This week’s Thursday Night Football game is set to be a game every NFL fan is surely going to want to watch! Week five NFL action will pit the Arizona Cardinals against the San Francisco 49ers. Now doesn’t that sentence just get you excited? No? Don’t worry you are not alone, as that first sentence was complete sarcasm. Thursday night will see two of the most underwhelming teams in the league go head to head.
Both teams enter week five with a 1-3 record. The Cardinals opened the season seen as contenders for the Super Bowl. But they have simply been playing poor football, including a 17-13 loss at home in week four to the Los Angeles Rams. Their only win came at home in a blowout victory against the Tampa Bay Bucs, who quite frankly, look just as bad as the Cardinals through four games. The 49ers on the other hand won in a week one blowout of the Rams at home. Since then, they have lost three straight, including two blowouts.
The Cardinals enter the game with some serious uncertainty, and it is more than just their play on the field. Starting quarterback suffered a concussion in week four, and is far from a given to play in this one. The team signed a quarterback off of their practice squad this week, signaling they are preparing for the game minus Palmer. In which case, Drew Stanton will get the start. In last weeks game, Stanton threw 11 passes. Four of them he completed to his receivers. Two of them he completed to the Rams defense.
And Palmer is not the only injured Cardinal. Backup running back Chris Johnson is now on the IR with a sports hernia. Safety Tyvon Branch is going on the IR for the same injury as well. So when you add up all of the pieces, the Cardinals are a team that has been struggling, especially on the road, and now are dealing with injuries. This week they go on the road, most likely with their backup quarterback running the show. (UPDATE: Carson Palmer has officially been ruled out for the game)
The only saving grace for the team is the fact that the 49ers are their opponents. San Francisco is simply put, one of the worst teams in football. But one thing they have going for them is the fact that they seem to play better football in their home stadium. They won in week one at Levi Stadium, and this past week against Dallas they got off to a 14-0 lead to start the game while at home. Now they eventually gave up 24 points, and ended up losing, but only by a touchdown.
So while I hate picking San Francisco, getting four points in this one is hard to pass up. If the Cardinals want to run away with this one, running back David Johnson is going to have to do some heavy lifting, which is certainly possible. But even if Johnson has a big game, Carlos Hyde is certainly capable of the same. So even if the Cardinals do win the game, the Niners should be able to stay at least within a field goal. And if they do not, do not expect me to pick them again for the rest of the season as it will be the second time I picked them and got burned.
For all week five NFL spreads and Over/Under’s, check out our NFL week 5 Betting Odds master-sheet here.
Line: Ari -4, O/U: 43
Pick: 49ers and the under
Result: Ari 33 – SF 21, Cardinals and the over