Eagles vs. Cardinals Betting Predictions

Eagles vs Cardinals NFL
Philadelphia vs. Arizona, NFL Betting Predictions, December 20

The Philadelphia Eagles kept their faint playoff hopes alive last week with a gutsy chance to Jalen Hurts at quarterback. Hurts led the Eagles to a shocking upset of New Orleans and now sets his sights on the man he replaced at Oklahoma, Kyler Murray. The Arizona Cardinals are trying to save their own playoff positioning, and they need all the wins they can get, especially at home against teams below .500. Murray and the Cardinals should be able to exploit the weaknesses in the Eagles defense to pull out the victory.

Eagles vs. Cardinals Betting Odds

What Philadelphia did so well against the Saints last week was playing to Hurts’ strengths as a player. They used his athleticism to add a quarterback run option to their offense, and it neutralized the Saints a bit and opened the door for Miles Sanders to have a big game. Both Hurts and Sanders ran for 100 yards with Hurts actually leading the team with 18 rushes. By establishing a strong rushing attack, it took pressure off Hurts in the passing game and he looked far more comfortable throwing the ball against New Orleans.

Arizona, of course, now has a full game’s worth of film and they’ll be able to strategize a little bit better on how to contain this new look offense. The bigger question, though, is how will Philadelphia contain Murray and the Cardinals rushing attack. The Eagles rank 24th against the run and have allowed the third-most rushing touchdowns in the NFL. Lamar Jackson ran nine times for 108 yards and a touchdown earlier this season, and Daniel Jones ran a combined 13 times for 156 yards across two meetings this year.

Arizona is at its best when it is able to run the ball as was the case again last week against the Giants. The Cardinals are 6-1 when they rush for at least 150 yards and just 1-5 when they fail to reach that mark. The Eagles obviously present an excellent chance for the Cardinals to establish a strong rushing game and let Murray become a play-action passer with his playmakers on the outside. Philadelphia has been good at keeping teams out of the end zone through the air, but it has also allowed some big games to marquee receivers, which is a perfect position for DeAndre Hopkins to shine. The Cardinals defense doesn’t get the credit it deserves as it has held two of its last three opponents to less than 200 yards of total offense. Arizona lost one of those games, though, because of poor special teams allowing New England to take advantage of short fields with the offense. If Arizona can force Philadelphia to sustain long drives, which is what the Cardinals did last week against the Giants, then Arizona has a far better chance at slowing down the Eagles.

The point total for this game is going to be interesting because possessions might be at a premium in a run-heavy game such as this one. The NFL betting sites in New Jersey have set the over/under at 49.5 points, which makes sense given the relative success of both offenses in recent weeks. Arizona is averaging 23 points per game over the last four weeks while the Eagles are averaging 18.2 over the last five. Philadelphia hasn’t scored more than 24 points in a game since Week 6, but Hurts and this run-based attack put up 24 on the best defense in the league last week. Arizona scored 30 or more points in five straight games before this recent run of more average totals. Something has to give, and I think that’s the Eagles defense failing to contain Murray and his scrambles. I’ll take over 50.5 total points at +100 odds in this game.

Cardinals to win

I don’t know what to say about the fact Arizona is 6.5-point favorites in this game at the New Jersey online sports betting sites. On the one hand, Hurts clearly gave the Eagles offense a boost in the win over the Saints because he added a new dimension to the rushing attack. However, Arizona is the better team and they don’t rely on the pass as much as most teams. If Arizona wins this game, it will be closer than a touchdown, so the spread seems high to me. This is a chance for Arizona to put that fourth-ranked rushing offense to work against this Eagles defense, but I worry about the Cardinals ability to slow down Philadelphia’s rushing attack. This feels like a game where the last possession might win and that could end up being a field goal’s difference. I’d rather stay safe and keep some value by betting Arizona to win by 13 points or fewer at +145 odds.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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