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Arizona Cardinals Betting Odds Preview

In Bruce Arians' first season as head coach the Cardinals doubled their win total and at 10-6 were the best team in the NFL that didn’t make the postseason.

The next step is a return to the playoffs, which is definitely possible with an improving offense and a defense that took that next step already last season.

Arizona Cardinals Odds to Win NFC West: +700 at Bovada
Arizona Cardinals Odds to Win Super Bowl: 40/1 at Bovada
Arizona Cardinals Regular Season Win Total: 7.5 at Bovada
Arizona Cardinals Betting Props: Carson Palmer to lead NFL in Passing Yards 75/1 at Bovada

In his first season in the desert Carson Palmer took every snap for the Cardinals, passing for 4,274 yards with 24 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Larry Fitzgerald had a down season by his lofty standards, but Michael Floyd made up for it with a breakout season, tallying 1,041 receiving yards with five touchdowns. Arizona added speedster Ted Ginn, who could make more of an impact on special teams than in the passing game, and tight end Troy Niklas picked up in the draft should be a nice complement alongside veteran John Carlson.

The Arizona running game lost Rashard Mendenhall to retirement in the offseason, but that may not be a bad thing. There’s a reason Mendenhall retired at only 26 years of age and his lackluster 3.2 yards per carry last season is part of it. With Mendenhall gone Andre Ellington takes over the starting RB job. As the backup last season Ellington rushed for 652 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry.

The Arizona defense was a formidable unit last season, ranking sixth overall in the league and league-best versus the run, allowing only 84.4 yards per game on the ground.

The Cardinals do have a few holes to fill on defense, especially among their linebackers. Veteran Karlos Dansby jumped ship for Cleveland, and Daryl Washington is suspended for the season after another failed drug test. Arizona did lock up cornerback Patrick Patterson by making him the highest paid cornerback in the league, and he’ll team with new acquisition Antonio Cromartie and safety Tyrann Mathieu to form a strong secondary.

The Cardinals were a money-making 10-5-1 ATS last season, including 5-3 ATS at home and 5-2-1 ATS on the road.

NFC West Odds at Bovada as of August 5

Seattle Seahawks +125
San Francisco 49ers +150
Arizona Cardinals +700
St. Louis Rams +700

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The Arizona Cardinals started last season off 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS, but went just 1-11 SU and 4-7-1 ATS over their last 12 games. The team took major strides to improve this offseason, but a brutal schedule and tough division will likely hold the Cardinals back again this season.

Odds to Win NFC West: +2000 at Bovada
Regular Season Win Total: 5.5 at Bovada

After getting off to a 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS start, the Arizona Cardinals were looking like the surprise team of 2012, fuelled by their outstanding defense. But the defense wasn’t able to make up for the flat-out terrible play on offense that eventually sunk the Cardinals and resulted in a 1-11 SU and 4-7-1 skid to end the season.

The Cardinals finished dead last in the NFL in total yardage with a paltry 263.1 total yards per game, and ahead of only the Kansas City Chiefs in scoring with 15.6 points per game. Kevin Kolb and John Skelton were both awful at quarterback, and the running game finished worst in the league averaging just 75.3 yards per game.

That should all be different in 2013. New head coach Bruce Arians has a great offensive mind that should rejuvenate the offense. And he’ll have plenty of new talent to work with in quarterback Carson Palmer and running back Rashard Mendenhall. Don’t be surprised to see the offense do a 180 this year.

Arizona finished with the fifth best passing defense last year allowing just 200.8 passing yards per game, but struggled against the run allowing 137.0 yards per game. The Cardinals used three of their top five picks on defensive players (and the other two on offensive linemen), so the front office seems dedicated to putting the right pieces in place for the team to succeed long term.

The Cardinals aren’t ready to compete with San Francisco or Seattle in the NFC West, and a brutal schedule suggests that wins may be hard to come by. But the team should be better than it was last year, especially on offense.

NFC West Odds at Bovada as of August 3

San Francisco 49ers -125
Seattle Seahawks +140
St. Louis Rams +650
Arizona Cardinals +2000