|-1 ARI (-110) @ betway|
My 8* Las Vegas Insider is on the Arz Cardinals at 4:05 ET.
Sean McDermott was hired by the Buffalo Bills and took over in 2017. The Bills would go 9–7 in his 'rookie year' and secure the AFC's 6th seed and their first playoff appearance in 18 years that ended the NFL's longest active playoff drought. The Bills finished just 6-10 the following season but had a solid finish to the season after a 2–7 start, staying competitive in each of their last seven games (4-3). Buffalo was back in the playoffs again in 2019, going 10-6 and earning the No. 5 seed. With Brady gone and New England seeing more players "opt out" than any team in the NFL, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for someone other than the Patriots to win the AFC East. Why not the Bills? Buffalo opened 4-0 but then lost B2B games at Tennessee and home to KC but enters Sunday's game off THREE straight wins, giving them a 7-2 record. Kliff Kingsbury coached six seasons at Texas Tech and was only 35-40 with three bowl appearances (Tech was 1-2). However, he found two NFL suitors in the Jets and Cards, choosing Arizona in January of 2019. His 'rookie' season did not go well, as the Cards finished 5-10-1. However, while Arizona saw its three-game winning streak end last Sunday against Miami, the Cards are 5-3 (tied with the Rams), just one game back of the 6-2 Seahawks.
Buffalo QB Josh Allen made great strides in his second season (2019) and began the current season as just the fourth QB in NFL history with at least 20 passing TDs (30) and 12 rushing TDs (17) in his first two seasons. He's been terrific so far, completing 68.9% for 2,587 yards with 19 TDs and just five INTs, while adding 241 rushing yards with five TDs. However, even with his help, the Bills are averaging only 100.3 YPG rushing on 3.9 YPC. The addition of WR Diggs has been HUGE, as he leads the team AND the NFL with 63 catches AND 813 receiving yards (three TDs). Fellow WR Beasley, who has averaged 59 catches per season the last five, has 44 through nine games (on pace for 78). Buffalo's defense allowed just 16.2 PPG last season (2nd to only New England) on 298.3 YPG (3rd) but this season is allowing 25.9 PPG (almost 10 points higher), on 36.59 YPG (about 67 yards more per game).
Arizona's defense is playing slightly better than Buffalo's, allowing 22,5 PPG on 370.1 YPG but it's unlikely that defense will win this one. Former Heisman winner Kyler Murray was solid as a rookie and has improved noticeably in 2020. He's completing 68.1% for 2,130 yards with 16 TDs and seven INTs. He's Arizona's leading rusher with 543 yards (7.1 YPC) and eight TDs. Drake (512 yards / 4.3 YPC / 4 TDs) has become a solid RB, allowing Arizona to average 162.9 YPG (2nd to Baltimore) on 5.2 YPC. Hopkins has 60 catches (tied for 2nd-most behind Diggs) and fellow WR Kirk has 23 catches but six TDs (17 catches and five TDs in his last four games).
Allen and Murray have quickly established themselves as two of the most dynamic young QBs in the NFL and both are coming off fabulous games, as Allen threw for 415 yards with four TDs (three passing) and Murray had 283 passing yards with three TDs and no INTs (150.5 QB rating was a career-best), while adding 106 rushing yards (9.6 YPC) and a fourth TD. As old friend Nick Bakay likes to say, "Advantage push!" Why I like Arizona here is that the Cards are off a disappointing three-point home loss to Miami (a game the team could have EASILY won), while the Bills are traveling off not only last week's big win over Seattle but the week before, the Bills edged the Pats 24-21, ending a SEVEN-game losing streak to their AFC East tormentors! Nick's a Buffalo guy but sorry, the Cards "get the cash!"