The betting public loves the visiting team coming into the week 3 Cardinals at Jaguars matchup. Why wouldn’t they, Arizona has looked basically unstoppable on offense through their first two games of the season and are just -7.5 favorites on the road in Jacksonville on Sunday.
Is the -7.5 ARZ line too low though, because something like 80% of the public are on the Cardinals in what seems like an easy cover. Jacksonville lost 23-13 at home to Denver last week but the Cardinals have nowhere near the defense that the Broncos do. Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence are experiencing their growing pains, but they’ve got a couple NFL games under their belts now too. This one just seems fishy.
Cardinals Offense is Fine, But Defense…
Kylar Murray is playing MVP-like football coming into the week 3 Cardinals at Jaguars matchup. Murray tossed 4 TD in the 38-13 win at Tennessee in week 1 and ran for a 15-yard score as well. Last Sunday the former #1 pick had a 400 yard passing game with 3 TD and also had another 12-yard score on the ground. He did throw 2 INTs in the 34-33 home win over Minnesota as -4 point favorites though.
Murray has a lot of weapons to throw to with Christian Kirk and Deandre Hopkins already grabbing a combined 5 TD catches. Rookie Rondale Moore had a 77-yard TD catch last week vs. the Vikings too, as Arizona is off to the #3 passing attack in the league. The Jaguars got torched by Tyrod Taylor in the opener and let Teddy Bridgewater go 26/34 for 328 yards last week.
To cover the -7.5 spread you need a little defense too though and that’s not what Arizona showed last week. Minnesota moved the ball up and down the field at will against the Cardinals, with Kirk Cousins throwing for 3 TD and Dalvin Cook running for 131 yards.
Can Jaguars Get Things Going?
There are a couple things about Arizona’s defense getting exploited last week – the first being that Minnesota’s offense is really good. The Vikings are top 10 in total yards, rushing, passing, and points – the Jaguars are not. The other aspect of the Cardinals’ week two performance is that they were pretty solid in the opener, holding Derrick Henry to 58 yards rushing and the Titans to under 200 yards passing as a team.
Jacksonville’s offense looked bad last week, but the Broncos have the defense and the coach to terrorize a rookie QB. Trevor Lawrence hit on just 14 of 33 passes and had only 118 yards passing. Lawrence did throw for 332 yards and 3 TD in his NFL debut, but also tossed 3 picks. James Robinson ran for 1070 yards last season in just 14 games, but has just 72 through two outings so far.
Week 3 Cardinals at Jaguars Pick
The line has only moved 1/2 a point in Jacksonville’s direction despite so much of the public being on the visiting Cardinals. Murray did throw a couple picks last week, but Lawrence has 5 through two games. The Jaguars have some weapons, the Cardinals have a lot of them, while Chandler Jones and JJ Watt can put the heat on Lawrence. Even though almost every edge goes to Arizona, why are they not -10 or better favorites here? Sometimes you have to go with what the line is telling you.
Jacksonville 27 – Arizona 30
Free Pick: Jacksonville +7.5