Week 11 of the NFL season wraps up Monday night with the Arizona Cardinals playing the San Francisco 49ers (-8, 43.5) at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (ESPN, 8:15 ET).
After an exciting Sunday of action, we have one more opportunity this week to wager on professional football. So which plays do our analysts like the most?
Fantasy and sports betting analyst André Snellings and Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz provide their top plays for the matchup.
Note: Lines from Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise indicated.
San Francisco 49ers (-8, 43.5) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Monday, 8:15 pm ET, Estadio Azteca in Mexico City
Entering Week 11, San Francisco sits half a game out of first place in the NFC West, while Arizona is two games behind division-leading Seattle. Whom do you like Monday and are you interested in either team to win the division (49ers -220, Cardinals +4500) ahead of the Seahawks (+190)?
treasure: I think the spread for this game is right on target if you assume a 50% chance that Kyler Murray will start for the Cardinals. However, I like going with the under of 43.5. Both Arizona and San Francisco have been better on defense than on offense this season. Although Arizona is a fast-paced offense, San Francisco’s pace is slow. We’ve found that, all other things being equal, divisional games tend to be a little lower scoring than the rest. As for this division, the Football Outsiders playoff odds simulation actually has Seattle as a small favorite to win the NFC West right now, so I’m definitely not taking the 49ers at -220.
Snelling’s: I’m not touching the game itself until I know Murray’s status. If he does play, however, I’ll take the Cardinals and the points. I do have some outside interest in the Cardinals to win the division, though. Murray built up some great rapport with Marquise Brown before his injury and then rekindled the chemistry with DeAndre Hopkins after his return. He even seems to be clicking with Rondale Moore and has Robbie Anderson as a wild-card No. 4 options. Add in James Conner and, if these guys can get/stay healthy, I like them to finish the season strong. That’s a lot of if, but they’re only two games out. At 45-1, it might be worth it.
Cash out your parlay too early? Get burned on a last-second play? Come commiserate with Jason Fitz and his bad beats of the week.
Christian McCaffrey had just 38 yards on the ground last week (plus a touchdown) while sharing the backfield with Elijah Mitchell. Do you expect a bigger game from him this week on the ground (O/U 65.5 yards), or are you more interested in his receiving props (O/U 35.5 yards)?
Snelling’s: I’m more interested in McCaffrey’s receiving and/or total yards props. Mitchell looked strong on the ground last week and he runs harder than McCaffrey. I could see the 49ers riding the hot hand in the backfield from week to week. With McCaffrey, what makes him unique is his receiving ability, and I think that’s where he’ll continue to have the leg up on Mitchell.
Is there anything else you like or are playing in this matchup?
treasure: San Francisco ranks ninth in offensive DVOA in the first quarter and fifth in defensive DVOA. Arizona is 28th on offense and 29th on defense. So, please, I’ll happily take San Francisco -0.5 in the first quarter that -115.