It is on backup QB Drew Stanton to guide the Arizona Cardinals to a rare road win against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
With Carson Palmer (concussion) out of action, the Cardinals are 3.5-point favorites against the 49ers in a matchup of two 1-3 NFC West teams. The total is 42 points. The Cardinals are a -175 favorite on the moneyline, with the 49ers offering +155 for an outright victory.
The Cardinals are 1-6 straight-up and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven road games against the 49ers. While San Francisco was expected to struggle, Arizona is underachieving in spite of skill position talent such as RB David Johnson and the WR trio of John Brown, Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
A Bruce Arians-coached team should be expected to find their form eventually, even with a backup QB. The Cardinals are 5-1 SU in their last six games after consecutive losses, and are also 7-2 ATS in their last nine games after consecutive ATS losses.
The 49ers are also one of the NFL’s worst teams at deep pass coverage, and the long ball is the staple of Arians’ offense. Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was able to to dice up the 49ers’ secondary in Week 4, even though star WR Dez Bryant was scratched with an injury.
The 49ers, who lost against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 4, are 13-2 SU in their last 15 games at home after a home loss. With QB Blaine Gabbert and the likes of WR Torrey Smith and Jeremy Kerley matched against All-Pro CB Patrick Peterson, San Francisco is unlikely to put up big passing numbers.
San Francisco, however has given up only three sacks in four games thanks to relying on quick throws. That might assist in negating DE Chandler Jones and the Cardinals’ pass rush, which has 11 sacks in four games.
San Francisco, if little else, is avoiding beating itself with sacks, penalties and turnovers. Feature RB Carlos Hyde, with help from Gabbert on zone reads, is capable of grinding out first downs in spite of the below-average 49ers run blocking.
The 49ers are 15-6 SU and ATS in their last 21 games in October, although most of that record was compiled during the already distant Jim Harbaugh era.
The total has gone over in seven of Arizona’s last 10 games against teams with losing records. The total has gone under in nine of the 49ers’ last 12 NFC West games, as well as in three of their last four games against the Cardinals.