Past Expert Picks
The Cardinals are 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings, 5-0 ATS if you jumped on Arizona early enough leading up to the second meeting last season. San Francisco had a lot of trouble defending Kyler Murray last year, and now he has DeAndre Hopkins on his side. With the 49ers wideouts banged up, grab the points with another divisional underdog.
Gifted quarterbacks tend to take the biggest leap forward in their second seasons, so expect fireworks from Kyler Murray, particularly with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins coming aboard. The Cardinals’ receiving corps is ocean-deep, in contrast to the 49ers’ in this game. Top Target Deebo Samuel (foot) is a scratch. Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) might be, too. While the hangover for Super Bowl runners-up might be mythical, this team is surely banged up for not having played yet. Heavy smoke from Northern California fires has disrupted practices leading up to the kickoff.
I expect this line to come down, so if you like the Cardinals jump on them now. Arizona nearly beat San Francisco twice last season, and this version of the 49ers doesn't have nearly as much upside with its beat-up receiving corps. The Cardinals added a good amount of talent in the offseason, and they'll be hungry to prove they belong among the contenders in this division. The 49ers have also had to deal with the distraction of the wildfires in the area, which could even cause uncertainty on whether this game is played on time. There's too much to like with the Cards in this one.
Well this feels like a gift from the gods of odds. Did we not see how Arizona played against San Francisco last year? They lost one game by three, and another by 10, but Arizona led in the final minute of that 10-point loss. And then the Niners returned a fumble for a score on the final play of the game. Other than that, Arizona was a certified pain in the butt for the Niners, and now they've added De'Andre Hopkins. Sure, I'll take a touchdown. Thanks!
The Cardinals played the 49ers close in both meetings last season, and Arizona has added DeAndre Hopkins along with several other new pieces. Kyler Murray should be even better in Year 2. Two Niners receivers, Deebo Samuel and rookie Brandon Aiyuk, are listed as questionable, while Emmanuel Sanders is now on the Saints. The Cardinals should at least be able to stay within a TD. Take the points.