NFC West rivals will square off for Monday Night Football as the San Francisco 49ers (5-4) take on the Arizona Cardinals (4-6). The Cardinals will host this one at the Estadio Azteca, with kickoff scheduled for 8:15 pm ET.
San Francisco has won two in a row, including a 22-16 win over the Los Angeles Chargers last Sunday. In the win, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 240 yards, while Elijah Mitchell and Christian McCaffrey combined for 127 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
After losing two in a row, the Cardinals were able to bounce back with a 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams last week. Colt McCoy started under center for Arizona, and he threw for 238 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, James Connor rushed for 69 yards and two scores.
San Francisco is the heavy favorite despite playing on the road. They are -360 to win, while the Cardinals’ moneyline sits at +290. The spread features Arizona +8.5 (-115), and the over/under for total points is 43.5.
49ers Look To Move Into NFC West Lead
While the 49ers sit a game behind the Seattle Seahawks currently, they can actually move into first place in the NFC West with a win Monday night. With Seattle on bye and the 49ers having beaten them earlier in the season, San Francisco would hold the tiebreaker and would leapfrog them in the standings.
Trying to lead the team to victory is quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In eight games this season, he has thrown for 1,931 yards, 11 touchdowns, and just four interceptions.
Brandon Aiyuk has been the most consistent receiver for the 49ers thus far. He has 44 receptions for 567 yards and four scores. Still, both Christian McCaffrey (170 yards rushing, 118 yards receiving, three touchdowns) and Deebo Samuel (165 yards rushing, 411 yards receiving, three touchdowns) are the 49ers’ best weapons.
Defensively, the 49ers ranks fourth in scoring defense. They are currently allowing opponents just 18.1 points per game (17.4 on the road).
Wounded Cardinals Hoping For Health
Despite picking up a win last weekend, the story out of Arizona has been all about health.
First and foremost, the Cardinals are hoping that quarterback Kyler Murray can go on Monday. He is still considered questionable for the game with a hamstring injury. While Colt McCoy has gone 3-1 in his replacement starts for Murray over the last couple of years, Arizona is still losing 2,168 yards passing and 12 touchdowns without their starting quarterback.
The receiving core is also struggling with health. Tight end Zach Ertz led the team with 47 receptions, to go along with 406 yards and four scores. Unfortunately, his season is now done after suffering a knee injury.
Furthermore, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is questionable with a hamstring injury. He did practice Friday, but it is worth evaluating leading up to kickoff.
With so much offensive firepower potentially lacking, the defense will have to step up. They currently rank 30th in the NFL in scoring defense, allowing 25.8 points per game (29.8 at home).
Take San Francisco To Win And Cover
Looking at the trends, San Francisco is 4-2 in their last six games, but they are just 3-11 in their last 14 against the Cardinals.
Despite their struggles in the past, this one will come down to health. With Ertz out and Murray and Hopkins questionable, the smart bet is on San Francisco in this one.
Obviously, things can change, and you will need to evaluate who is in and who is out before kickoff, but as it stands, take the 49ers to win and to cover the -8.5 (-105).