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Nfl Arizona Cardinals Vs New Orleans Saints

Game time is January 16th at 4:30pm ET.

The Arizona Cardinals squeaked through Wild Card Weekend while the New Orleans Saints bypassed that round of the playoffs a long time ago.

Things don’t get any easier for the Cardinals as they  travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints. The NFL playoff lines list the Cardinals as a touchdown underdog in this NFC match-up.

Will Arizona prove a difficult opponent for the Saints in the dome? Or, will New Orleans regain the form that allowed them to win 13 straight games during the regular season?

Below are the NFL playoff odds for this game.

Arizona Cardinals +7 -110 +250 O 57 -110
New Orleans Saints -1 -110 -300 U 57 -110

The total in this game is 57. It’s highly unlikely that Arizona will put up the amount of points in this game that they did last week against Green Bay and New Orleans didn’t score a whole lot of points in their last three regular season games.

But betting the total is an iffy proposition because gamblers just don’t know with these two teams. Instead, I’m going to study how the offenses and defenses matchup and try to find the team that will cover the spread.

Cardinals’ Offense vs. Saints’ Defense

Arizona’s offense was spectacular against the Green Bay Packers last week. The Cardinals racked up 156 yards on the ground, Kurt Warner threw for 379 yards and 5 touchdowns, and the unit put up 45 points.

That was impressive, no doubt, but can the same offensive explosion be expected when the Cardinals face the New Orleans Saints on Saturday? It’s a legitimate question.

Teams beat up the Saints in their last three regular season games. Even the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers found a way to rush for 176 yards and pass for 263 on the Saints’ D. The unit, which was ranked in the Top 10 at one time, is now ranked 24th in the NFL and gives up an average of over 20 points per game. To make matters worse, the Saints will be without defensive end Charles Grant for the playoffs.

Those aren’t good stats for a unit that faces one of the best offenses in the NFL. Arizona should find a way to get to the Saints’ D, but two things could work against Arizona’s offense in this game.

First, Arizona’s offense was so fantastic against the Packers last Sunday that there’s absolutely no way they could repeat that performance against the Saints 6 days later. Second, the Saints get back linebacker Scott Shanle and cornerback Jabari Greer back for this game. The return of Greer is essential to the Saints’ chances of stopping Arizona’s terrific wide receivers.

Cardinals’ Defense vs. Saints’ Offense

The Cardinals’ defense looked good for about a quarter last Sunday against Green Bay. Then, even though they knew that Green Bay was going to pass, the Cardinals couldn’t stop the pass. Arizona’s D allowed Green Bay to rush for 90 yards and Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers to throw for 422 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The Cardinals’ defense faces the #1 ranked offense in the NFL when they take on Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense. Even though the Saints are ranked #1, however, they haven’t done so well lately, scoring only 17 points against Dallas and Tampa Bay and only 10 points against Carolina in their last three regular season games.

That’s much lower than what the Saints usually score, 31.9, per game. Can the Saints turn it around in time to get to a suspect Cardinals’ D?

With a healthy Pierre Thomas, the Saints should be able to at least get a semblance of a running game going. That will be the key for the Saints. If they can force the Cardinals to put an extra man in the box, then Drew Brees should be able to light up the Cardinals for at least 3 touchdown passes.

The Best NFL Bet Is…

On the New Orleans Saints to cover the 7 points. The Saints looked awful in their last 3 regular season games, but they had excuses in each one of those losses.

New Orleans should be much better than they have been in a month and the Saints understand how important it is to get off to a fast start. Expect New Orleans to rush the ball and establish Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Reggie Bush early on in this game.

If Arizona adjusts to the Saints’ rushing attack, then New Orleans will go to the pass. If the Cardinals do not adjust, then the Saints should be able to win a low scoring game.

Whether it’s by the run or the pass doesn’t matter. Either way, the Saints are primed to turn their recent bad play around by squashing a tired Arizona Cardinals team this Saturday.


author avatar
Leigh Copson
Leigh is, without a doubt, the most over worked writer here at Crunch Sports. A statistician at heart, she can reel off Superbowl plays from decades ago. If we need a deep-dive into the numbers in any sport, we call Leigh first.

Leigh is, without a doubt, the most over worked writer here at Crunch Sports. A statistician at heart, she can reel off Superbowl plays from decades ago. If we need a deep-dive into the numbers in any sport, we call Leigh first.

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