NFL Week 8 Upset Alert: Cardinals a Live Dog Against Vikings This Week

The Arizona Cardinals broke a two-game losing streak on Thursday when they beat the New Orleans Saints. They come into this game on Sunday against the 5-1 Minnesota Vikings as road dogs, which is to be expected with how both teams have started this season.

Let’s break this game down to see why we like the Cardinals as road underdogs in this spot.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, October 30, 2022 – 01:00 PM EDT at U.S. Bank Stadium

Regression to the Mean Due for Vikings 

The Minnesota Vikings are -3.5 point favorites when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Line movement on this game shows that the public doesn’t all the way believe in this Vikings team, and I agree with that sentiment.

The line opened at Vikings at -4.5 and has been steamed down to the current number. In truth, Minnesota’s record isn’t a true indication of how good they are.

The Vikings’ Deffense

Let’s start on defense, where the Vikings are not very good. They are 28th in the league in passing yards allowed, and the advanced stats have them last in the league in terms of average yards given up per pass attempt.

They’re also ranked 27th in rushing touchdowns allowed while they sit middle of the pack in rushing yards allowed. The defense allows points on 32% of their drives, which is also near the bottom (26th) in the league.  

While their offense is good, it isn’t spectacular and the stats on both sides of the ball do not seem to represent a 5-1 team. The five teams they’ve beaten this season have a combined record of 13-21, while their one loss was not close (24-7) against the Eagles. Minnesota is due for regression and the Cardinals have the right formula to cause them some problems in this matchup on Sunday.

Cardinals Get the Second Most Important Player Back 

DeAndre Hopkins reminded us why he is considered by some as the best receiver in the NFL with his performance against the New Orleans Saints last week. He caught 10 passes for 104 yards, more than half of Kyler Murray’s passing total (204) for the day. While the numbers are more impressive, it’s what the Cardinals did to get him open that should have their fans excited.

Kliff Kingsbury has received a lot of criticism since becoming the Cards’ head coach for some of this decision-making. People have often wondered why he is so rigid with his offensive sets.

Arizona rarely moves their wide receivers around looking for favorable matchups, which is something you see all over the league, including in Minnesota with their star Justin Jefferson. Arizona did exactly that last week against the Saints and it worked very well. If they do that on Sunday against this subpar Vikings secondary, Hopkins should have another big day.

The other thing this does is open up the rest of the field for Murray. While he didn’t have his best game last week, he should have time against Minnesota, who don’t really do a good job of putting pressure on opposing QBs, which is an issue when you play Murray. You could clearly see that Murray is a different quarterback with Hopkins in the lineup.

Pick and Prediction 

I love the Cardinals at +3.5 in this game. While I am predicting them to upset the Vikings, that number is just too good to pass up.

We have very serious concerns about the Cardinals’ ability to stop Jefferson, but we do think that they can put up points against this Vikings group. I love Kyler Murray playing indoors on this fast track and Minnesota had a very hard time keeping him in the pocket last year when they lost in Arizona.

I expect the Arizona playbook to really open up this week with the extra practice time they got, having played last Thursday.

With all due respect to the Vikings, they have one of the easier remaining schedules in the NFC and we expect them to lose against the Cardinals and in two weeks against Buffalo at the very least before they get things back on track down the stretch. Regression to the mean for the Vikings starts this Sunday against the Cards.

NFL Pick: Cardinals ML (+155) at BetMGM is your sports betting command center. Read featured betting strategy compiled from a panel of leading sports betting experts.

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