After seven-point defeats in their last outing, the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals will not exactly be full of confidence when they take to the pitch on Sunday, but the fixture at the Gillette Stadium is a crucial one as both teams look to make headway up the NFL standings. With only the Pittsburgh Steelers possessing a perfect record after 10 matches, there is an opportunity to improve by several positions with a single win, and that is particularly important with the Patriots who are only 4-6 for the season. In comparison, the Cardinals are 6-4, but that does not necessarily mean that you should be backing an Arizona victory at the weekend.
According to Sports Betting Dime, the Patriots are the underdog on the spread by 2.5 points and that is something which we would look to take advantage of in the days ahead of the match. Before their defeat to the Houston Texans, the Patriots had recorded back-to-back victories by six-point and three-point margins. If you delve into how they have performed in each quarter, the Patriots have only lost two quarters in their last dozen, and only a second-quarter capitulation against the Texans cost them a third win in succession. They recorded four points more than their opponents during the second half of that match, and it represented the fourth time in half-a-dozen fixtures that Bill Belichick's side have ended matches stronger than their foes.
As far as the Cardinals are concerned, they have recorded two wins and two defeats from their last four matches, although one of their successes did come in overtime. The setbacks have come against teams in Seattle Seahawks and Miami Dolphins that are in close proximity to them in the standings, and losing the final quarter in each of those contests contributed to their defeats. Of course, there are plenty of factors to take into consideration when placing your bets this week, but logic suggests that predicting a narrow win for a team who is consistently performing well at the end of matches gives you a strong chance of making a profit.
When you delve further into the statistics, you will struggle to find many categories where the Cardinals are not coming out on top, both from a team and personnel perspective. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins have the potential to make decisive impacts at the weekend, but one of the few sections where the Patriots are leading is turnovers. They hold a 15-12 advantage in general turnovers, and a 15-11 lead when it comes to forced turnovers. When games have the potential to be as tight as this one, a strong showing in that discipline could prove to be the difference between victory and defeat.