Arizona Cardinals Enter Season with NFL’s Lowest Projected Win Total

Posted on: August 7, 2023, 09:13h. 

Last updated on: August 7, 2023, 12:19h.

Oddsmakers have installed the Arizona Cardinals with a win total of 4.5 over/under victories entering the 2023 season, which is the lowest projection on DraftKings’ NFL futures board.

Kyler Murray
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, seen here playing against the New England Patriots last season, will miss the start of the 2023 season while he recovers from a knee injury. (Image: Getty)

The 2022 season was a challenging year for the Cardinals. They finished in last place in the NFC West and starting quarterback Kyler Murray sustained a serious right knee injury in December, which could keep him out of this upcoming season.

The Cardinals went 4-13 last season and finished with the third-worst record in the NFL. They won just one game at home, but secured three victories on the road.

With a win total of 4.5 o/u, their closest competition is the seven teams with a win total of 6.5 o/u, or two more projected victories than the Cardinals. That group includes the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Washington Commanders.

At least 15 teams have a win total above 9.5 o/u, which is more than double the Cardinals’ projected win total of 4.5.

Kingsbury Out, Gannon In

The Cardinals are under a new regime. They fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim stepped down as general manager. Kingsbury posted a 28-37-1 record during his four-season stint as head coach, and the team ended the 2022 season with a seven-game losing streak.

The Cardinals hired Jonathan Gannon to replace Kingsbury as head coach. Gannon spent the previous two seasons as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles won 14 games last season and secured a trip to the Super Bowl before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in a thriller.

The Cardinals hired Monti Ossenfort as their new general manager. Ossenfort was a trusted scout under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots, and he spent time as the director of player personnel with the Houston Texans.

Ossenfort made some bold moves during the 2023 NFL Draft and traded down in the first round. The Cardinals sent the third-overall pick to the Houston Texans for their first-round pick in 2024. With the sixth pick, the Cardinals selected Paris Johnson, a star offensive tackle from Ohio State, to bolster their offensive line.

Ossenfort took some heat by not trading future Hall of Fame wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals cut Hopkins in May as a financial move. Multiple teams were interested in Hopkins, who joined the Tennessee Titans last month as a free agent.

When Will Kyler Murray Return?

Murray, the #1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, tore the ACL in his right knee last December in a loss against the Patriots.

There’s no specific timetable for Murray’s return while he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery. Murray wants to rejoin the team as quickly as possible and prove he’s worthy of the lucrative contract extension he signed last off-season, worth $230.5 million over five seasons. He thinks he can return as early as September. But the Cardinals remain cautious and don’t want to risk their franchise quarterback.

Kyler is attacking his rehab,” Ossenfort told The Athletic. “He’s been all-in on rehab. It’s been fun to see. He’s progressing. He’s on an upward trajectory. We’re real happy with his progress.”

“We want to be smart, too,” said Gannon. “We all want to win. He wants to play. The long-term health of the player comes into play for your franchise quarterback.”

Oddsmakers expect the Cardinals will have a subpar season. So keeping Murray out of the lineup for the entire season will provide him extra time to regain his health and strengthen his knee.

Veteran backup quarterback Colt McCoy is expected to start this season. McCoy went 1-2 as a starter for the Cardinals last season. He completed 68.2% of his passes for 780 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

Veteran quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and David Blough are also in training camp. The Cardinals also selected quarterback Clayton Tune with a fifth-round pick out of Houston. Even though Tune is a rookie, he’s 24 years old and showed promise after a strong first week in training camp.

Long Shot Cardinals, Alt Win Totals

The Cardinals went 4-13 overall last season, but had an 8-9 record against the point spread (ATS) in 2022. They were 8-7-2 overall in hitting the over for totals bettors.

The San Francisco 49ers are the consensus favorite to win the NFC West at -160 odds and are ahead of the Seattle Seahawks (+195), Los Angeles Rams (+1000), and Cardinals (+2500).

The Cardinals are expected to finish in last place in their division in consecutive seasons. Just two seasons earlier, the Cardinals went 11-6 and were vying for the NFC West title. They last won their division in 2015.

The Cardinals find themselves at the bottom of the NFL futures board at DraftKings. They’re a moon shot to win Super Bowl LVIII at +20000 odds, and a huge long shot at +10000 odds to win the NFC Championship.

The Cardinals are -2000 odds to miss the playoffs, according to a prop bet by DraftKings. They’re a long shot at +1100 odds to secure a spot in the postseason.

DraftKings also offers a prop bet in which the Cardinals qualify for the playoffs, but lose in the wild-card round, which pays out +1200.

If you want to bet the current win total of 4.5 o/u, an under wager is -120 odds and the over is even money at +100.

There’s also a futures market for alternative win totals. The Cardinals have an adjusted win total of 5.5 o/u where the over pays +180 and the under is -235 odds. For an alternative win total of 6.5 o/u, that over pays +400 odds and the under is -550 odds.