Houston Is Tied for the AFC Lead with Four Home Victories
The starting quarterbacks will be the headliners in this matchup with former No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray is coming off his 2023 season debut for Arizona and Houston led by rookie phenom C.J. Stroud. The Cardinals vs Texans lines have Houston favored by four points.
Arizona has added motivation to pull off the upset since a draft-day trade that resulted in Houston moving up to select edge rusher Will Anderson with the No. 3 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. A key part of that trade is that Houston’s top pick in the 2024 draft will be heading to the Cardinals.
There isn’t much history between the two teams with the home team winning each of the five previous meetings. Arizona won 31-5 in the most recent matchup in 2021.
When looking at the NFL tackles leaders, Arizona’s Kyzir White is tied for 10th in the NFL with 87 tackles.
Offensive linemen Trystan Colon and D.J. Humphries, running back Emari Demercado and linebacker Ezekiel Turner are all questionable for Arizona.
For Houston, receiver Nico Collins, running back Dameon Pierce, tight end Brevin Jordan, running back Andrew Beck, linebackers Henry To’oTo’o and Jake Hansen as well as safety Jimmie Ward are questionable for Houston.
Coming into the season, Houston had the longest odds (+850) to win the AFC South Division title. Those odds have moved to +250 and that is only behind the Jacksonville Jaguars. The odds of the Arizona Cardinals winning the NFC West Division have gone from +2500 to +50000.
Location: NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Line: Houston -4
Cardinals Looking to the Future
It is a tough situation for the Cardinals as the best thing might be for Arizona to keep losing and get the best draft pick possible whether it is to make a change at quarterback or perhaps add a pass catcher like Marvin Harrison Jr. to the team.
Arizona just picked up its second win of the season as Murray, returning from a serious knee injury, engineered a 70-yard drive that ended with Matt Prater’s game-winning field goal on the final play of the game to top Atlanta 25-23.
Arizona still ranks 30th in yards per passing attempt and 31st in passing yards per game this season.
Arizona had Murray and running back James Conner both available in last week’s game and that was the first time that happened this season.
The NFL scores and odds total have gone over in six of Arizona’s last nine games.
Keep An Eye on the Injury Reports
At this time of the year, pretty much every team has a lengthy list of players on the injury report. However, few teams have as many key players dealing with ailments as the Texans.
Running back Dameon Pierce, leading receiver Nico Collins and rookie linebacker Henry To’oTo’o, who is tied for the team lead with 53 tackles, are all slowed by injury and all missed last week’s win over Cincinnati.
Their status could change the Cardinals vs Texans lines and how Sunday’s game plays out.
Houston has covered against the NFL betting lines in five of its last seven games.
Kyler Murray threw for three touchdowns while James Conner had a scoring run as Arizona rolled to a 31-5 win as the 20-point favorites on Oct. 24, 2021.
Houston managed just 160 yards and saw Arizona score the game’s final 31 points.
After three of the previous four meetings between Houston and Arizona finished over the total, this NFL matchup went under the 47.5-point total.
The home team has covered in three of the previous five meetings.
Cardinals vs Texans Betting Preview
This is the 19th straight game when Arizona is listed as the underdog. The Cardinals have won just three of those games but have nine times during that stretch.
After being favored just once in the previous two NCAAF seasons, this is the fourth time this season that the Texans are listed by the NFL spreads as the favorite. They won just one of those three games outright and didn’t cover in any of them. Houston has not covered in its last six games as the favorite.
Houston is 2-2 against the spread as the home team this season with Arizona failing to cover in four of its five road games.
The total has gone under in four of Houston’s last six games with some early money coming in on this game going under the 47.5-point total.
Houston is third in the NFL with an average of 8.22 points in the fourth quarter of games and that has played a role in a 5-4 record with Stroud engineering late-game heroics in wins over Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. Arizona ranks 31st out of 32 NFL teams in points per game in the fourth quarter.
Arizona has dropped eight straight road games and six in a row against AFC teams.
Houston has dropped 13 of its last 15 games against NFC squads and is 4-15-1 in its previous 20 home games.