Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers (10/31/2019): NFL Betting Picks, Lines

Last Week: 4-9
All-Time Results: 54-52-1, +9.43 Units

San Francisco 49ers -10 @ Arizona Cardinals – .5 Units

On paper, the Arizona Cardinals have a terrible rush defense, ranking 26th in the league in that category according to Football Outsiders.  On paper, they are a terrible matchup with the San Francisco 49ers who are 2nd in the league in rushing yards per game.

san francisco 49ersIn reality, I think the Cardinals are much worse than 26th in rush defense.  And I think the 49ers will cruise more than expectations exploiting this weakness.

Arizona mitigates its terrible rush defense by committing more resources toward the line of scrimmage.  Their hope is to prevent long drives.  Eventually, they figure, teams will make a mistake in the passing game, especially if Chandler Jones and their pass rush get home.  I think the Cardinals’ true rush defense is closer to last in the league right alongside the Panthers and Dolphins.

The Cardinals sell out to stop the run because they need a faster-paced game.  With the quick-tempo offense in the NFL, the Cards cannot afford for a team to burn an entire quarter on them with a long drive on the ground.  The next possession they’re liable to go 3 & out and risk exposing an over-worked defense.

Why did the Kliff Kingsbury go for it on 4th down from his own 29 last week in New Orleans?  Because he knew his defense couldn’t be on the field for the entire game and reasonably hold up.  As it happened, the Saints had the ball for 63% of that game and scored on 3 of their last 4 possessions.

Against San Francisco’s top 2 rushing attack, Arizona will be susceptible.   While I don’t think the 49ers throw up another 230 rushing yards on the board, I think they will punish AZ a ton in play-action after establishing their run threat.

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George Kittle Over 68.5 Receiving Yards (-125) -.5 Units

George Kittle To Score & 49ers Win (+145) -.1 Unit

The Cardinals have been vulnerable against Tight-Ends all season.  They rank 31st in Tight-End Targets, Receptions & Yards allowed.

The best at the position since Gronk retired, George Kittle is poised to have a big day.

san francisco 49ersWith the 49ers posing one of the most fearsome ground game in the league and a top 5 defense, the Cardinals will sell out to curtail long possessions and maximize their chances at the upset.  I predict multiple AZ linebackers passing off Kittle in the second level and diving into the line, only to turn around seconds later and see him striding downfield the other way.

Kittle has gone over 70 yards in three of his last four games.  The lone exception occurred during the Monsoon-Game in Washington.  In that game – which the Niners won 9-0 – he still accounted for 26% of the 49ers 146 total passing yards in the rain.  That is right in line with the 31% of Jimmy Garrapolo’s total passing yards Kittle has accounted for on the season.   Garrapolo’s Over/Under for passing yards in this game is 249.5.  31% of that number would be 77.5 yards, well above our total here.

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Born in Chicago, born for Las Vegas, Mackenzie is a graduate of Yale University with a BA in English & Creative Writting. Mackenzie runs AlternativeStats.blog, which seeks to by-pass the minutiae of commonly cited sports statistics and expose the heart of what drives athletic success. After several successful years investing in Las Vegas real estate, Mackenzie is excited to transition in 2019 into betting on sports full time, as well as documenting his thought process as he further learns the craft.

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