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NFC Upstarts Clash As Lions Visit Cards

Calvin Johnson had a big game in his return last weekend. Can he help the Lions to a (very) rare win in the desert on Sunday?

Calvin Johnson had a big game in his return against Miami last weekend. Can he help the Lions to a (very) rare win in the desert on Sunday?

The two best teams in the National Football Conference collide Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals host the Detroit Lions in an inter-divisional clash.

Kickoff at University of Phoenix Stadium is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. ET.

Both teams will be looking to add another quality win to their tally and send notice to the so-called conference heavyweights in the process.

The Story So Far

Arizona (8-1, 5-0 home) has been the surprise package of the National Football League, defying expert opinion to climb to the top of the NFC West.

While the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks – both favored over the Cardinals at the start of the campaign – have struggled somewhat this season, the Cardinals have efficiently taken care of business, earning quality wins over the San Diego Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and the aforementioned Niners.

The only blemish on the Cardinals’ record came in a Week 5 road loss to the Denver Broncos, and nobody needs to be told how tough it is to win in the Mile High Stadium.

Things could be about to get a lot tougher for Bruce Arians’ side though, after quarterback Carson Palmer went down with a knee injury in last Sunday’s win over the St. Louis Rams, a win the Cardinals’ defense was instrumental in.

Drew Stanton, who started in wins over San Francisco and the New York Giants and that loss to Denver, will take to the field on Sunday.

Detroit (7-2, 3-1 road) is another of this season’s surprise packages and, thanks to a superior conference record over Philadelphia, currently occupies second place in the NFC standings.

The Lions have utilized a solid defense to garner success this season. Jim Caldwell’s side has earned quality wins over the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins. Losses to the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills tarnish the team’s record, although the latter came with just a field goal difference.

Close has been the name of the game for the team from Motown this season. Six of the Lions’ nine games have finished with one score proving the difference.

The Lions welcomed receiver Calvin Johnson back in last week’s narrow win over the Dolphins. Megatron responded with seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.


In a rivalry that dates back to 1930, Detroit leads the all-time head-to-head series 33-26-5.

The Cardinals – who have spent time in Chicago, St. Louis, Tempe, and Glendale – are 16-13-2 all-time when hosting the Lions.

The Cardinals are 11-5 against the Lions since moving to Arizona in 1988, and 7-1 in home games during that stretch.

Detroit’s last road win over the Cardinals came at Sun Devil Stadium on December 12, 1993. The Lions have lost seven straight in the desert since.

Arizona has won the last five meetings between the sides on either field.

Detroit’s last win over the Cardinals came on November 13, 2005.

Injury Report

Right guard Larry Warford (knee) and defensive tackle Nick Fairley (knee) are both out for Detroit this weekend, with Warford expected to miss 2-3 weeks and Fairley 4-5 weeks.

Running back Reggie Bush (ankle) is amongst the Lions players listed as questionable.

Arizona will be without quarterback Carson Palmer (knee) who was added to the injured reserve list this week.

Running back Andre Ellington (foot/hip) is listed as probable.

Check out the full injury list

With Carson Palmer out, can the Cardinals continue to win?

With Carson Palmer out, can the Cardinals continue to win?

Betting Report

Below you’ll find Betting Sports’ breakdown of odds and betting trends.

Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals odds for 11/16/2014

Moneyline: Arizona (-123) opened as a narrow favorite over Detroit (+111) on the moneyline but that advantage has been slipping away.

At the time of writing, Bookmaker has the Lions at -105 and the Cardinals at -115, no doubt a response to the Cardinals being without Carson Palmer.

Arizona is 5-0 at home while Detroit is 3-1 on the road.

Spread: The spread opened at 3 in favor of the Cardinals but has slipped to as low as 1 with most sportsbooks.

Arizona (7-2-0 ATS) has fared better against the spread this season than Detroit (5-4-0 ATS).

Arizona is 4-1-0 ATS at home and 4-1-0 ATS as the favorite. Detroit s 2-2-0 ATS on the road and 2-1-0 ATS as an underdog.

Arizona has covered the spread in five straight games, while Detroit is just 2-3-0 ATS in its last five.

Arizona is 4-1-0 ATS in the last five head-to-head meetings between the teams, and 5-0-0 ATS in its last five home games against Detroit.

Total: The total opened at 42.5 and has fallen slightly.

Both Detroit (2-7-0 O/U) and Arizona (3-5-1 O/U) have favored the under this season.

The under has paid out in seven of Detroit’s last eight fixtures. Things may turn out differently on Sunday though.

The total has gone over in nine of the last 11 head-to-head meetings, and five of the last seven the two sides have played in Arizona.


For an up-to-date list of Week 11 NFL odds, click here.

For a full list of NFL Futures, click here.

For NFL team prop bets, click here.

For NFL player prop bets, click here.

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