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Laying the points against an overrated Cardinals team

The Cardinals won three straight, but when facing stiffer competition, they struggled. The 49ers come to town and should be sufficiently stronger on defense to cover a double digit spread.

Arik Armstead of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after sacking Kyle Allen of the Carolina Panthers during the game at Levi’s Stadium on October 27, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals host the San Francisco 49ers to open Week 9 in a potentially fun NFC West matchup on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals enter the game 3-4-1 coming off an ugly loss to the New Orleans Saints in Drew Brees’ return. The 49ers are 7-0 and coming off a thumping of the Carolina Panthers last week.

The 49ers are currently a 10.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the point total sits at 48. The line actually opened at 7.5-points, but the public is hammering the 49ers in this one to shoot it up three points. Outside of quarterback injuries, you rarely see such big movement.

Both teams are dealing with some injuries, but nothing that would move the needle in its own right. For the Cardinals, Chase Edmonds is out for the game and David Johnson is questionable but not expected to play. Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert are both banged up as well for the 49ers. All are notable injuries, but did not swing this line three points.

Normally I’m not a fan of road favorites, and particularly so on Thursday Night Football. I don’t like losing that hook at 10.5 points, but even still, I’m inclined to lay the points with the 49ers.

More traditional betting logic dictates taking the Cardinals, but this 49ers defense is different than anything Arizona has faced thus far. The Cardinals won three straight but they came against the Bengals, Falcons, and Giants. When they stepped up in competition against the Saints, it was a thumping.

I would not be shocked by a Cardinals cover, but I just don’t think this team is quite as decent as their 3-4-1 record would otherwise indicate. Meanwhile, the 49ers still seem to be under-appreciated as an undefeated team. The offense has its share of question marks, but that defense is fierce.

There is always the possibility the 49ers get caught looking ahead to their Week 10 Monday Night Football game with Seattle, but I’m just not sure I see it. If Arizona were only sitting at a win or two, maybe, but in this situation they have proven themselves sufficiently dangerous that they need to be taken seriously. I think we see the 49ers continue to make a statement.