Opening Spread: Broncos -1.
Opening Game Total: 39.
Opening Team Totals: Broncos (20), Cardinals (19).
Weather: Outdoors, no current concerns.
The Line Report
- This line opened as Broncos -1.
- This line has moved to Broncos -2.5.
- DraftKings Pick’Em has the Broncos -2.5.
- Circa Sports Millions Pro Football Contest has the Broncos -2.5.
- This total opened at 39 points.
- This total has moved all the way down to 36.5 points.
Broncos: Out: QB Russell Wilson, WR Courtland Sutton, WR Kendall Hinton. Questionable: LG Dalton Risner, Edge Randy Gregory, DL Dre’Mont Jones.
Cardinals: Out: QB Kyler Murray, DL Zach Allen, CB Byron Murphy Jr. Questionable: WR Marquise Brown, CB Marco Wilson.
Broncos Offense vs. Cardinals Defense
I have the Broncos offensive line tiered as a below-average unit. The Cardinals defensive front has improved as the season has gone on. With Zach Allen sidelined, I have Arizona’s front tiered right on the fringe of average to slightly below average. The Cardinals defensive front has a moderate advantage in the trenches.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Broncos are 5-8 against the spread this season.
- The Broncos are 2-11 on overs this season.
- Brett Rypien is 1-1 against the spread in his career.
- Brett Rypien is 1-1 on overs in his career.
- Nathaniel Hackett is 5-8 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Nathaniel Hackett is 2-11 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Broncos are scoring 14.9 points per game, which is last in the league.
- Denver is 19th in the league in yards passing per game and 25th in yards rushing.
- Per Sports Info Solutions, the Broncos are passing on 64% of their plays and running on 36% of plays.
- Russell Wilson has been ruled out, so Brett Rypien gets the start at quarterback for Denver.
- Per the Edge, Latavius Murray has at least eight carries in each game since becoming a Bronco. Murray has at least 13 carries in five of his eight games as a Bronco. Murray has breached 50 yards rushing twice over that span.
- Marlon Mack only has seven carries over his three games as a Bronco. However, he broke a screen pass for a 66-yard touchdown against the Chiefs last week.
- Jerry Jeudy is coming off his best game of the season, catching eight-of-nine targets for 73 yards receiving and three touchdowns against the Chiefs. Jeudy has an 18.8% target share and a 22.5% air yards share.
- Greg Dulcich has at least 40 yards receiving in five of his eight games this season. Dulcich has a 17.5% target share, and a 22.5% air yards share this season.
- The Cardinals have allowed 26.8 points per game, which is last in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Cardinals have allowed the 20th-most yards rushing per game and the eighth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Arizona has given up the 26th-most yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Cardinals have allowed the most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
- The Cardinals have allowed the third-most PPR points per game to inline tight ends and the most to those lined up in the slot.
Cardinals Offense vs. Broncos Defense
The Cardinals injury-ravaged offensive line is a bottom-tier group in their current state. Broncos Edge Randy Gregory was activated off injured reserve and has a chance to play in this contest. If he does, Denver has a top-ten level front with a major advantage in the trenches. If Gregory doesn’t play, Denver still has a league-average front with a significant trench advantage against Arizona.
Betting Notes Per TruMedia
- The Cardinals are 6-7 against the spread this season.
- The Cardinals are 7-5-1 on overs this season.
- Colt McCoy is 11-23-1 against the spread in his career.
- Colt McCoy is 16-19 on overs in his career.
- Kliff Kingsbury is 32-28-2 against the spread in his career as an NFL head coach.
- Kliff Kingsbury is 29-31-2 on overs in his career as an NFL head coach.
- The Cardinals are scoring 21.3 points per game, which is 17th in the league.
- Arizona is 16th in the league in yards passing per game and 17th in yards rushing.
- The Cardinals are passing on 67% of their plays and running on 33% of plays, per Sports Info Solutions.
- Kyler Murray is out for the year, which makes Colt McCoy the Cardinals quarterback the rest of the way.
- Per the Edge, James Conner has had a bell cow role over his last four games, with 75 carries and 18 targets.
- DeAndre Hopkins is fourth in the league in target share (29.9%), and air yards share (43.7%).
- Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is 19th in the league in target share (25.5%) and seventh in air yards share (41.8%).
- Last week against the Patriots, with McCoy throwing all but one of the Cardinals’ passes, Hopkins and Brown combined for 19 targets.
- In his five games as a starter, Trey McBride has yet to breach 30 yards receiving in a game.
- The Broncos have allowed 18.3 points per game, which is fourth in the league.
- Per The Edge, the Broncos have allowed the 11th-most yards rushing per game and the tenth-most yards receiving per game to running backs this season.
- Denver has given up the third-fewest yards receiving per game to wide receivers this year.
- The Broncos have allowed the ninth-most yards receiving per game to tight ends this season.
This Is What You’re Betting On in Cardinals vs. Broncos
If you are betting on the Broncos, you are almost entirely basing that stance on their defense. If Randy Gregory suits up, Denver will have a major trench advantage against the Cardinals injury-ravaged offensive line, with statuesque Colt McCoy under center. The Broncos pass rush, paired with their high-end secondary, could conceivably hold the Cardinals offense below ten points. Rypien started a game earlier this season where the Jets elite defense held Denver to nine points. Expecting much more beyond that from Brett Rypien’s offense is a big ask. Your biggest concern as a Broncos bettor is that Brett Rypien’s offense is simply non-functional. Your second is that Kliff Kingbury’s horizontal air raid will significantly help Colt McCoy manage pressure. In that scenario, the Cardinals have one of the league’s best wide receiver duos, giving Arizona an easier path to exceeding expectations on offense than Denver.
If you’re betting on the Cardinals, you are betting on two core concepts. The first is that Colt McCoy is one of the league’s best backup quarterbacks and has a talented skill group to work with. In a vacuum, the Cardinals offense is notably better than Denver’s heading into this matchup. That brings us to the other side of a Cardinals bet: you would be betting directly against Brett Rypien’s offense. Both stances are very reasonable in one of the ugliest games of the NFL season. Your primary concern as a Cardinals bettor is that Denver’s front derails this game to the point it renders Arizona’s offense non-functional.
Cardinals vs. Broncos Pool Picks
Awards Market Ramifications: None.
Winner/ Confidence Pool: I’m going to treat this game as a true coin flip in winner pools, so I will have some exposure to both teams. I expect to have this game at, or at least adjacent to, the bottom of my confidence pool rankings.
Spread Pool: I simply cannot get to a bet on Brett Rypien’s Broncos, so I’m going to stay away from this one due to the massive line play disparity the Cardinals have to deal with in this contest.
Survivor Pool: This contest should ideally be avoided in survivor pools.
Ryan’s recent betting record
ATS 2021: 49-31
ATS 2022: 43-22
Props 2022: 43-29
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