Our NFL betting expert brings his best picks and predictions for the Week 5 game featuring the San Francisco 49ers at the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET on FOX.
Trey Lance could start his 15 minutes of fame on Sunday. He will receive the call because Jimmy Garoppolo is absent due to an injury. Whether this is good news for the San Francisco 49ers remains to be seen.
There are no questions about the quarterback on the field where Kyler Murray leads the Arizona Cardinals to the top of the division standings with MVP-caliber play.
49ers vs Cardinals predictions
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49ers vs Cardinals Picks: The Analysis
Rookie Trey Lance rolls in the sights of the Cardinals
No.3 overall pick Trey Lance starts off with injured Jimmy Garoppolo, but the 49ers have been disarticulated offensively regardless of which quarterback is on the pitch.
Lance has run 11 times for 44 yards and one touchdown in three games played, but his limited pocket experience has led to some degree of mystery as the Cardinals prepare for what’s to come Sunday.
They know the 49ers are not complete. Tight end George Kittle is also skeptical.
While San Francisco’s defense – namely the passing rush and overall play of the first seven – are able to keep Kyler Murray under wraps for extended periods of time, falling behind could be fatal in Lance’s first start.
It is not yet equipped to deliver a double-digit rally on the road with limited armament.
Cardinals to cover -5
Squeeze Lance – a lot
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said the goal with Lance was to put him at ease and avoid playing a ‘backyard ball’ style. The 49ers have back-to-back wins in Arizona.
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray’s 109 yards and three touchdowns in 23 carries in Arizona’s unbeaten start. He totaled 1,273 yards and nine touchdowns, with a 76.1% completion rate, the best in the NFL.
Arizona is spreading the ball and can find weak spots in most defenses.
Cardinals to cover the alternating gap -8.5
Kyler Murray extends MVP mixtape
In Murray’s last nine home games, he has totaled 28 touchdowns and has one rushing touchdown in two of the last three meetings with the 49ers.
A plan to slow Murray down is one thing. Doing it in the red zone, where his speed and agility make him a concern in all directions, is another.
Cardinals QB Kyler Murray to score TD
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