It’s now or never for both the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals. Both these teams are sitting at 2-4 after entering the year with playoff aspirations. New Orleans has been dealing with a ton of injuries (especially to its receivers), but Arizona has been without its No. 1 receiver for the first six weeks of the season. DeAndre Hopkins should give Arizona a spark on Thursday Night Football in his first game back from a PED suspension.
The Arizona Cardinals are hoping that the return of DeAndre Hopkins will jumpstart their offense against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football. These two 2-4 teams will meet at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 8:15 p.m. ET on Prime Video.
NFL Week 7 Betting Odds
New Orleans Saints +1
Arizona Cardinals -1
Money Line: Saints -101, Cardinals -119
The NFL Week 7 opening odds made the Arizona Cardinals a 2.5-point favorite. That number has dropped by a point as of late Sunday night to make Arizona -1.5 at home. The total has also fallen by a point, moving from 46 to 45.
New Orleans Saints
Injuries have decimated the New Orleans Saints’ receiving corps for the last couple weeks. New Orleans’ top three receivers (Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, and Jarvis Landry) all missed last week’s game against Cincinnati, and Thomas and Landry have missed multiple games now. That hurt Andy Dalton’s effectiveness against Cincinnati on Sunday, and he ended up completing 17 of 32 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Dalton has been the starting quarterback for the Saints for the last three weeks. Jameis Winston was New Orleans’ No. 1 option under center before that, but he was sidelined for two games due to fractures in his back and an ankle injury. Winston was available to play this past weekend, yet head coach Dennis Allen decided to stick with Dalton against the Bengals.
We could see either Dalton or Winston start this game. Alvin Kamara is the key to the Saints’ success on offense though, averaging 4.6 YPC and 7.9 YPR. Taysom Hill is someone to watch too, especially given the injuries at receiver. Hill didn’t catch a pass last game, but he is a triple threat with his ability to run, throw, and catch.
New Orleans has been worse than expected on defense. The Saints ranked in the top eight in scoring defense and total defense in 2020 and 2021, but they rank in the bottom half of the NFL in both categories this season. Star cornerback Marshon Lattimore has only played in three games, yet the front seven has been as big of a problem, allowing 130.0 YPG on the ground.
Kyler Murray has not been effective in 2022. Murray is completing 65.1% of his passes, but he is averaging just 5.8 YPA with six touchdowns and four interceptions. The only receiver that is averaging more than 10.0 YPR is Marquise Brown, but Brown was injured in last week’s game against Seattle and may not be ready to play by Thursday. That will have the Cardinals crossing their fingers even more that DeAndre Hopkins can make an immediate impact upon his return.
Arizona has been great on offense through the first half of the season in the previous two years under Kliff Kingsbury, but the Cardinals are a middle-of-the-pack unit through six games. They rank 18th in scoring offense and 15th in total offense, and they are dead last in YPA once you account for sack yardage. Murray is averaging 6.1 YPC to give this run game a boost, as James Conner and Eno Benjamin are both averaging under 4.0 YPC.
The Cardinals have the worst pass rush in the league. They have just 11 sacks through six games, and they are sacking opponents on 3.3% of their drop back attempts. The front seven has done a solid job of stopping the run though, allowing 4.3 YPC and 97.4 YPG on the ground. That’s better than anyone expected given their lack of size up front.
Saints at Cardinals Free Pick
Arizona has yet to win a home game this year, but the Cardinals have hosted two of the best teams in the NFL in Philadelphia and Kansas City, and their other home game was against the defending Super Bowl champions. Their last five games have all gone under the total, so the Under is a solid pick, and Arizona is the best bet for a side.
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