NFL Week 3: San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Updated: Dec 7, 2020
San Francisco 49ers +7.0 (-130) @ Arizona Cardinals u43.5 (-110)
University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
September 27, 2015, 1:05pm MST
Every factor in our stable highlights value backing the 49ers to cover as 7.0 point road underdogs at the Cardinals' University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday. FPI, our favorite power rankings methodology, implies a 1.3 point margin of safey for the Niners; similarly Elo Ratings suggest San Fran will beat the number with 1.8 points to spare, and TeamRankings.com's power rankings imply a 2.3 point cushion.
Alternately, our two preferred simulation models also point to the 49ers as the most probable victors versus the number this afternoon.
San Francisco was undressed by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers last week. Big Ben threw for 369 total yards and 3 TDs, while Antonio Brown chipped in 165 catching yards and 1 touchdown.
As if Roethlisberger was not enough for the Niners to handle last week, the Cardinals' QB, Carson Palmer, has also been been white hot through the first two weeks of the season. In fact, Palmer's Adjusted Yards per Attempt numbers suggest the last two games represent the best such stint of his career in Arizona.
We think the betting line for today's match up is overly influenced by SF's poor showing last week, in conjunction with Arizona's decisive wins versus a Saints unit in week 1 that has clearly lost its form, and the then-ranked #27 Bears last week.
There is a case to be made that the Niners match up well defensively with the Cards. Further, Carson Palmer should naturally cool a bit after his unreal play in weeks 1 & 2, making it likely that Arizona's offensive output will come back down to earth today.
Data from the sim routines and computer predictions models we follow anticipate the Cardinals will manage about 26 points today. We see the Niners scoring roughly 20 points this afternoon, essentially inline with their season-to-date offensive productivity. Thus, in addition to favoring the 49ers to cover, we also like OVER 43.5.