It’s very rare that we the game of the week on Thursday Night Football, but the NFL Gods have rewarded us with a mid-week matchup of the highest order! The undefeated Arizona Cardinals are at home and welcome the one-loss Green Bay Packers to the desert. Can Kyler & D-Hop lead Arizona to an 8-0 start or will Aaron Rodgers and his depleted offense take control of the NFC by handing the Cardinals their first loss of the season?
The Packers have reeled off six straight wins since their opening-day horror show loss to the Saints. In that time frame, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 15 TD passes against only 1 interception. So the reigning MVP is showing his class once again in 2021. But he’ll be without his best and favourite target tonight. The loss of Davante Adams cannot be understated. Arguably the best WR in football is absent tonight after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and to make matters worse, Allen Lazard, the Packers WR2 is OUT due to the close contact rules, meaning Green Bay will be down to their 3rd, 4th & 5th choice pass-catchers for their trip to Glendale.
The undefeated Cardinals stumbled out of the blocks against the hapless Texans on Sunday as they found themselves down 5-0 in the second quarter. But inevitably, they took over the game and, Houston didn’t muster another point in a 26 point blow-out win for the Cardinals. Murray had his fourth 3+ passing TD game of the season on Sunday, taking his TD/INT ratio to 20:5 when adding in his three rushing scores on the year. Numbers like that are why he’s a front-runner to take Rodgers’ MVP trophy away from him in 2021. Obviously, having DeAndre Hopkins helps any QB, but the career resurgence of A.J. Green has been a huge reason why the Cardinals have been able to put up so many points this season. Green was considered washed up after two injury-laden, down years in Cincinnatti, but in this exciting Cardinals offense he has come alive, the veteran pass-catcher has over 65 receiving yards in four of his last five games, as well as 3 TDs in his last 6 games. I like Green to go over his 45.5 receiving yards line in this matchup, and I also think he has a great chance of finding the endzone tonight for what would be his third score in three career appearances against the Packers.
Although Green Bay are without their best pass-catcher and the Cardinals are unbeaten, I have a feeling that this is the game that ‘0’ goes. The Packers can play tough enough on defense and run the ball effectively on an average Cardinals run defense that’ll be without J.J. Watt. Packers are +6.5 point underdogs and best-priced 12/5 to win outright. That’s far too big a price for an Aaron Rodgers led team if you ask me.
Spread: Packers +6.5
Game Prediction: Packers 31-30 Cardinals
Best Bet: A.J. Green over 45.5 Receiving Yards and to score a Touchdown @ 10/3 with Bet365 Bet Builder. [0.5]