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Arizona Cardinals betting odds, Week 1 Vegas spread and Kyler Murray NFL MVP chances

Will the young Cardinals continue an upward trajectory this season? Here's a betting breakdown of their 2020 schedule:
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The past two winners of the NFL MVP Award were second-year quarterbacks. Could Kyler Murray continue that trend? The Arizona Cardinals were a much more competitive team last year with Murray winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, and they are a chic playoff choice by many experts in 2020. The Cards have a tough opener Sunday, though, at defending conference champion San Francisco, which is a 7-point favorite on the NFL odds. While Arizona lost both meetings last year, it has gone 4-0-1 ATS in the past five in the series.

In their first year under Kliff Kingsbury, the 2019 Cardinals looked a lot like the clubs Kingsbury guided in the college ranks at Texas Tech: Entertaining offensive football with flashes of promise offset by an indifference to defense that ultimately resulted in a losing record. This, with the caveat that none of the team's shortcomings seemed to tarnish its leader's reputation as a prodigal coaching wunderkind.  

The building blocks appear to be in place. Murray looks as if he might have been worth the risk as the No. 1 overall draft pick, and Arizona is quickly gaining a reputation for stealing quality players. It did so with the late-season acquisition of the versatile and game-breaking running back Kenyan Drake, then unloaded his predecessor for perhaps the NFL's top receiver in DeAndre Hopkins.

The Cardinals also addressed their needs in the draft, taking perhaps the most NFL-ready defender in Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and a pair of solid prospects at defensive end.

The 2020 schedule appears to be a favorable one for non-conference opponents, and it's possible Arizona could finish .500. But it could be considered a major accomplishment if the Cardinals finish higher than fourth out of four in the NFC West. Consider betting Arizona in Week 11 at Seattle, as the Cardinals have covered five straight visits to CenturyLink Field. 

ARIZONA CARDINALS BETTING PROFILE

2019 record: 5-10-1, last in NFC West

2019 against the spread: 9-5-2

2019 ATS margin: +0.5

2019 Over-Under: 9-7

2020 strength of schedule: Tied for 10th-toughest; opponents combined for a .516 winning percentage last year 

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WILLIAM HILL 2020 ARIZONA CARDINALS FUTURES ODDS

Win total: 7 (Over -130 favorite)

To make playoffs: No -300, yes +240

Division: +1200 to win NFC West

Conference: +2800 to win NFC

Super Bowl 55: +6000 to win

NFL MVP: QB Kyler Murray +2000, WR DeAndre Hopkins +15,000

Coach of the Year: Kliff Kingsbury +1400 

Defensive Rookie of the Year: LB Isaiah Simmons +800  

SportsLine Model's projection: 6.9 wins (Pick is Under)

ARIZONA CARDINALS GAME-BY-GAME BETTING TRENDS

Week 1 at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m. ET: The Cardinals lost both games SU last season but covered both.

Week 2 vs. Washington Redskins, 4:05 p.m. ET: Arizona is 2-10 SU and 4-8 ATS in the series.

Week 3 vs. Detroit Lions, 4:25 p.m. ET: Arizona is 7-2-1 SU and ATS in the last 10 meetings.

Week 4 at Carolina Panthers, 4 p.m. ET: Carolina has won and covered four straight in the series.

Week 5 at New York Jets, 1 p.m. ET: The Jets are 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in the series.

Week 6 at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. ET: The Cardinals are on a 4-1 SU and ATS streak in the series.

Week 7 vs. Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m., ET: The Cardinals are 2-4 ATS at home in the series.

Week 8: Bye

Week 9 vs. Miami Dolphins, 4:25 p.m. ET: The Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

Week 10 vs. Buffalo Bills, 4:05 p.m. ET: Arizona is 1-6 ATS and SU in the series.

Week 11 at Seattle Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. ET: The Cardinals have covered five straight in Seattle.

Week 12 at New England Patriots, 1 p.m. ET: The Over is 8-0 the week after Arizona visits Seattle. New England is 6-1 ATS and SU in the series.

Week 13 vs. Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 p.m.: Arizona's last home win and cover in the series came in 2014.

Week 14 at New York Giants, 1 p.m. ET: The Cardinals have won and covered four of the last five meetings.

Week 15 vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 4:05 p.m. ET: The Cardinals are 5-3 ATS in the last eight meetings.

Week 16 vs. San Francisco 49ers, TBD: Arizona is on an 8-2 ATS run overall in the series.

Week 17 at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 p.m. ET: The Cardinals are 0-6 SU and ATS in the last six meetings.

EXPERT PICK FROM MIKE TIERNEY, LAST SEASON'S TOP NFL HANDICAPPER FOR SPORTSLINE: Over 6.5 wins

Quarterbacks entering their second seasons commonly take a leap forward, and Kyler Murray is poised for an Olympic-style long jumper's leap. Peerless WR DeAndre Hopkins joins the fold, allowing the ageless Larry Fitzgerald to assume an ideal complementary role. With some coaching creativity, Swiss-army-knife linebacker Isaiah Simmons could be the league's most impactful rookie on defense. Arizona closed 2019 on a semi-high, winning two of its last three. The biggest hurdle to an Over is navigating the half-dozen challenging division games.

SO WHAT 2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL SLEEPER SHOULD YOU SNATCH IN YOUR DRAFT? AND WHICH WR1 CANDIDATE CAN YOU WAIT ON UNTIL LATE? JOIN SPORTSLINE NOW TO GET 2020 FANTASY FOOTBALL CHEAT SHEETS FROM THE MODEL THAT WAS ALL OVER DERRICK HENRY'S HUGE SEASON, AND FIND OUT.    

Josh NagelSenior Analyst