The New England Patriots will kick off their 2016/17 season on the road out west with a visit to Arizona where they’ll take on the Cardinals this Sunday, September 11th. Of course, Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady won’t be in the lineup at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale as he serves the first game of his four-match suspension for his part in the infamous Deflategate incident. New England went 12-4 last year to win the AFC East while Arizona took the NFC West with a 13-3 record. The Cardinals are 10/1 to win the Super Bowl this season with the Patriots at 8/1.
Here’s a closer look at the odds, betting trends and pre-game summary for each team:
Patriots vs Cardinals: Bovada NFL Betting Line:
- Bovada lists the Cardinals as 6 point home favorites – the over/under is set at 47 points.
Patriots vs Cardinals Betting Trends:
New England Patriots:
- Team record: 13-5 SU, 8-7-3 ATS
- New England is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 games
- New England is 16-5 SU in its last 21 games
- New England is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games on the road
- Team record: 14-4 SU, 9-9 ATS
- Arizona is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- Arizona is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Arizona’s last 8 games
New England Patriots – A Closer Look:
The Patriots have made the postseason for seven straight years and have won their division in each of those seasons. Most experts feel they’ll make it eight years in a row, but head coach Bill Belichick will have to do without his top gun Brady for the first quarter of a season. It looks like Jimmy Garoppolo will take over for him on Sunday even though he’s never started an NFL game and has just 11 appearances to his name in the regular season. The backup QB has one touchdown in his two seasons with the Patriots with 188 yards in passing on 20 completions. However, he’ll be working with Rob Gronkowski, the league’s best tight end. Gronkowski has two straight 1,000-yard campaigns to his name and led all tight ends with 11 touchdowns and 1,176 yards last year. His 16.3 yards per catch was also ranked first and he played just 15 contests.
The New England defense is also one of the best in the NFL. They were ninth-best in the NFL last year in yards against and 10th best in points allowed. This year they will have to do without standout DE Rob Ninkovich (injured and suspended for the first 4 games) and star linebacker Chandler Jones who left the team in the offseason and signed with the Cardinals. However, the Patriots still boast some fine defensive players in Patrick Chung, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower and Malcolm Butler. New England matches up well against Arizona but has dropped four of their past five road games both against the spread and straight up. New England slowed down last year with four defeats in their final six outings and lost the AFC Championship to eventual Super Bowl winners Denver, so need to turn it around early in 2016.
Arizona Cardinals – A Closer Look:
The Cardinals had their best year ever in 2015/16 at 13-3 and are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. They own one of the NFL’s best offenses and the defense isn’t too shabby either. They’ll be a contender as long as they remain healthy and 36-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer is at his best. Tyrann Mathieu has had injury problems (torn ACLs) but is healthy to start the season and provides stellar play in the backend of their defense. There are some great offensive skill players on the squad – John Brown, David Johnson, Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald to name a few. The Cardinal’s want to improve their pass rush and they’ve acquired ex-Patriot Chandler Jones to help out in that area. Jones has recorded 36 sacks over the past four seasons.
Palmer played all 16 games last year and ranked fourth in passing yards with 4,671. He also had a passer rating of 104.6 and threw for 35 touchdowns. He has several fine receivers to help him out such as Brown, Fitzgerald and Floyd and running back David Johnson averaged 12.7 yards each reception last year as a rookie as well as 4.6 yards a carry. Last year’s team defense gave up just 19.6 points a game on average to rank seventh in the NFL and Jones joins a team which features Matthieu, Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell. Arizona has won five of their past six season openers both straight-up and against the spread.
Patriots vs Cardinals Takeaway:
This is a tough way for the Brady-less Patriots to open the 2016 NFL season. Having to travel to Arizona to face one of the toughest defenses in the league will prove no easy task for Jimmy Garoppolo and Co. We like the home team in this one. The under also looks good to us in what could be a defensive battle for two teams in early-season form.
Next up for both teams:
- New England home to Miami Sunday, September 18
- Arizona home to Tampa Bay Sunday, September 18
Here’s more great information for the Patriots vs Cardinals game in week 1 from Bovada:
Check out all of the upcoming NFL Odds and Matchup information from Bovada below!
For NFL and NCAA Football Bettors outside the United States we recommend these top-rated online sportsbooks: