In Week 5 of the NFL season, the first-place Arizona Cardinals (4-0) will welcome the San Francisco 49ers (2-2) on Sunday at State Farm Stadium for a late-afternoon game in Glendale. You can check out our sports betting odds for this game and more.
They sit atop the NFC West, ahead by one game after the Cardinals won on the road last week against the Los Angeles Rams. Can the Cardinals cover the spread at home? Let’s discuss.
Quarterback Kyle Murray Atop the NFC West
The big story so far this season for the Cardinals has been quarterback Kyler Murray. He was dominant against the Rams last week, throwing for 268 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals’ running game looked stellar, with starter Chase Edmonds amassing 120 yards on 12 carries. Backup running back James Conner carried the ball 18 times for only 50 yards, but most importantly, he ran for two touchdowns.
That type of rushing attack certainly helps to take the pressure off Murray, and it showed against the Rams.
He spread the ball to seven different receivers, connecting with A.J. Green and tight end Maxx Williams for touchdowns.
Murray had his best passer rating of the 2021 NFL season last week. And now his team will face a divisional rival in Week 5 who might be without their starting quarterback.
Can the 49ers Keep Up?
As for the 49ers, their biggest story right now is that Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a bruised right calf and had to leave the game against the Seattle Seahawks last week.
Enter rookie quarterback Trey Lance, a first-round draft pick. He went 9-for-18 against the burly Seahawks defense, throwing for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
But can the 49ers keep up with an excellent football team on the road? It will be hard for any team to keep up with the Cardinals’ offense, especially a team that could be led by a rookie quarterback.
Now, let’s break down the Arizona Cardinals’ chances of covering the spread against the 49ers.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Arizona Cardinals
One promising thing about Trey Lance was his ability to make big plays on offense. Against the Seahawks, he hurled a 76-yard touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel.
Still, the rookie will be facing the best team in the NFL right now. So that’s a big reason why the 49ers are currently at +5.5 for the point spread.
Do the Cardinals have any value at -5.5 at home? I think so.
Murray is an elite quarterback who is already a top contender for the NFL MVP this season. It all depends on how well the Cardinals’ defense can shut down Lance.
That leaves a lot up to the 49ers running the ball. Running backs Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell are both rookies. Sermon carried the ball 19 times against the Seahawks, while Mitchell sat on the bench due to an injury.
If the Cardinals can stop the run in Week 5, I see no reason they shouldn’t cover the spread.
I believe the Cardinals will win this game by a touchdown, with a score of 31-24.
NFC West: Week 5 Matchups
The 49ers vs. Cardinals matchup should certainly be a close one.
The NFC West is shaping up to be the most competitive division in football. On Thursday night, the Rams will take on the Seahawks, another divisional game.
As for the Arizona Cardinals, I think they can cover the spread this week against the 49ers. But it’s not going to be easy.
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