The Philadelphia Eagles are looking to start the season 5-0 for the first time since 2004, while the Arizona Cardinals are looking to score in the first quarter for the first time this season when the longtime NFL franchises clash in the desert on Sunday.
The Cardinals, the only team not to score in the first quarter this season, lead the all-time streak 60-56-5 after winning six of their last eight games. The series began in 1935 when the Cardinals were in Chicago.
Here’s everything you need from a betting perspective on the Eagles-Cardinals game, from point spread, moneyline, total over/under and expert picks (odds via FOX Bet):
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TIED TOGETHER: Now two early NFL bets
Eagle @ cardinals (4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, FOX)
Point distribution: Eagles -5.5 (Eagles favor a win by more than 5.5 points, otherwise Cardinals cover)
money line: Eagles -278 favorites to win (bet $10 to win $13.60 total); Cardinals +205 win underdogs (bet $10 to win $30.50 total)
Total score over/under: Both teams scored 49.5 points together
The Eagles have gone 1-6-1 against the spread (ATS) against the Cardinals in their last eight games.
The Eagles have won 4-1 (SU) in their last five away games.
The Eagles have hit the under in the over/under (O/U) in five of their last seven games against teams in the NFC West Division.
The Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games against the Eagles.
The Cardinals are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games
The Cardinals have hit the under in the O/U in six of their last nine games.
Choose over the FOX Sports Betting Analyst Warren Sharp:
Jalen hurts has one of the highest average time-to-throw numbers in the league. He averages 2.97 seconds per attempt, which is the fifth highest in the NFL.
However, his game has a uniqueness that sets it apart from most QBs, who also have a high time-to-throw.
Leaders in time-to-throw include Justin Fields, Daniel Jones, Markus Mariota, Lamar Jackson and Jacoby Brissett.
Most of these QBs also have well below average pass rates under 2 seconds and passes under 2.5 seconds. But not Hurts.
57% of his total attempts are thrown in less than 2.5 seconds.
This is the 12th highest rank.
These other QBs range from 30% to under 40% for the percentage of throw-in attempts under 2.5 seconds.
Hurts throws on most of his tries on time, but some of his tries just take forever to clear as he crawls and creates, either due to pressure or to get deeper into the field while gaining time.
When Hurts throws in less than 2.5 seconds, only 4% of his attempts miss the target (second best in the NFL) and 10.5% of his attempts gain over 20 yards (fourth best in the NFL).
The problem for the Cardinals’ defense is that it was better when QBs got rid of the ball quickly.
If QBs throw the ball in under 2.5 seconds, this pass defense allows +0.13 EPA/att (#21) and 6.7 YPA (#22).
But when QBs throw the ball into their dropback for more than 3 seconds or more, the Cardinals are easily the NFL’s worst defense.
They allow +0.70 EPA/att (#32). Team #31 is +0.42 and the league average is +0.05.
And they allow 11.9 YPA, which is also #32.
To be fair, Arizona played Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Baker Mayfieldso it’s not like they’re allowing insane yards to terrible QBs (Mayfield aside and current form, Stafford noted).
But in particular, they’re significantly worse when a QB can extend a dropback if their cover in the secondary collapses.
The Eagles face the NFL’s fifth-worst pass defense at the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona’s defense as a whole ranks 31st in early down success.
While the Eagles’ offense has been highly adaptable to diverse environments, the Cardinals’ offense can’t thrive in even the friendliest of environments.
This pass attack ranks #25 despite playing the third easiest pass defense plan.
They rely almost exclusively on the pass as they are the #5 most pass-heavy offense but cannot execute consistently.
And they haven’t even played a pass defense this season, which is even league average at 16-17. Not to mention facing the No. 2 Eagles passing offense that will take place on Sunday.
Arizona Cardinals third down conversion rate is abysmal in 2022. I’ve talked about it a lot this summer and how absurd it was in 2021.
It was the #1 third down conversion rate, exceeding expectations given their average distance to go on the third down.
I predicted a regression and it hit hard.
Kliff Kingsbury’s offense has left the 32nd-ranked NFL’s conversion rate ahead of expectations this year.
And that’s despite playing the 22nd most challenging schedule for third-down defenses.
It’s even worse in the first half of games.
The Cardinals face an average to-go distance of 7.6 yards, which is in line with the league average.
But they only convert 22% of third downs, which is No. 31 in the NFL.
Here’s a big reason the Cardinals averaged in the first half:
#3 Most punts per drive (55%)
No. 3 with the fewest timed drives (18%)
#1 Least points per trip (0.73)
But what’s also wild is that even when the Cardinals do make it into the red zone, they get touchdowns on just 25% of their drives in the first half of the red zone, which ranks third-worst in the NFL.
Arizona is still the only team in the NFL without one points in the first quarter this season.
At one point, the Cardinals were incredible at home. From 2013 to 2017, they covered 54% at home, which was the 10th best in the NFL.
But under Kliff Kingsbury as of 2019, the Cardinals are the No. 2 worst in the NFL with 9-17 ATS (35%) at home.
And as of 2021, they rank last in Arizona with a 20% coverage rate.
I think the Eagles can bail out early.
SELECT: Eagles -3 first half
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