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Cardinals vs. Titans: NFL Week 1 betting odds, preview, and pick

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September 9th, 2021

The Arizona Cardinals will try to open their NFL season with a victory when they travel to Tennessee to face the Titans in Week 1 action.

Sun, September 12 2021, 5:00 PM

TEN Titans

Moneyline

-150

Spread

-3

Total

O 52.5

ARI Cardinals

Moneyline

+123

Spread

+3

Total

U 52.5

Cardinals need to keep pace in NFL’s toughest division

Arizona is a trendy pick to go from worst-to-first this season, something the NFL has seen happen nearly every year over the past decade. If they hope to pace what will be the NFL’s toughest division by far, then the Cards must get off to a strong start with a win over Tennessee.

Quarterback Kyler Murray had a rough preseason, but many hope he will take a massive step forward this season with the addition of A.J. Green and Rondale Moore to the passing attack. With DeAndre Hopkins often commanding double-teams, Murray will have two other serious threats to get the ball to, in addition to Christian Kirk. The plethora of passing options should also give him more room to take off and hurt teams with his legs, should his line fail to protect him.

The defense still has question marks, but the addition of J.J. Watt is a major upgrade on the defensive line. The loss of Patrick Peterson on the back end will also be felt in this game, as they try to contain both Julio Jones and A.J. Brown in what will likely be single coverage. If they are unable to at least slow down Derrick Henry, it could be a long day.

Titans hoping Jones is the missing piece

The Titans are hoping to repeat as AFC South champs, and the addition of Jones certainly helps. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill now has two serious weapons to employ against likely eight-man fronts as teams focus to stop the behemoth that is Derrick Henry.

The offense will need to put up big numbers every week, because their secondary is likely going to be a glaring weakness. Tennessee returns just one starter from their defensive backfield in 2020, and will be heavily tested by the depth of the Cardinals’ receiving corps.

The other concern for the Titans is the COVID-19 outbreak that recently hit the locker room. While all players are active for the game, many have missed practice, including two starting offensive linemen. If the Titans show rust early in the game, it could give Arizona a chance jump out in front and force the Titans to throw.

Cardinals vs. Titans Injury Report

Arizona CardinalsTennessee Titans
TE Darrell Daniels: Questionable (toe)
WR A.J. Brown: Probable (knee)
LB Dennis Gardeck: Probable (kinee)
CB Chris Jackson: Questionable (hamstring)
C Marcus Henry: Injured Reserve (undisclosed)
LB David Long: Questionable (hamstring)

Cardinals and Titans Betting Trends

  • The Cardinals are 2-7 ATS in their last nine games
  • The Under was 8-0 in Arizona’s road games last season
  • The Titans are 2-4 ATS in their last six games
  • The Over is 7-2 in Tennessee’s last nine games
  • The Titans are 1-4 ATS in their last five season openers

Expect a high-scoring affair

Both of these teams are going to be involved in shootouts this season, and this one is no exception. The duo of Jones and Henry will cause problems for the Cardinals’ defense, while Murray’s numerous weapons are going to ask serious questions of the Titans.

Not only do I believe the Titans will fail to cover the spread for the fifth time in their opening game over the past six seasons, I believe the Cardinals will take advantage of Tennessee’s poor secondary play and come away with an important road win. However, your safest bet is the Over, as neither of these defenses are going to come away unscathed. If you are looking for a big payout, pair the Over with an Arizona win for a +320 Same Game Combo victory.

Score prediction: Arizona 31, Tennessee 27

NFL Week 1 PICK: Over 52.5 (-108); Same Game Combo ARI ML & Over 52.5 (+320)

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