It has been a rough four years in the desert. After going 13-3, winning the NFC West and reaching the NFC Championship game in 2015, the Arizona Cardinals have gone a putrid 23-39-1 since.
However, despite going just 5-10-1 last season, the new coach-quarterback combination of Kliff Kingsbury and rookie Kyler Murray showed signs of life and gave Cardinals fans reasons to be optimistic for the future. Murray, the former No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma, won Offensive Rookie of the Year. Arizona hopes to build on the strides they made in 2019 with Murray entering Year 2.
It has been a busy and fruitful offseason for Arizona. First, legendary 36-year-old wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald announced he would return for a 17th season. Then the Cardinals made arguably the biggest splash of the offseason, acquiring 4-time Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins in a trade with the Houston Texans. With Hopkins joining Fitzgerald, fellow wideout Christian Kirk and running back Kenyan Drake, the Cardinals' offense looks like a force to be reckoned with in 2020.
In the draft, Arizona added Clemson swiss-army knife Isaiah Simmons with the 8th overall pick to bolster the defense.
So what do oddsmakers think of Murray, Hopkins and company this season?
The Cardinals' 2020 win total is 7 across the market. Right off the bat, sportsbooks are telling you they expect Arizona to take a step forward and improve by two games this season.
If that's not enough, oddsmakers are also juicing up the over 7, signaling a combination of smart money and house liability on an 8-8 campaign.
DraftKings is hanging over 7 at -130 (under 107). FanDuel is offering over 7 at -115 (under -105). PointsBet is over 7 at -125 (under 105). Circa Sports is even more bullish on the Cardinals, posting a win total of 7.5 (under -120, over 100).
One disadvantage the Cardinals will have to overcome: A tough schedule. Arizona's 2020 opponents went a combined 132-123-1 (.518) last season, giving the Cardinals the 8th-hardest schedule in the NFL.
Here is the full Arizona schedule.
Week 1: at 49ers
Week 2: vs Redskins
Week 3: vs Lions
Week 4: at Panthers
Week 5: at Jets
Week 6: at Cowboys
Week 7: vs Seahawks
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: vs Dolphins
Week 10: vs Bills
Week 11: at Seahawks
Week 12: at Patriots
Week 13: vs Rams
Week 14: at Giants
Week 15: vs Eagles
Week 16: vs 49ers
Week 17: at Rams
Despite the perceived improvement, oddsmakers don't expect a postseason berth for the Cardinals. They are a -360 favorite to miss the playoffs at DraftKings and a 275 dog to make the playoffs.
Arizona is a 750 longshot to win the NFC West, trailing the 49ers (-106), Seahawks ( 225) and Rams ( 500).
The Cardinals are 2500 to win the NFC and 5000 to win the Super Bowl.
If you're interested in player props, Kyle Muray's over/under passing yards are 3,850.5 and passing touchdowns 25.5. Last season, Murray finished with 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns. You'd have to believe Murray's numbers will improve with another year in the system and the addition of Hopkins. Murray's over/under rushing yards is 475.5. He rushed for 533 yards in 2019. Murray is 2500 to win MVP, the 7th-best odds overall.
Hopkins' over/under receiving yards is 1,150.5. He finished with 1,165 yards with the Texans last season.
Kenyan Drake's over/under rushing yards is 1,000.5. He rushed for 817 yards last season with Miami and Arizona combined.
Simmons is 500 to win Defensive Rookie of the Year, trailing only Chase Young at 200.