Top Arizona Cardinals Prop Bets for 2021 You Should Back
The Arizona Cardinals’ win total has risen from three to five to eight in the past three seasons. Year 4 in that rise out of the NFL’s doldrums – and Year 3 with Kyler Murray under center – brings higher expectations.
The Cardinals had an offseason that included adding future Hall of Famer JJ Watt to their defensive line, replacing legendary WR Larry Fitzgerald with A.J. Green, and using a first-round pick on another all-world LB. Arizona is poised to make a run to end its five-year postseason drought.
The 2021 NFL season kicks off Sept. 9, a date local NFL betting Cardinals fans no doubt have circled as well. That’s when legal Arizona sports betting and a whole host of sports betting apps are set to launch in the state.
Over 8.5 Wins
Odds: +105 at PointsBet
The NFC West might be the most competitive division, top to bottom, in 2021. The Cardinals could finish above-.500 and still not only miss the playoffs, but finish last in the West. The San Francisco 49ers are expected to bounce back after injuries sabotaged their 2020 season; the Seattle Seahawks still have Russell Wilson and a top-tier offense; and the Los Angeles Rams added Matthew Stafford for what they hope is a Super Bowl-contending year.
If the Cardinals go a modest 2-4 in NFC West play, is winning eight-plus games still possible? In a word, yes. Remember, there are 17 games in the 2021 regular season. Arizona ranks in the middle of the pack in strength of schedule. A closer look reveals a lot of tough games, but a lot of winnable ones, too.
There are concerns. Running back is shaky with James Conner joining Chase Edmunds in the backfield, and the interior of the defense isn’t a strong spot. But my projections place them in the 8-9 wins range with 10 more likely than 7. They’ll compete each week. We found plus-odds over at PointsBet sportsbook.
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Zaven Collins, Defensive Rookie of the Year
Odds: +1300 at FanDuel
From Day 1, Collins will be a starting inside linebacker for the Cardinals. He’ll likely line up alongside last year’s first-round pick, Isaiah Simmons, with veteran Jordan Hicks the odd man out. Hicks last year totaled 118 tackles from that position, but Collins has more potential to be dynamic.
He’s 6-4, 265 pounds, with the ability to rack up stops but also bust through the line. He was the only Division I player in college to have four sacks and four INTs. Two of those picks he returned for touchdowns. The stats will come.
The same could be said for the favorites in the latest Defensive ROY odds: Cowboys LB Micah Parsons (+500) and Dolphins LB Jaelan Phillips (+700). With Simmons and guys like JJ Watt and Chandler Jones requiring notice, however, Collins should get one-on-one opportunities, more so than other top challengers. FanDuel sportsbook has attractive odds on Collins.
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Kyler Murray, Offensive Player of the Year
Odds: +2000 at DraftKings
Murray’s odds for Offensive POY are the same as the NFL MVP odds. But while MVP often goes to the best QB on the best team who also has strong stats, Offensive POY is for the player who dominated statistically. It doesn’t have to be a quarterback, though it often still is.
Murray’s stats should put him in the mix. It isn’t out of the question that he passes for 4,000 yards and rushes for 1,000 more – nobody has ever done it but with one additional game in the slate now could be the time.
RELATED: More Kyler Murray Odds & Prop Bets
Murray’s stats all jumped from his 2019 rookie season to his 2020 campaign, including TDs from 24 to 36. Another similar leap, and the Cardinals won’t have to shock the world to get their QB this award. The odds at top sportsbooks are high enough to take a flyer. We grabbed them at DraftKings sportsbook.
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JJ Watt, Defensive Player of the Year
Odds: +4000 at William Hill
Watt won NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Since then, he’s barely been a blip on the awards landscape.
Health is a big reason why. The last five seasons, Watt has managed to play more than half his team’s games just two times: In 2015, when he still finished as a first-team All-Pro, and in 2020, for a Texans team he famously called on for its zero interest in winning games.
Now he’s healthy, and now he has teammates that will keep the double-teams to a minimum. Chandler Jones, if he sticks around, is a heck of a bookend. Simmons and Collins at the LB spots helps, too. It’s a risk backing someone who has failed to stay on the field. But he’s 100% now and his teammates have his back. When it comes to taking a flier on NFL futures bet, this one at William Hill sportsbook is a pretty good one.