The Arizona Cardinals look to stop a concerning two-game losing streak when they host a Christmas Day visit from the red-hot Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have won five of their last six NFL betting games, climbing all the way to 8-6 after a 1-4 start. Arizona were just blown out by the now 2-11-1 Detroit Lions in shocking fashion Sunday, significantly loosening the Cardinals’ grip on the NFC West.
Conversely, the Colts put together a solid all-around performance against the New England Patriots Saturday night, winning, 27-17, in a game that really wasn’t that close. Carson Wentz threw for just 57 yards, but Jonathan Taylor ran all over New England, notching 170 yards with a score. Indianapolis’ defense picked off Mac Jones twice and held the Patriots’ ground game fully in check in a thoroughly impressive showing.
The NFL betting lines have Arizona as a one-point favorite at home.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals NFL Odds by BetUs
|Colts||+1 ( -110 )||49 ( -110 )||-105|
|Cardinals||-1 ( -110 )||49 ( -110 )||-115|
Colts’ Defense Comes To Play
Indianapolis has mostly turned the season around thanks to Taylor’s incredible campaign, but the Colts have also benefited from a defense that has been able to come up with the right play at the right time. The Colts have had some letdowns — 30+-point performances by the Tennessee Titans, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the past seven weeks or so — but for the most part, they’ve played really well.
The Colts rank 14th in yards allowed and ninth in scoring defense. However, they’re first with 31 forced turnovers, allowing Indianapolis to limit opposing damage and mitigate dangerous drives. If you’re making NFL predictions, look for the Colts to keep Arizona’s talented but underperforming (lately) offense at bay.
Twenty-four points is just under Arizona’s season average, but the Cardinals have only scored more than that number once in their last five games. Not having DeAndre Hopkins has really limited Kyler Murray’s weapons, making Arizona focus much more on the run. Arizona should win this game, so the Cardinals will have to really get it done on the defensive side of things.
Pick: Cardinals Team Under 24½ points (-115)
Arizona Will Start Game Well
It’s not in question that the Cardinals’ embarrassing blowout loss to the hapless Lions last Sunday was one of the single-worst losses of the entire NFL season. After an electric 10-2 start where they looked like one of the best teams in the league, the Cardinals have crashed back to Earth in recent weeks. A loss to the Lions could be the exact wakeup call the Cards needs to get things straightened out.
After that sort of brutal loss, a good team like the Cardinals should come out of the gates firing Saturday. It’s not going to be easy to beat a team playing as well as the Colts, but the home team seemingly has too much talent to lay another egg. The Cardinals are a tight division race as the Los Angeles Rams are making their push.
Arizona should play well from the outset, taking advantage of the Colts’ middle-of-the-pack rushing defense. Take the Cardinals to have a slight edge at halftime. You could play the first-half line that slightly favors the Cards, or better still, take the double result bet assuming Arizona wins (see below) and also win the first half.
Pick: Double Result – Cardinals/Cardinals +145
Cardinals Will Cover Slim Spread
The story shouldn’t be all that different for the full-game spread. The Colts rely so heavily on Taylor that the Cardinals can stack the box against Wentz in a way that should limit Taylor’s effectiveness. Wentz has done a good job of capping his turnovers, but isn’t that much of a threat in the pocket. He has thrown for 180 yards or fewer in four of the Colts’ last five games.
Arizona had trouble stopping Detroit’s rushing attack last week and the Cardinals have been susceptible to the run throughout the season. However, it’s much easier to handle the opposing ground game when the passing game is so unreliable. Indianapolis is 24th in yards through the air, while Arizona’s defense has given up the fourth-fewest passing yards. That’s a pretty good mix for the Cardinals, who should not lose three games in a row.
Pick: Cardinals Pick -110