Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Prediction: Take The Points and Run

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions prediction and pick for this Week 15 matchup in the NFL. Handicapper Mike Spector previews the game and his play
Mike Spector |
Wed, December 15, 1:12 PM EST | 4 min read
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Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Prediction: Take The Points and Run

The Arizona Cardinals’ loss to the Rams on Monday Night Football was a costly one, as it brought them even with two other teams at 10-3 and dropped them from the NFC’s No. 1 seed to the No. 3 seed. The schedule lightens up a bit this week as they travel to the 1-11-1 Detroit Lions. Will Arizona be focused enough to cover the biggest point spread on the Week 15 slate, or will there be a hangover effect from a crushing divisional loss?

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions INJURY REPORT

ARIZONA

Questionable: DT Zach Kerr, RB Chase Edmonds

OUT: S James Wiggins, OT Justin Murray

DETROIT

QUESTIONABLE: RB D’Andre Swift, TE T.J. Hockenson, LB Julian Okwara, LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB Alex Anzalone

OUT: CB Jerry Jacobs

Cardinals vs. Lions odds

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Betting Line Movement

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Prediction

One of the biggest reasons for Arizona’s loss on Monday night was their inability to block the Rams’ defensive front. The Cardinals offensive line had 19 pass block losses, which is tied for a single-game worst in the last three seasons. Los Angeles’ addition of Von Miller paid huge dividends, as 14 of the 19 pressures on Murray came when he was on the field. The 19 pressures on Murray were a career-high, and he went 8-for-12 for 141 yds and took four sacks when pressured.

Monday’s game was the fourth this season where Murray was sacked at least three times. That led to the Cardinals scoring 24 or fewer points for the third time in the last four weeks. In addition, Arizona’s pass defense let them down, as Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford completed at least 75% of his passes and threw for three touchdowns for the third time this season.

Detroit was hit hard by the COVID-19 bug entering last week’s game against Denver and thus played their game at Mile High Stadium down several key starters. Nevertheless, they remained competitive in the first half, only trailing 17-10, but were outscored 21-0 in the second half. Detroit was competitive from a statistical standpoint, as they were only outgained 358-316 and rushed for 118 yards on 5.6 yards per carry. However, the biggest difference in the game was their red zone inefficiency. The Lions scored on just one of their three red-zone trips, while the Broncos were a perfect 5-for-5.

It is easy to look at these two teams’ records and justify that Arizona, which shares the best record in the league (10-3), and think they should easily dispatch a Lions team with the NFL’s worst record (1-11-1). Moreso, bettors will be eager to back the Cardinals, citing that they are one of two undefeated teams on the road this season.

However, this is the quintessential trap spot for Arizona. After a hard-fought loss to a division rival, they are coming into this game on short rest. And following their game against Detroit, they have consecutive games against Indianapolis and Dallas (both of whom are playoff teams at the moment), with a game against another division rival (Seattle) to end the season.

Detroit will undoubtedly be a healthier team this week than they were last week, as all the players who missed Sunday’s game due to COVID-19 have all week to clear protocol. In addition, head coach Dan Campbell is “hopeful” that running back D’Andre Swift and tight end T.J. Hockenson will be available after missing the last couple of games.

The Lions are a team with nothing to lose heading into this week, and one can expect them to be aggressive with their play-calling while trying to build a foundation for the future. That makes them a dangerous opponent against a team that just came off a game where they could not keep their quarterback clean.

Detroit is 6-0 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss and is 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. Though they are the week’s biggest underdogs, we will gladly take the 13.5 points and hope the public pushes this to at least +14 by kickoff.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions Pick

Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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