DeAndre Hopkins

NFL Player Props – Thursday Night Football Preview

GAME PREVIEW

Week 7 kicks off with a battle of two underperforming NFC teams as the Arizona Cardinals (2-4) host the traveling New Orleans Saints (2-4) at home on Thursday Night Football. Betting lines favor the hometown Cardinals by 2.5 points with a projected over/under scoring total of 43.5 points.

The Cardinals’ offense is performing well below the expected bar when viewing their 2022 roster. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury and his vanilla play-calling have led the team to just 365.2 scrimmage yards per game (16th) despite leading the league in pace of play and 42.0 pass attempts per game. Murray and the Cardinals currently rank 16th in the NFL in passing yards per game, averaging 226.7 yards with 19.0 points (22nd). The run game fares slightly better, with the offense putting up 119.3 rushing yards (15th) per contest on average for seventh with 103.8 rushing yards per game. The Cardinals have mirrored their offensive mediocrity with uninspiring numbers on defense. They are conceding 352.8 scrimmage yards (15th) to opposing offenses, allowing 233.5 passing yards (20th) and 103.8 rushing yards (7th) while giving up 23.7 points per game (22nd).

The Cardinals will be without Marquise Brown for a minimum of four weeks as the star receiver recovers from a foot fracture. New addition Robbie Anderson will make his debut in a Cardinals uniform despite joining the team just three days ago. DeAndre Hopkins‘ long-awaited return is finally here after the veteran wideout was sidelined with a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The landscape of the Cardinals’ offense will look completely different in this primetime matchup which could cause some communication and timing issues throughout the game despite being in front of their home crowd.

The visiting Saints have been bitten hard by the injury bug this season and ride a 2-4 record into Glendale for a difficult matchup against a Cardinals offense hell-bent on making a statement with a victory. The Saints’ offense has been quietly impressive this season, averaging 398.3 scrimmage yards (4th) and 23.5 points (11th) through six games despite a makeshift offensive unit of second-string weapons. Andy Dalton has filled in for Jameis Winston the past two games and is expected to draw his third start tonight on Thursday Night Football. Chris Olave will make his return after a one-game stint in concussion protocol. Dalton and Olave have helped the Saints average 230.8 passing yards per game (15th) while completing 41.3% of their 3rd down opportunities (10th).

The Saints’ offense is capable of putting up points and yards in numbers against the Cardinals’ defense but may not be able to slow the offensive attack of Kyler Murray and Company. The team’s defense has regressed from years past in 2022, conceding 26.3 points (29th) and 359.0 scrimmage yards (17th) per contest. A once impenetrable rush defense has collapsed into giving up 120.8 rushing yards per game (20th) while the secondary has made small progressions, allowing 222.0 passing yards (16th) on average. 

GAME PREDICTION

Moneyline: Cardinals

Scoring Prediction: Cardinals 23 – Saints 16

Over/Under: Under 43.5

Now that we have introduced the matchup let’s dive into some high-upside player props for this NFC clash.

KYLER MURRAY OVER 33.5 RUSHING YARDS

Betting Odds: -125

Kyler Murray opened up the first four weeks of the 2022 season rushing for less than 30 yards in every contest. He then set season-highs in back-to-back contents, garnering a combined 142 yards over the past two games. James Conner will remain out of the contest with an injury, opening up the door for more rushing attempts for Murray as we’ve seen since Conner went down midway through the Cardinals’ Week 5 contest. The Saints’ defense concedes 33.5 rushing yards on average to opposing quarterbacks, equating to 360.7% (!!!) over the expected average for the position. Murray is averaging 38.8 yards on the ground per contest with his volume trending up in the rushing department. Expect the speedy quarterback to scramble outside of the pocket often as the Saints’ formidable pass rush attacks a weakened Cardinals offensive line.

DEANDRE HOPKINS OVER 4.5 RECEPTIONS

Betting Odds: +105

Getting plus-money odds on DeAndre Hopkins’ over 4.5 receptions is rarer than a four-leaf clover. Hopkins is playing his first game after serving a six-game suspension but should be immediately inserted into the offensive game plan as the number-one wide receiver. It is worth noting that Hopkins was still eligible to practice with the team during his suspension. The All-Pro wideout draws the coverage assignment of Bradley Roby as the Saints will be without lockdown cornerback Marshon Lattimore for the second straight game. Roby is coming off a game where he allowed Ja’Marr Chase to catch seven passes on ten targets for 132 yards and two touchdowns. I am anticipating a massive comeback performance from Hopkins with Marquise Brown on the sidelines, and Robbie Anderson still getting acclimated to the offense.

CHRIS OLAVE OVER 4.5 RECEPTIONS/60.5 RECEIVING YARDS (PARLAY)

Betting Odds: +150

Chris Olave was immediately inserted as the Saints’ top receiving option upon his inception into the NFL, far exceeding his expectations on an offense that had two established veterans in front of him. Alas, nagging injuries to Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry allowed Olave to take over as the alpha receiver for the Saints. The rookie first-round pick is topping all members of his draft class with 5.0 receptions and 77.8 receiving yards per game. The former Ohio State Buckeye can take the top off of any defense, even when facing the number-one coverage defender on the opposite sideline. Olave leads the entire NFL in air yards (754), and air yards share (41.8%), making his menial predicted yardage total of 60.5 an easy bet to target. His 4.5 receptions per game are close enough to his seasonal average to cause concern but the absence of Thomas and Landry should minimize doubt towards Olave’s high-volume role in this matchup. The rookie standout receiver is staring down the pipeline of double-digit targets against a very exploitable defense.

*BONUS BET*

CHRIS OLAVE ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN SCORER

Betting Odds: +195

Sprinkle a little spice into the above parlay by adding Olave as an anytime touchdown scorer for boosted odds. Bettors can also take this line independently for plus money at (+)195 with some confidence as Olave has found the end zone in two consecutive contests and will serve as the only reliable receiving threat for Dalton outside of Alvin Kamara

SIGNOFF

Please remember to always bet responsibly. Know your limit and play within it.

Much respect; thank you for reading. If you have any continued thoughts and would like to share, I am always available for an open conversation on Twitter: @PsychWardFF or Instagram: @psychwardff.

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