Thursday Night Football best bets: Saints at Cardinals

By VSiN Staff  (VSiN.com) 

October 20, 2022 03:25 PM
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An NFC matchup between 2-4 teams, the Saints and Cardinals, kicks off Week 7 in the NFL.

Throughout the season, our VSiN experts will combine to give their best bets on every game. Check back for more picks as we get closer to kickoff.

Odds are from DraftKings (unless noted) as of Wednesday night.

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals (-2, 44)

Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Adam Burke: Kyler Murray heads into Week 7 without his top target, with one returning face and with one new face in an offense that has been extremely disjointed so far this season. As Marquise Brown heads to the sidelines with a foot injury that will cost him 4-6 weeks of action, DeAndre Hopkins returns from his PED suspension. Robbie Anderson also joins the team. Brown led the Cardinals in targets (64), receptions (43), receiving yards (485), yards per catch (11.3) and receiving touchdowns (3). 

Murray was practically force-feeding the ball to Brown before the injury, as Brown had double-digit targets in Weeks 2-5 and nine in Week 6. For a group that has managed just 4.8 yards per play to this point, it’s a significant loss that throws the offense into further turmoil.

Despite a bunch of major injuries, the Saints have managed 5.9 yards per play on offense, as Jameis Winston and Andy Dalton have each made three starts. Dalton will likely get the nod Thursday night. He’s completed over 63% of his passes with a 3-1 TD-INT ratio. The Saints should really be a better team than they’ve been, but they’re -7 in turnover margin and have the most fumbles lost in the league. Fortunately for them, the Cardinals have only forced seven takeaways and only one in the past two games.

The Cardinals have had more than one takeaway only once this season and that came against Carolina and Baker Mayfield in Week 4. As long as the Saints can take care of the football, they should end up taking care of business in Arizona.

Pick: Saints + 2.5 (multiple shops)

Dave Tuley: After two straight Thursday night duds (the Colts’ 12-9 win at the Broncos in Week 5 and the Commanders’ 12-7 win at the Bears in Week 6), this week’s matchup at least has an intriguing storyline with DeAndre Hopkins returning from his six-game PED suspension.

The Cardinals offense has been woeful without him, especially in first halves. QB Kyler Murray is clearly better with Hopkins, but will the improvement be enough against a Saints team that needs this game just as much as the Cardinals as both teams are 2-4? Whether Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston gets the start, the play is to tease the Saints up through the key numbers of 3 and 7. This line opened Cardinals -1.5 but has drifted higher, so tease + 2 or + 2.5 up to 8 or 8.5.

There are several teasers to pair this with over the weekend (most notably Colts + 8.5 at Titans, Jets + 7 at Broncos or Patriots -2 vs. Bears), but for our purposes here, let’s use it with Over 38 in this game. Again, the Cardinals should be improved, especially against a Saints defense allowing 26.3 points per game, while the Saints should score their share (whether it’s Dalton, Winston or even Taysom Hill) against a Cardinals defense allowing 23.7 points per game.

Pick: Saints + 8.5 (multiple shops)/Over 38 Teaser

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