week proved that they are capable of more. With Las Vegas and Jacksonville ahead of them, they could finish this season off on three wins if they can take down Kyler Murray and a Deandre Hopkins-less offense. 

Indianapolis Colts Depth Chart

QB: Carson Wentz
RB1: Jonathan Taylor
RB2: Nyheim Hines
WR1: Michael Pittman Jr.
WR2: T.Y. Hilton
WR3: Zach Pascal
TE1: Mo Alie-Cox
TE2: Jack Doyle

Arizona Cardinals Analysis

What a turn of events we’ve seen in Arizona. They were the winningest team in football this year until they brutally fell to the Lions last week. The one-win Lions team held the Cardinals to a scoreless half and had possession for over half of the game, giving the Cardinals their first road loss all season. Credit to the Lions for pulling it off, but the Cardinals also looked horrible last week – Kyler Murray didn’t look like himself and DeAndre Hopkins is out for the foreseeable future which hurts their offense. 

After losing two straight, someone on this team needs to rally the troops before history repeats itself. Though this Cardinals team is adamant that what happened last year, where they won six of their first nine games and then went on to lose five of their last seven, won’t happen again, it seems oddly familiar. They’ve now gone 3-4 after a 7-0 start and it doesn’t get any easier this week against this Colts team. They need to get their run defense under control or Jonathon Taylor will have a field day against them and they need to learn how to run an offense that isn’t so reliant on Hopkins. This team’s issue isn’t their talent, but their focus and organization.

This offense has weapons outside of Hopkins like A.J. Green, Christian Kirk and James Conner who haven’t been as obvious as a Hopkins-like threat, but are still certainly dangerous to a Colts pass defense that allows 248.6 passing yards per game. Murray needs to believe in these threats as they have the Cowboys after the Colts, which won’t make it any easier on them. 

This Cardinals defense allows 112.8 rushing yards per game which will be problematic against this run-heavy offense if they come out anything like they did last week. However their pass defense has been on this year with threats like Byron Murphy Jr. and Budda Baker in the backfield.

Arizona Cardinals Depth Chart

QB: Kyler Murray
RB1: James Conner
RB2: Chase Edmonds
WR1: Christian Kirk
WR2: Rondale Moore
WR3: AJ Green
TE1: Zach Ertz

Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals Daily Fantasy Picks

Christian Kirk is a good pick for fantasy this week – Kirk has more targets this year than any other receiver on this team, including Hopkins, and has five touchdowns. With Hopkins out, he will likely be their number one target this week with room to move against an ‘okay’ Colts pass defense. 

Jonathon Taylor has now scored a touchdown in eleven straight games, and against a weak Cardinals run defense, he’s set up to keep the streak alive. He’s the most reliable running back in the league right now and is a definite lock.

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. Her favorite sport to watch and write about is football but she also enjoys soccer, baseball, and basketball.

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