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Cardinals vs. Jaguars: NFL Week 3 betting odds, preview, and pick

Profile Picture: Jason Ence

September 24th, 2021

The Arizona Cardinals will look to maintain their unbeaten start to the season on the road against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3 NFL action Sunday.

The Cardinals are heavily favored, but can they cover? Let's take a look at the matchup.

Sun, September 26 2021, 5:00 PM

JAX Jaguars

Moneyline

+290

Spread

+7.5

Total

O 51.5

ARI Cardinals

Moneyline

-385

Spread

-7.5

Total

U 51.5

Cardinals keeping pace in loaded NFC West

Arizona is doing what it can to go from worst to first in the NFL's toughest division, and it all starts with the play of quarterback Kyler Murray.

He followed up a historic performance in Week 1 with 400 yards and three touchdowns passing, as Arizona escaped with a one-point win over Minnesota, after the Vikings missed a last-second field goal. However, he threw two interceptions, and one was taken back for a touchdown.

The Cardinals struggled on defense, however, as they gave up more than 400 yards to Minnesota, including 177 on the ground, at a clip of 6.6 yards per carry. They held Kirk Cousins to fewer than 250 yards passing but allowed three touchdown strikes and sacked him just once.

The offense they will face this weekend will pose much less of a threat, and Arizona should be able to get the type of pressure they got against the Titans in Week 1.

With key divisional games the next two weeks, against the Rams and 49ers, the Cardinals know this is a must-win game. They will also likely see a better performance from the run game, after Chase Edmonds and James Connor saw only 16 combined carries for 72 yards against Minnesota. However, Rondale Moore and DeAndre Hopkins could have a field day against a Jacksonville secondary that has conceded nearly 300 yards passing per game.

Will Urban Meyer be able to right the ship?

While many in the Jacksonville fanbase were excited about the hire of Urban Meyer, others were unsure if his style of play and coaching would translate well to the NFL. Through the preseason and two games, that is still a concern.

Jacksonville’s offense has been void of a direction. The Jaguars have scored just 34 points through two games and are in the midst of a 17-game losing streak that dates back to Week 1 of last season. Their two defeats this season were both by double-digit margins, including a loss to a Texans team that is not very good. They have committed a league-high five turnovers, have rushed for the seventh-fewest yards, and have thrown for the 10th-fewest yards in the league — much of which has come in garbage time.

Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for just 118 yards on 33 pass attempts last weekend against the Broncos, and James Robinson rushed for 47 yards, after he barely got the ball in Week 1. As a team, they were unable to reach 200 yards of total offense. The only real bright spot on offense was the play of wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr., who caught six of his 11 target — seven more than anybody else on the team saw — for 55 yards. That won’t be enough against a Cardinals pass defense that ranks eighth in yards allowed per game.

The problems go well beyond the offense, however. Defensively, the Jaguars have allowed 60 points, the fourth-most yards per game, and have yet to force a turnover.

Things in Jacksonville look so bleak that the team resorted to putting out a “please don’t give up on us” statement on social media Sunday night, but that will not prevent the Cardinals from licking their chops at the sight of this woeful unit.

Cardinals vs. Jaguars Injury Report

Arizona CardinalsJacksonville Jaguars
CB Byron Murphy: Questionable (ankle)
C Brandon Linder: Questionable (back)
WR DeAndre Hopkins: Probable (ribs)
G A.J. Cann: Probable (hamstring)
G Justin Pugh: Questionable (shoulder)
CB C.J. Henderson: Questionable (groin)

Cardinals vs. Jaguars betting trends

  • The Cardinals are 3-11 ATS in their last 11 games.
  • The Under is 9-0 in Arizona’s last nine road games.
  • The Cardinals are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against defenses ranked in the bottom 10.
  • The Jaguars are 1-5 ATS in their last six games.
  • The Over is 4-1 in Jacksonville’s last five games against Arizona.

Arizona best not overlook Jacksonville

I would not be shocked to see nearly everyone in survivor leagues side with Arizona this weekend.

However, there is a concern that the Cardinals could overlook the Jaguars, with a key game at Los Angeles looming next weekend. If Arizona hopes to contend for the NFC West, this is the kind of game it cannot afford to lose, and I believe last week’s near defeat was a wake-up call.

Not only should Arizona cover, but I expect the Cardinals to be able to name their score. Take the visitors to cover, and combine it with an Arizona team total Over, to set up a +150 same-game combo.

Score prediction: Arizona 35, Jacksonville 13

NFL Week 3 picks: Cardinals -7.5 (-110); same-game combo Cardinals -7.5 and team total Over 30.5 (+150)

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