Every week, this story will provide you with at least one bet I think you should take for Monday night football and an overview of how I see the matchup playing out.
This week’s primetime matchup takes us to Arizona, with the Patriots facing off against the Cardinals. Both of these teams are coming in on two-game losing streaks, and the Patriots are in need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Cardinals are practically out of it, but a miracle comeback could start on Monday night. Arizona is a 2.5-point favorite, with a total set at 43.5, the books are expecting a close game.
The Patriots’ defense was one of the best in football this season, but they’ve struggled against talented offenses the past two weeks. The Vikings scored at will just two weeks ago, and while the Patriots’ offense kept up, they couldn’t keep up last week against a stronger Bills defense. If this game gets into an offensive shootout, that puts the Patriots in a really tough spot. If this game goes under the total, I think it’s likely the Patriots win.
Even without Rondale Moore, DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Robby Anderson and Greg Dortch is still a dangerous wide receiver room. Since the Patriots have held opponents’ wide receivers to 2.9 yards per catch over their last three games, that group of receivers will have to be heavily relied on.
Since returning from injury, Hopkins is averaging more than 10 targets per game. The real question is who does Bill Belichick choose to take out of this game? He’s known for limiting opposing stars, but it will be interesting to see if the safety help goes to taking away Brown’s vertical ability, or if it is used to double Hopkins.
Bet to Make: Kyler Murray o34.5 Rush Yards
Odds: -114 Fanduel
With the traditional run game struggling against a good defensive line, and plenty of safety attention directed toward the two leading receivers, I think this sets up as a good game for Kyler Murray to use his legs. He started the season really slow in terms of rushing, only averaging 22.8 rushing yards per game during his first four games.
In his last six games, he’s averaging 54 rush yards per game and has looked much more comfortable scrambling. I like over 34.5 rush yards and over 14.5 longest rush. He has hit each of those numbers in five of his last six contests. A longest-rush bet is a good pivot if you’re concerned about volume, considering he’s pulled off some crazy scrambles this season.
Overall, this game sets up well for Murray using his legs, and I think he will clear this number. This also has the added bonus of being a close primetime game. The Cardinals likely won’t get a more important televised game this season, so it makes sense the team would leave it all out there.
WATCH: Cardinals’ WRs Can Put Pressure on Patriots’ Defense