Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Preview
Where: Ford Field, Detroit
When: Sunday, September 10, 2017, 1:00 PM ET
Line: Arizona Cardinals (-2) vs. Detroit Lions (+2); total: 48.0 – view all NFL lines
TV Broadcast: FOX
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Betting on the Arizona Cardinals (-130)
The aging duo of Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald is back for another season to try to lead the Cardinals back into Super Bowl contention a season after Arizona missed the playoffs.
Carson is coming of a 2016-17 season in which he passed for 4,233 yards and 26 touchdowns with 14 interceptions. Those are solid numbers, but he could’ve easily done more if it weren’t for the 40 sacks Arizona’s offensive line had allowed. Palmer, as mentioned earlier, isn’t getting any younger and is now less mobile (we’re being generous in the use of the term “mobile” here), so his protection unit will have to prove itself this season.
Detroit, however, doesn’t seem to be the type of team that would expose whatever there is to expose of the Cardinals’ offensive line. The Lions had the second fewest sacks last season with only 26.0.
Look for Palmer to sling against Detroit in any case, but don’t forget about running back David Johnson, who should see increased role this year. Johnson was a beast out of the backfield last season, rushing for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also playing a critical part in the passing game, catching 80 passes for 879 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. Johnson should find his way around a Detroit defense that ranked 20th last season against the run by allowing 110.5 rushing yards per game.,
Betting on the Detroit Lions (+110)
The Lions just made Matthew Stafford the highest-paid athlete in NFL history, so they’re expecting no less than fireworks from their quarterback right from the get-go of the new season.
Detroit should be fully motivated to win in Week 1 after getting burned to a crisp by the Seattle Seahawks in last playoffs’ wild card matchup. Stafford is healthy following a nagging finger injury that slowed him in the latter parts of last season. Despite the injury, Stafford was able to throw for 4,327 passing yards and 24 touchdowns against 10 interceptions.
The Cardinals present a huge challenge on defense for Detroit, but the Lions have the tools to bend or even break Arizona’s D. For one, the wideout combo of Marvin Jones and Golden Tate isn’t something to scoff at. If Eric Ebron finally had that breakout year this season everyone seems to expect of him, then that should be a tremendous help for Stafford and the Lions’ passing game.
The backfield will have the tandem of Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick. Abdullah was limited to only two games last season due to a season-ending injury but is ready to take the field once again. With a healthy Abdullah, and a confident pair of running backs in Zach Zenner and Riddick, the Lions should improve on their 79.9 rushing yards output they had last season.
Detroit (+2) wins, 28-24.
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