Arizona Cardinals (3-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-1)
The Cardinals were at the top of my overrated teams list coming into the season. They went 11-6 last season, but needed a +12 turnover margin to get to that record, which is not predictive, and they ranked just 14th in overall efficiency, barely above average. They also got a lot worse this off-season, losing starting wide receiver Christian Kirk, top edge defender Chandler Jones, top off ball linebacker Jordan Hicks, top cornerback Robert Alford, and their most efficient running back Chase Edmonds, with their only major addition being former Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown, who cost the Cardinals their first round pick in a trade and who isn’t a significant upgrade on Christian Kirk.
The Cardinals are off to a 3-4 start, which is disappointing compared to last season, but I think they are still overrated, as they have been reliant on a +5 turnover margin to win them games, as they rank just 29th in schedule adjusted efficiency. Injuries have also become a significant concern, with two starting offensive linemen, Justin Pugh and Rodney Hudson, starting wide receiver Marquise Brown, and feature back James Conner all out indefinitely, hurting an offense that has thus far been their better side of the ball this season. Despite that, they are just 3.5 point underdogs in Minnesota against the 5-1 Vikings.
The Vikings came into the season as one of my top underrated teams, due to improved coaching on offense and better health on defense and so far they have gotten off to a good start. Beyond their record, they also rank 5 points above average in my roster rankings and 8 points higher than the Cardinals. Given that, we’re getting a steal with the Vikings as mere 3.5-point home favorites, as they should be favored by at least a touchdown, if not 10 points, considering how mediocre the Cardinals have played aside from turnovers. This is my top Pick of the Week.
Minnesota Vikings 30 Arizona Cardinals 20
Pick against the spread: Minnesota -3.5
Confidence: Pick of the Week