Monday night football features the New England Patriots who are battling for a playoff position on the road against the Arizona Cardinals who have disappointed at this point of the season. Can Mac Jones continue to lead the Patriots to a playoff berth in a tough AFC conference? Or will the Cardinals play spoiler and damper the Patriots playoff hopes?
New England Patriots vs Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds
Oddsmakers have this as a near coin flip, slightly favoring New England on the road by opening them at -1.5. Bettors are in agreement, betting them up to -2 as of writing. They have one of the best defenses in football who are more than capable of limiting the explosive Cardinals offense that are currently dealing with injuries.
As for the total, points are expected to be at a premium as oddsmakers opened this matchup at 44. Bettors have leaned towards another primetime under, slightly dipping this to 43.5 in some shops. With the Patriots defense limiting the Cardinals success and fielding an anemic offense themselves, we may be in for another primetime slugfest.
New England Patriots vs Arizona Cardinals Prediction
The Pick: Patriots -2 / Under 44
It’s that time of year where Kliff Kingsbury led teams fall off a cliff in the second half of the season. In his career coaching the Cardinals, Cliff Kingsbury has gone 18-9-1 straight up in weeks 1 through 7 while going 10-24 SU in the second half. Their second half collapses will be on full display as he goes against the best coach in football history who had extra time to prepare.
While I normally don’t put too much stock in trends, I can’t help but recognize how dominant coach Belichick led teams are in this spot. Coach Belichick is 65% ATS after a loss and 79% ATS as a touchdown favorite or less after a loss as well. Kingsbury is 12-19-2 ATS in the second half of the season. Incredibly contrasting results.
Trends aside, metrics are in the Patriots favor as well. Backed behind their elite defensive play, a unit that ranks second in Overall Def DVOA. While the Cardinals have been vastly disappointing, especially on the offensive end, they do possess weapons at wideout since DeAndre Hopkins returned and have steadily improved in offensive production. They will need all the help they can get as their wideouts have been dealing with injuries.
The under comes into play as well as I expect the Patriots defense to shut down the Cardinals offense with backfield pressure and forcing Kyler Murray into making mistakes. Mac Jones has yet to find consistent offensive success, leading to stalled out drives as well on their end. This should be a low scoring affair.
- Under is 5-1 for the Patriots last six games following a SU loss
- Under is 9-2 in the Cardinals last 11 Monday games
New England Patriots Injuries: Isaiah Wynn (Q), Jakobi Meyers (Q), Yodny Cajuste (Q)
Arizona Cardinals Injuries: Greg Dortch (Q), Rondale Moore (Q)
Can the Patriots run game exploit the Cardinals defense?
Rahmondre Stevenson vs Cardinals rush defense
Like the Cardinals, the Patriots have struggled to find consistent offensive success so far into the season. Even with the return of Mac Jones, the Patriots still rank well below average in Overall Off DVOA and Off Pass DVOA.
The lone bright spot for the Patriots offense has been the emergence of running back Rahmondre Stevenson. He is a dangerous dual threat running back who is dangerous in the run and pass attack.
He will be poised for another good outing as the Cardinals rank near dead last in Def Rush DVOA. Should they be unable to get backfield pressure and allow Stevenson to get to their second level, the Patriots will be able to move the ball at ease down the field for clock draining drives.
Take the Patriots at -2.5 or better and the under in what will be a master class in coaching and clock work.