Minnesota Vikings (0-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-0)
This is one of several games this week where I would have liked the early line a lot more, as the Cardinals were favored by a field goal a week ago and now have moved to 3.5-point favorites, a big deal given that about 1 in 6 games are decided by exactly a field goal. However, the Cardinals were one of my top underrated teams coming into the season and this line could have moved more, given that the Vikings lost to the Bengals, while the Cardinals blew out the Titans, who were pretty universally seen as better than the Bengals coming into the season.
I had the Vikings as an underrated team entering the season as well, but that largely relied on them being healthier than last season, which has not happened, as they began the year with tight end Irv Smith and left tackle Christian Darrisaw on injured reserve and have since lost linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Everson Griffen, while fellow linebacker Eric Kendricks might not be at 100% after getting hurt in practice this week. They’re still better overall than they were a year ago when they had one of the worst defenses in the league, but I have the Cardinals as 4-points better than them, so we’re getting line value with the hosts even with the line moving up to 3.5. This isn’t a big play, but the Cardinals are worth a bet.
Arizona Cardinals 27 Minnesota Vikings 20
Pick against the spread: Arizona -3.5