Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray reacts between plays during the first half an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 28-21. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
- The Arizona Cardinals, with injured Kyler Murray ready to play, are 2-point road favorites against the New England Patriots in Week 12
- Sunday Betting Record: 4-7-0, -3.20 Units
- See the game odds, spread, total, plus a preview below
It will be the older star quarterback vs the young superstar QB in Week 12 (Sunday, 1pm ET) when Cam Newton’s New England Patriots are at home to play against Kyler Murray’s Arizona Cardinals.
Both teams desperately need a victory. The Patriots (4-6) need one to keep their playoff hopes viable, while the Cardinals (6-4) need to stay close to the Rams (7-3) and Seahawks (7-3) in the highly competitive NFC West.
Neither team has been at its best of late. The Cardinals have lost two of their last three, including a costly loss to the Seahawks. The Patriots have lost five of their last seven, including a 27-20 loss to the Texans in their last outing. Neither team is good against the spread.
Arizona Cardinals vs New England Patriots Odds
|Arizona Cardinals||-125||-2 (-110)||O 49.5 (-110)|
|New England Patriots||+110||+2 (-110)||U 49.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Nov. 28 from DraftKings
Banged-Up Murray Gets Green Light To Play
Murray injured his throwing shoulder in last week’s 28-21 loss to Seattle. But he made it clear this week he planned to play at New England. He rested the shoulder, but is not on the injury report.
Not many players are as valuable to their team as Murray is to the Cardinals. He has thrown for 19 touchdowns and rushed for 10 more. With 619 yards rushing, Murray is only 22 behind Cardinals’ top rusher Kenyon Drake. By comparison, Newton, who isn’t shy about tucking the ball away and running, has rushed for 341 yards this season.
The Cardinals are 5-2 when Murray rushes for 60 or more yards. They are 3-0 when Murray passes for 285 or more yards. In a league that boasts several highly mobile QBs, no one is more dangerous than Murray as a dual-threat performer.
Most rushing TDs this season:
💥 Dalvin Cook – 13
💥 Antonio Gibson – 11
💥 Kyler Murray – 10 pic.twitter.com/pmeMFoEEQ7
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) November 27, 2020
Newton’s Season A Mixed Bag
No one knows whether Newton will be the Patriots’ quarterback beyond this season. The former Carolina Panthers star has a one season contract, and the Patriots are offering no hints about his future with the franchise
He hasn’t had a monumental season. He has played sharply at times, and awful at other times. His two best passing days — 397 yards at Seattle and 365 last week at Houston — came in losing efforts.
Newton is 4-5 as New England’s starting quarterback. We can presume that whatever happens over the next six weeks will determine his fate in New England. If he could out-perform MVP candidate Murray, it could certainly influence the Patriots’ decision.
The Patriots have gone from first to dead last in defensive DVOA and Cam Newton, making $1 million, is still getting blamed for their season.
— Gregg Rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) November 25, 2020
Cardinals Lose Key Receiver To Covid-19
Larry Fitzgerald won’t play against the Patriots because he has tested positive for the virus. He’s second on the Cardinals with 43 catches.
The Cardinals will also be without tight end Darrell Daniels (ankle), defensive lineman Josh Mauro (hamstring) and safety Jalen Thompson (ankle)
The Patriots will be missing rugged running back Rex Burkhead and offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, both because of knee issues. The Burkhead loss is significant because he is a 4.1-yards-per-carry runner, has caught 25 passes and scored six touchdowns this season.
Man Larry Fitzgerald streak gonna end pic.twitter.com/ryOAhvNNKv
— AR12 (@GODGERS_) November 26, 2020
Arizona Has Firepower To Cover
In the past, the loss of Fitzgerald would have been devastating for the Cardinals. But the arrival of DeAndre Hopkins (72 catches, 912 yards) has changed everything. Murray has targeted Hopkins 97 times in 10 games.
Murray’s arm and legs, coupled with Hopkins’ game-breaking ability, make the Cardinals a dangerous offensive team and more than capable to cover two points on the road. They average 29.7 points per game.
Pick: Cardinals -2 (-110)
Kevin Allen has covered most major events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final. He covered the NHL for USA Today from 1986-2020, receiving the Lester Patrick Award in 2013 and was honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 with the Elmer Ferguson Award.